All-weather Floyd

  • Mayweather and Pacquiao
    Mayweather and Pacquiao

Mayweather won the match, Pacquiao won hearts. But wait, there could be a round two

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather fought Manny 'Pac-Man' Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The winner was money. Mayweather, of course, but cash, more so. According to the pre-fight agreement, Mayweather will get a 60-40 split of the purse, which is expected to be more than $300 million.

The fight, however, left many fans disappointed. The Wall Street Journal said that it was a good thing there were 85 years left to top the “fight of the century”.

The clash had been in the making since 2009, but the two camps had several disagreements. By 2015, negotiations had been finalised, with all issues resolved, including purse split, drug testing and location.

Mayweather won by unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 116–112 and the other 118–110.

After the bout, Mayweather said he would retire in September after one more match. Pacquiao, meanwhile, told the media that he had carried a shoulder injury into the match. Two plaintiffs in Nevada filed a lawsuit against Pacquiao, saying he hid the injury from fans who had paid to see the match.

Mayweather, on hearing about the injury, told an ESPN journalist that he would agree to a rematch once Pacquiao recovers.

By Oliver Brown

A brilliantly economical fighter, Mayweather did not need to throw more punches than Pacquiao by virtue of his supreme accuracy and impeccable right hand. The combinations that had worked for the Filipino against almost every one of his other 64 professional opponents tended to find clean air against the fleet-footed American. In rounds four and six, Pacquiao pinned Mayweather to the ropes with exhilarating bursts of shots, but his adversary reeled away, shaking his head. Sometimes a boxer can be bluffing by his insistence that he has not been hurt, but not on this occasion. This was a calculated masterclass.

Pacquiao never threatened to attack Mayweather with the sustained ferocity that has become his trademark. Trainer Freddie Roach had claimed that he needed to wage a perfect fight to stand any hope of victory, and this was far too flawed a performance to make that possible. He faded badly in the last five rounds as Mayweather, characteristically, identified his every weakness. He is a charming and endearing figure, but his subsequent argument that he won this contest did him scant credit.

While Mayweather confirmed that he would be back in the ring in September, the 38-year-old is demonstrating little desire to eclipse Rocky Marciano's record by going one further, and chasing a 50th win without defeat. In his 19-year career, he has spent 18 of them as world champion, and he appears desperate to protect those immaculate credentials. Mayweather is mindful of the fact that he is slowing, that his powers are waning, and grasps when it is time to stop. For Pacquiao, the most sensible course of action after this, his ultimate pay-day, would be to pursue a second term as congressman in the Philippines. His fighting career, sadly, has passed its zenith.

Mayweather looked angry, hurt even, as he stared out at the crowd post-fight and was met largely by a chorus of boos. Even if he prevailed by unanimous decision, Pacquiao, smiling and endlessly effervescent, had been the overwhelming people's choice.

Mayweather will never command the love that he feels is his due―not with the domestic violence record that has proved so alienating, and nor with his obsession with money that prompted him to dedicate part of his victory speech to a particular brand. A wonderful exponent of defensive ringcraft he may be, but he remains the sport's most deeply divisive personality.

* Nicknames―Pretty Boy, Money, TBE (The Best Ever)
* Mayweather was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, into a family of boxers
* His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr, fought boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard * Dropped out of high school to box
* Has had a turbulent relationship with his father―Mayweather fired him as manager in 2000
* Made an appearance in World Wrestling Entertainment, taking on the Big Show. Finished 9th on reality show Dancing with the Stars
* Arrested many times on charges of domestic abuse and battery

* Nicknames―The Destroyer, Pac-Man, The Filipino Slugger
* Pacquiao was born in Kibawe, Bukidnon, the Philippines
* Dropped out of high school because of extreme poverty
* At 14, moved to Manila and lived on the streets
* Married Maria Geraldine Jamora in 2000 and has five children
* Has a seat in the Philippines parliament
* Lieutenant colonel in the reserve force of the Philippine army
* Became an honorary member of the Boston Celtics
* Faced legal troubles in 2012 for sheltering a fugitive in the Philippines
* Has been under suspicion of using illegal steroids

* 2008―Dominated 'Golden Boy' Oscar De La Hoya, forcing him to retire.
* 2009―Beat Englishman Ricky Hatton, knocking him down twice in the first round and knocking him out in the second.
* 2010―Before the fight, Antonio Margarito made fun of Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, who has Parkinson’s disease. Pacquiao broke the orbital bone in his right eye.

* 2005―In his first pay-per-view fight, Mayweather dominated Arturo Gatti and knocked him down in the first round. The win established him as a star.
* 2007―Beat Oscar De La Hoya, the biggest draw of the decade, to become the new king of boxing.
* 2013―Beat a younger and stronger Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, shutting up critics who said he was past his prime.

Research: Anirudh Madhavan

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Topics : #Boxing

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