This fight was billed as the “Fight Of The Century” as undefeated five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao finally went head to head in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Mayweather–Pacquiao fight was originally staged as the 2010 fight of the year, however, the two fighters just couldn’t agree terms and the fight never got off the ground. In 2014 rumours circulated suggesting that it would happen soon, but it wasn’t until 2015 that both parties had agreed on terms and the fight was sanctioned and scheduled for May 2nd.
The fight was predicted to be the most lucrative in the history of professional boxing as both fighters had huge fan bases as well as a massive amount of neutral fans wanting to see the outcome of the two legendary fighters when they went head to head. The revenue generated by Pay Per View exceeded $410 million as over 4.6million people tuned in to watch the fight with almost 50% of the households in the Philippines watching their boy fight. Only 500 tickets went on sale to the public, priced at $1,500, $2,500, $3,500, $5,000 and $7,500 for the 16,800 capacity MGM Grand. The tickets that went on sale sold out within a minute.
With so much hype and speculation, the fight itself had a lot to live up to. Both fighters wore 8-ounce (230 g) gloves with brands of their choosing. Mayweather wore custom Grant gloves with a multicoloured paisley pattern, red & purple trim, and the letters TBE on the cuff. Pacquiao wore standard red Cleto Reyes gloves with black & white trim.
Unfortunately, it was anything but the hype as neither boxer really showcased their skills. Instead, Mayweather’s defense-oriented strategy in the ring caused frustration for Manny Pacquiao as he was unable to land his punches. Pacquiao himself was far from the aggressive and forward moving fighter we have all loved to watch. He seemed jaded and not as freely letting his punches go as normal. Mayweather was already accumulating rounds under his belt as the fight went on, however, he hit Pacquiao with a low blow, a blow that Pacquiao reacted angrily too, stating it was an illegal shot. Early in the round, three Pacquiao scored a big left-handed hit, causing Mayweather to stagger before regaining a defensive position.
Rounds four, five and six went Mayweather’s way. Exact accuracy and punching management let Mayweather control the fight without leaving himself in harm’s way. Mayweather changed tactics at the start of the seventh round, becoming the aggressor for a second and forcing Pacquiao on to the ropes. In the ninth round, Pacquiao was again on the offensive. He effectively landed several punches, but Mayweather also landed with his counter punching. Round ten was much the same with Pacquiao the more aggressive of the two fighters. His aggressive attitude won him several of the later rounds but Mayweather had done enough earlier on in the fight to give himself some breathing space.
In the last two rounds, Pacquiao chased down Mayweather, desperately trying to regain the lead and to defeat the champion. Mayweather’s defensive style was simply perfectly executed, leaving Pacquiao with little opportunity to land any punches. The fight went the distance and was left for the ringside judges to decide the winner. Through his use of defence and accurate counter punches, Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao in 12 rounds by unanimous decision, 118–110, 116–112, 116–112, to remain undefeated in his career. Pacquiao himself questioned the result at the end of the fight and continues to maintain that he deserved the decision, feeling he had been the more advancing fighter and more aggressive fighter. When the scorecards were disclosed only in rounds four and six did all three judges award, Manny Pacquiao, the round. It was later revealed following the event that Pacquiao had sustained an undisclosed injury to his right shoulder while training, and that while it had healed in time for the fight, he re-injured it during the 4th round.
The fight left many fans disappointed that neither fighter really took the fight to their opponent. The press and media set about the fight calling it “arguably, the least entertaining ‘mega fight’ in memory”. On May 5, 2015, two Las Vegas residents filed a class-action lawsuit against Pacquiao, his manager, and Top Rank, for failing to disclose Pacquiao’s injury before the fight.
had the fight been agreed when it was originally laid out who knows what would have happened? Both fighters would have been younger and for certain Manny Pacquiao would not have had his shoulder injury. But now fight fans across the world will remember the fight as the one that got away and the one that didn’t live up to all its expectations and hype.
Following the fight, Manny Pacquiao went on to defeat Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas, before his unexpected defeat to Jeff Horn this year. Floyd Mayweather fought Andre Berto in September of 2015 and then hung up his gloves. That was until along came an Irishman in the name of Conor McGregor who has levered Mayweather out of retirement and challenged him to put his 49-0 record on the line one more time. Call him crazy, call him arrogant, call him what you like, but whatever you call him McGregor has got his wish come true as Mayweather accepted the challenge.
It can only be assumed that the pure and sole motivation for this fight has to be money for Mayweather. What does he have to gain otherwise fighting a guy who may well be the king of the octagon, but he has never had one single professional boxing match. Incredible to think that a guy who has never fought in the ring professionally is about to take on a five-division world champion. Yes, Mayweather is now forty years old, but age is just a number and when you have been at the top level for so long, twenty-one years long, it is not hard to dig deep and find your previous self. August 26th is the date, don’t miss what will be a fight you just have to watch.