Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather Jr. has been adjudged the winner of the ‘Fight of the Century’ against Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao by unanimous decision. He has been declared the WBO welterweight champion and has extended his unbeaten record to 48-0. However, many fans and viewers are resenting the fact that they had to pay $100 as pay-per-view charges for a dampener of a fight after all the hullabaloo. The basic bottom line was that Money stuck to his technique and did what he does best. His defensive tactic still remains unbeatable. This is how the much-hyped ‘Fight of the Century’ panned out.
Entrance and Walk to the Ring
The crowd was obviously cheering for Pacquiao and erupted as he entered the Arena. His coach Freddie Roach and Pacquiao stopped for a selfie as they left the locker room. The song which played as Pacman entered the ring was his own song. As the highlight reel stopped, the crowd started booing and out came Money May. Once both the fighters were in the ring, the rules of the fight were discussed and reconfirmed as no standing counts, and no three knock down rule was allowed. Only the referee could stop the fight. Money May and Pacman were finally face-to-face in the boxing ring. Referee Kenny Bayless also mentioned that it is the fight that the world has been waiting for. With the anticipation at its peak, the announcement of ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble’ meant that it was all on.
Round One: Money May, 10-9
It started with a hard straight right by Mayweather Jr. as the first meaningful shot. Money May started off with the jab, stepping in and it was Pacquiao who moved away. He then went forward for the first time and with those body shots landing, Money May was on the move. A straight right from him caught Pacman on the way in. He was trying to close Pacman down, but he sprang back and then came crashing forward with a right. This led to a close-in clinch and Money May had a few words. His jab and reach were landing and so far Pacman had come up short. The crowd continued to boom Pacquiao’s name with loud chants of ‘Manny!’ during the first round. By the end of round one, Pacquiao looked a little hesitant as that right got his attention. Money May won the round with jabs and straight rights. He kept Pacman at bay for the entire round. It was a close first round, but Pacman could not get inside.
Round Two: Money May, 10-9
Pacman lunged in and his right almost landed. But it was Money May who drew him in and that right landed again. He did keep clinging though, and Pacman kept coming forward. A double right from Money May landed, but for the first time, Pacman pushed him into the corner. A left landed, but soon Money May was out of there. Quick and slick and another right landed from Mayweather Jr.. Pacquiao tried to get inside, and landed some body shots. However, Money May countered with jabs. It was another close fought round and Pacquiao did get closer, but Mayweather Jr. still landed the cleaner shots. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach referred to ‘footwork’ more than a few times.
Round Three: Money May, 10-9
Pacquiao pressed Mayweather Jr. again, lashed out, and missed and Money May pinged one in on his way out. Pacman had barely landed a punch so far. It was messy as Money May closed in and Pacman ducked down. He ended up hitting the rope as Mayweather Jr. ducked and slipped to the right again. Money May was looking very good and in charge. Pacman kept edging in and kept missing, and being spun aside. Money May was getting away with a lot of holding and Pacman landed the better shots. Referee Bayless warned Pacman for using his head. Money May landed lead right hands, and still kept Pacquiao at bay. Pacman couldn’t solve Money May’s defense so far. Bayless was not letting Pacquiao stay in close and the timing of Mayweather Jr. was beating the speed of Pacquiao so far.
Round Four: Pacman, 10-9
Another right opened things up, and that one Mayweather Jr. punch was there again, but soon he was in a corner on the ropes and Pacman flooded in. He did not land, but it was aggressive at least. Pacquiao hit a left overhead to the head and he was pushed back onto the ropes. He swarmed all over Money May and the left-right-left was the best he had done so far. It was great stuff and looked like Pacman was back! Another belting shot landed hard and Mayweather Jr. was in trouble. That left, a counter of his own, was the weapon needed. Pacquiao dominated the round with his flurry. It was the first round that Pacman won easily, and it was a big round for him as he landed some beautiful shots. The commentators said that Mayweather Sr. told his son that he was fighting scared.
Round Five: Money May, 10-9
Two jabs from Mayweather Jr. hit home, but he missed badly with a right hook. Pacman was caught again on the front foot though, and he was pushed back. All of a sudden, they both opened up! A cracking exchange, a real 50-50 was on the cards. Money May landed more shots and combinations, but got warning for holding Pacquiao’s head down. Bayless should have deducted a point here, but he did not. Mayweather Jr. smothered all over Pacquiao and the crowd continued to boo. They both eased off slightly in the second half of this round, before Pacman got him on the ropes, but he hung out the chin, swayed one way, and went the other. Pacman still pressed, but Mayweather Jr. was still slick. Money May landed a lovely right hand early and established his jab again, although still holding without being warned.
Round Six: Pacman, 10-9
Mayweather Jr.’s jab then the short right hit home again, but Pacquiao was soon in his face with a five-punch combo. Hard and fast and although they did not all land, they hurt. Money May fired back with that right, and a rare left hook, and it was as if both were going for the KO! A left over the top landed smack in Mayweather Jr.’s face and then as he side-stepped, Pacman cut him off and started another barrage. All to the body, but Mayweather Jr. took them and offered his chin again. He did hit back with a right and then ended with a jab as Pacman eased off. It was another cracking round! Pacquiao got his rhythm going again and seemed to hurt Mayweather Jr. with a cracking left hand. This round was a lot better from Pacman and had technically bossed a round for the first time. Mayweather Jr. landed some lead right hands and Pacquiao attacked. Mayweather Jr. kept holding Pacquiao but Bayless did not interfere. Pacman dictated the pace and squeezed out this round.
Round Seven: Tie
Mayweather Jr. left his stool with his father giving him grief and he ignored it. He then jabbed multiple times and Pacquiao did it in return. But an even stiffer jab had Pacman off-balance. It was boiling up again! Pacquiao hunted Mayweather Jr. down, but was held and the crowd booed again. Both shared the center of the ring and the jabs were swapped again, but then a jab with a pearler of a left from Pacman landed big-time! Both fighters kept moving in the ring without much landing. Money May kept holding, but Bayless refused to deduct a point. This was a very closely fought round as both fighters had spells of success.
Round Eight: Money May, 10-9
A 10-second wait before two jabs from Mayweather Jr. were down the barrel. Pacquiao leapt in and landed another left cleanly and again it was perfect, but as soon as he forced Mayweather Jr. back, he got behind that shoulder. However, he was not on the ropes and he stood his ground! A sweet left hook from Mayweather Jr. landed well. That left-hook from Pacquiao did the damage again, but it was a rarity. Every time one fighter landed, the other hit back. Later, Mayweather Jr. landed that short, sharp right, and spent the last 30 seconds backing away and countering. Pacquiao was aggressive in the round, but did not land much. Money May landed just enough jabs to win the round.
Round Nine: Money May, 10-9
Both fighters had a cautious start to this one. Pacquiao set off, as Mayweather Jr. moved to the left and the southpaw slipped. Pacman almost landed with a fierce right on the way in, but was caught with a cheeky right. They ended up in a clinch, again, and Bayless kept them apart. Pacquiao tried to make those angle and darts down low and in, but was clattered by that right counter from Mayweather Jr. Another one from out wide kept Pacman at bay and for once, he was not pouring forward. Mayweather Jr. teased him in again and a left landed. Money May again did enough on the back foot to steal the round which saw him back in control as he landed a lot more. Though Pacquiao was aggressor, Mayweather Jr. landed just enough to win the round.
Round Ten: Pacman, 10-9
Pacquiao looked tired and for once, it was he who dodged the lunge. His left did hammer through the guard and before Mayweather Jr. could move, a little right landed as well. A better start for Pacquiao, but Mayweather Jr. had gone totally side-on. He was backing off every time now. Pacman was the aggressor again in this round. Mayweather Jr. did not land enough punches this time and better work rate from Pacquiao was just enough to nick the round.
Round Eleven: Money May, 10-9
A left-right-left and a banging straight right from Mayweather Jr. started the round. It was time for Pacquiao to back off, and again a right over the top on the ropes and then another very heavy straight shot was the hardest of the night. Mayweather Jr. was possibly looking for the KO. Pacman could not get close. He missed, was then blocked, and was left hitting fresh air. Mayweather Jr. was at his best, and even when he was caught in a corner, he kept Pacquiao in check. Pacman looked tired, he looked frustrated, and a little furious. Another one for Mayweather Jr. as he dictated, and used good movement to nullify Pacquiao. Money May looked classy as he was counter-punching quite effectively and Pacman could not land any meaningful punches. The commentary was a bit harsh on Pacquiao as he was not stepping up aggression, and acting as if he was winning, even though when he was not. Soon it was all or nothing going into the last round for Pacman.
Round Twelve: Money May, 10-9
Mayweather Jr. came to the middle with a wide grin. He knew that he was the boss, but the crowd still chanted ‘Manny!’ The jab popped in and out as Pacman tried to close him down, crunched and was slightly cautious. Pacquiao was running out of gas. He tried for the last time, but this was a masterclass display from Mayweather Jr. He shifted round the ring, threw in a shuffle, and he took any sting that Pacman had left. He started celebrating with 10 seconds still remaining. Pacman could not land a single shot in the second half of the fight. The bell rang and that was it. Mayweather Jr. won the round, and the fight tactfully, carefully, patiently, and quietly. In the end, it was a supreme performance by Mayweather Jr. and he looked in a different league. He displayed his pure class with his defensive technique and even at the end, looked like he could go on for another 12 rounds. Maybe it was 5 years too late for Pacquiao, unfortunately.
Mayweather Jr. leapt onto the ropes to salute the crowd. He was still being booed, but not by many. He complimented Pacquiao, but he did say that he had ‘out boxed’ him and it was a purist’s fight for the boxing fans. Mayweather Jr. won the title by a unanimous decision with all the three judges giving him a big nod. The scores stood at Moretti 118-110, Clement 116-114, and Feldman 116-114.
Mayweather Jr. later said that Pacquiao was a hell of a fighter. He said he knew that Pacquiao was going to win some rounds and he did have some moments in the bout. However, he chose to stay on the outside and made sure that he did not take too many shots. He also acknowledged that when he was in the middle of the ring, he got hit. At the end, he did what he had to do to win the fight, and he got a unanimous decision in his favor. Mayweather Jr. also said that he just had one final fight in September, and after that he will call it a day. He confirmed that he will retire after his next fight, and will not be chasing after the record of 50-0. Pacquiao said after the bout that he thought he had won the fight.
By Ankur Sinha