There were at least five key factors involved when Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Manny Pacquiao to remain undefeated at 48-0 on Saturday night, and won what many people billed as the “Fight of the Century.” Mayweather won in an unanimous decision, in a bout that lasted 12 rounds. At times, Pacquiao looked like he was the aggressor and winning the fight, but the decision ultimately went to the champ. Mayweather not only held onto his his WBC and WBA welterweight titles, but also won Pacquiao’s WBO belt. He won the fight on all three of the judges’ scoring cards on Saturday night.
Mayweather Jr. Employed a Better Overall Strategy
First of all, Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a better strategy for the boxing match. When any boxer faces the person who is the current champ, like Pacquiao when he fought welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in front of a sold-out crowd, it is almost impossible to get the decision unless the challenger somehow knocks out the champ. Mayweather knew this very well, as did Pacquiao, going into the boxing match.
Mayweather was accused after the boxing match against Pacquiao of employing the “rope-a-dope” strategy that heavyweight boxing great, Muhammad Ali, used to his advantage in many of his boxing matches. That, and of also running away from Pacquiao.
While “Money” did not always do this in the boxing match, and he landed a few pretty good punches whenever he had an opening, there is some truth in this assessment. But, evading one’s opponent or employing the “rope-a-dope” strategy is a proven winning strategy when a boxer is the champ, and it has worked over and over again in the past, and it worked yet again on Saturday night for Mayweather.
Probably the only way that Manny Pacquiao could have won would have been to get a KO sometime in the earlier rounds. As a boxing match wears on, trying to chase after the wind, as Pacquiao tried to do against the champ, can end up in just being a futile exercise. It is not that Pacquiao’s strategy was terrible; it is just that almost always, the “rope-a-dope” strategy, combined with trying to be as evasive as possible, trumps almost all other strategies.
Mayweather Took the Boxing Match Very Seriously
Second, Mayweather took the boxing match against Manny Pacquiao seriously. These five keys to the champ’s victory are not in any particular order, but the fact that “Money” cancelled planned pre-boxing match festivities that he usually has partaken in, like a party and a barbecue, showed that he was taking this particular fight very seriously. He has often stated that he believes he is the greatest boxer who ever lived, even better than Ali. In this case, with his fight against Manny Pacquiao, “Money” did show that he has a deep respect for Pacquiao as a boxer.
The champ has his own training facility, and he always trains hard before an upcoming match. It might not always be evident to boxing fans that he does, because he does a lot of his training behind closed doors; but, he really takes all of his boxing matches seriously, especially with his unbeaten record on the line. He did not want to leave anything to chance, so he reportedly spent even more time than he usually does training for his fight against Pacquiao — though, he had already made plans for a post-victory party at his mansion, complete with 150 bottles of champagne supplied by Rick Ross.
Mayweather took the fight seriously, but definitely not because he needs the money. He reportedly came away from the fight against Pacquiao with a nine-figure check, and could end up earning over $200 million from it. Still, his earnings last year were far from shabby. He grossed over $105 million, according to an article in Forbes, and he was the world’s highest-grossing athlete.
Mayweather Surrounded Himself With Boxers Like Zab Judah
The champ’s third key to his success in defeating Manny Pacquiao was that he surrounded himself with a camp of both up-and-coming boxers that he sparred against, as well as seasoned veteran boxers, like the south paw, Zab Judah, who he had boxed against in the past. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, is one of the best in the business, so he undoubtedly also trained hard and went up against a lot of sparring opponents in preparation for the boxing match, as well.
Money was on “Money” Mayweather’s side. He perhaps learned the most from having fought against the southpaw, Zab Judah, previously, and then sparring against him in his training sessions before the Pacquiao match. Mayweather had a reputation for not doing as well when he boxed southpaws, like Judah, and many fans thought this would mean that “Money” would also have problems in his match against Pacquiao.
However, Mayweather reportedly had no troubles at all when he sparred against Judah before the Saturday boxing match against Pacquiao. In an interview Judah gave to SB Nation, he said that Mayweather held nothing back, that “He trains like he’s broke.” Judah added later in the interview that “Right now, he’s ten times better than when he fought me.”
Mayweather Wore Pacquiao Out and Went the Distance
The fourth key to Mayweather’s win over Manny Pacquiao is related very closely to his having a better overall strategy. By forcing Pacquiao to come after him in the earlier rounds, and being as evasive as possible, Mayweather did what other boxing greats, like Ali, did, wearing his opponent out. Pacquiao went into the boxing match, undoubtedly, in the best condition of his life, and he managed to last all 12 of the rounds, just as the champ did.
However, according to an article at the Bleacher Report site, starting from the very first round of the boxing match, “Pacquiao was regularly slowed by Money’s ability to avoid or block punches.” While Pacquiao threw a lot of punches, he was inefficient with them, and expended a lot of energy in the process. He did not look particularly tired out by the end of the fight, but all of the energy that he expended had to have taken a toll on him. Mayweather wore Pacquiao out, and went the distance, and that was a big key to his winning on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Mayweather Landed the Most Punches
Mayweather’s fifth key to winning over Pacquiao was his ability to land the most punches, even though he did not get an outright KO. Many fans of Pacquiao were convinced, after having seen the fight, that Pac-Man had landed the most punches, and should have been declared the winner. But, looking at the fight objectively, the opposite was actually true in the unification match.
According to Bleacher Report, out of the 429 punches that Pacquiao threw during the boxing match against Mayweather, he landed just 81 of them. That is only 19 percent of the punches that he threw. Mayweather, by contrast, threw 435 punches and he landed 148 of them. In other words, he landed 34 percent of his punches, a greater success rate than Pac-Man. The judges could not help but give “Money” the win, as his success rate in connecting with his punches was higher.
One More Fight for Mayweather
Both before the boxing match against Pacquiao on Saturday night and after it, “Money” stated that he would fight just one more fight before he decides to retire. That one, he stated, would be in September 2015. The champ was asked who the boxing match would be against, and he said that he did “not know yet.” Still, unless he changes his mind, right now it appears as if Mayweather will fight in at least one more boxing match before he hangs up his gloves.
There were at least five keys to Mayweather having defeated Pacquiao at the MGM Grand on Saturday night. He had an arguably better strategy; he took the fight seriously; he surrounded himself with boxers like the veteran, Zab Judah, to train against; he wore Pacquiao out and went the distance; and, last but not least, he ended up landing the highest percentage of punches. By doing so, all three of the judges, Dave Moretti, Glenn Feldman and Burt Clements, scored him as being the unanimous winner of the fight.
Written By Douglas Cobb