It’s unanimous: Mayweather-Pacquiao reveals boxing’s demise

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Referee Kenny Bayless separates Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, left, and Floyd Mayweather Jr., during their welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

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As the dust settled Saturday night, unbeaten Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. stood alone as the unanimous, conclusive winner of HBO and Showtime’s supposed “fight of the century” by defeating Filipino native Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, successfully unifying the welterweight titles.

But as the fight ended and the “Thank You for ordering this Pay-Per-View” message popped onto my television screen, I felt dejected. Not because my pick for the fight, Manny Pacquiao, was decisively defeated. I was miserable because I had witnessed one of the most underwhelming fights in the history of the sport. Ever.

With a predicted $300 million on the line, the fight was slow, methodical, and disinteresting for many casual fans. As a dedicated boxing fan who has been waiting for this fight for five years, I understood that Mayweather, 38, and Pacquiao, 36, were beyond their primes as fighters. However, Pacquiao promised to deliver a fight that “the people wanted and the people deserved.” To me, no fan wanted, nor deserved the mediocrity displayed Saturday night.

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Mayweather’s selfish, greedy, taunting persona has always manifested itself in his fights and Saturday night was no different. Mayweather controlled the pace of the fight throughout, landing power punches at an efficient rate of 48 percent in comparison to Pacquiao’s 27 percent. He was calculated and deliberate in his approach and while his confidence may have waivered for brief moments, he stuck to his guns and executed a slow, methodical game plan that sucked the energy out of the arena. This was a classic Mayweather fight where he poked and prodded his opponent like a surgeon.

On the other hand, Pacquiao embraced the “hero” role of the fight, telling fans everywhere during interviews and on talk-shows of his overwhelming speed and athleticism with a big grin on his face. While Pacquiao talked the talk, he could not walk the walk. Pacquiao did not corner Mayweather for more than three seconds and was uncharacteristically inactive and slow with his combinations and slips. Moreover, Pacquiao smiled and grinned after the fight, which makes me wonder if he was competing or going through the motions.

I wasn’t the only one who disliked the pace and activity within the fight. Afterwards, Twitter and other social media websites exploded as Metea students tweeted about their grievances. Most students simply were not entertained.

“The fight was hyped up for five years and I think as a casual fan, the fight did not meet my expectations. Mayweather fought the way he usually does but, it limited Pacquiao’s ability to entertain,” junior Nathan Srinivas Rao said. “I don’t consistently watch boxing but this fight did not help the sport at all.”

Celebrities and other fighters were disappointed with the fight too. Former fighter of the year and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya tweeted, “Sorry boxing fans…Call me old school but I like the fans getting their money’s worth by watching an action packed fight.” Former Heavyweight champion “Iron” Mike Tyson tweeted, “We waited 5 years for this…”

The fight looked like a glorified sparring match, in which Mayweather spent more time avoiding Pacquiao then fighting him. My problem is not that Mayweather won and Pacquiao looked like a “has been”; rather, my problem lays in the fact that at the end of the day, both fighters walked out of the ring with millions of dollars in their pockets and smiles on their faces, as if they accomplished something Saturday.

Boxing is a dying sport and with this mega-fight capturing the attention of casual fans everywhere, Mayweather-Pacquiao was the perfect platform to start boxing’s rise back to legitimacy and popularity. Instead of restoring the integrity of the sport that gave both fighters their money and fame, Mayweather and Pacquiao instead milked whatever the sport had left to offer financially and walked out.

On behalf of the already small group of boxing fans that exist, we thank you Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Saturday night will not go down as the night that Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Manny Pacquiao and boxing relevancy was restored, but boxing’s last hurrah.

 

By Nirmal Mulaikal