Mayweather outpoints Pacquiao, remains undefeated

Monday, May 4th, 2015. Filed under: International Stars Sports & Recreation
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the U.S. lands a left to the face of Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (R) in the 11th round during their welterweight WBO, WBC and WBA (Super) title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015.    (MNS Photo)

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the U.S. lands a left to the face of Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (R) in the 11th round during their welterweight WBO, WBC and WBA (Super) title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015. (MNS Photo)

MANILA, May 3 (Mabuhay) – American superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. backed up his claim of being “The Best Ever” as he out-pointed Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao to win the much-hyped “Fight of the Century” in front of a packed crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Facing a hostile, mostly pro-Pacquiao crowd at the MGM Grand, Mayweather lived up to his status as the odds-on favorite entering the fight, and flashed the form that made him the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

The judges scored the bout 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112, giving Mayweather his 49th straight victory.

The American became the unified welterweight champion of the world as he retained the WBC and the WBA welterweight championships, while also annexing Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title.

Pacquiao made a good account of himself and gave a strong effort, but it was not enough as he suffered the sixth loss of his career against 57 wins and two draws.

Mayweather was gracious in victory, as he said after the fight: “He’s a hell of a fighter. I take my hat off to Manny Pacquiao. I see now why he’s one of the guys that’s at the pinnacle of boxing.”

The “Fight of the Century,” that was over five years in the making, eventually played out like a typical Floyd Mayweather bout, as the American neutralized Pacquiao with his shoulder-roll defense and footwork, keeping the “Pacman” at bay for most of the bout.

Pacquiao, who was in high spirits all throughout the lead-up to the event, was not convinced of Mayweather’s victory.

“It’s a good fight. I thought I won the fight,” he said, sounding somewhat frustrated, after the scores were announced. “He didn’t do anything. He was always moving outside.”

Round-by-round

The first round was a feeling out process for both boxers, but it was Mayweather who landed the stronger blows with straight right hands down the middle that Pacquiao was unable to avoid. The “Pacman” did try to unload a flurry at the end of the round, only to be tied up by Maywether.

Action picked up in the second and third round, with the final 10 seconds of the third being particularly eventful. Pacquiao landed a combination to the head of Mayweather, only for the American to come back with a flurry of his own just as the bell rang.

Pacquiao shone in the fourth round, backing up Mayweather with a stiff left straight that sent Mayweather careening back against the ropes. Pacquiao then unloaded with a flurry of punches, but Mayweather was able to avoid much damage by covering up.

Mayweather regained control in the fifth round, and clearly hurt Pacquiao with a left straight that landed flush on the Filipino’s chest, and was then able to circle away from Pacquiao’s range. In the sixth round, Mayweather was again backed up against the ropes, and Pacquiao landed a flurry of punches, only to see the American shake his head as though saying that he was not getting hurt.

In the corner after the sixth round, Mayweather’s father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was heard exhorting his son, saying: “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, man.”

By the seventh round, Mayweather started bleeding from the mouth, and Pacquiao was able to land a left jab that hit the American flush on the face. Mayweather was able to regain control in the eighth round, using his jab to measure Pacquiao and landing two good left hands that the Filipino shook off.

Mayweather controlled the next rounds, using his jab to keep Pacquiao at bay while pot-shotting with counter rights and lefts every time the “Pacman” tried to move forward. Pacquiao tried his best to corner Mayweather, but this time around, the American was able to roll away from his punches.

The two boxers hugged at the start of the 12th round, and again Mayweather kept Pacquiao at bay though the Filipino landed a few clean shots.

Fight of the Century

It was a fight that took over half a decade to put together, and many in boxing circles have given up hope that it will ever take place after several rounds of negotiations over the years fell apart and bad blood built up on both sides.

The Pacquiao and Mayweather camps finally came to terms earlier this year – with Pacquiao acceding to most of Mayweather’s demands – for a fight that likely broke most if not all of the sport’s box office records.

Boxing pundits, including trainers and boxers, tabbed Mayweather as the favorite, believing that his sublime defensive skills will be enough to neutralize Pacquiao’s offensive prowess – and the American proved them right.

Pacquiao had his moments, particularly in the fourth round, but for the most part it was Mayweather who controlled the pace of the fight and forced the Filipino to chase him around the ring in a futile effort to land power punches.

Pacquiao, who was expected to be the more active puncher, landed only 81 punches out of 429, while Mayweather landed 148 punches of 435.

“I knew he was gonna win some rounds. He had moments in the fight,” Mayweather said. “I’m a smart boxer… I out-boxed him.”

Mayweather used his jab to great effect, keeping Pacquiao at arm’s length especially in the second half of the fight. Even when Pacquiao had Mayweather on the ropes, the American was able to roll away from Pacquiao’s punches.

In the sixth round, when Pacquiao landed a brutal flurry of punches, Mayweather simply kept his hands up and then shook his head when Pacquiao backed away.

“He’s a tough competitor,” Mayweather said of Pacquiao. “He’s a true champion at heart.”

“He’s moving around, he’s moving around, and it’s not easy to throw punches if he’s moving around,” Pacquiao said. “But if he stays, I can throw punches.”

“I’m cutting him and counter(ing), but that’s (the) fight,” he added.

The “Pacman” also shrugged off Mayweather’s size advantage, saying: “He’s not bigger than me. It’s not about the size. I’ve been fighting (men) bigger than him, and no problem.”

Richest fight

The fight is expected to be the richest in the history of the sport, with initial estimates projecting that Mayweather can earn at least $120 million and Pacquiao $80 million – both figures are expected to rise as more details about the pay-per-view sales and gate receipts come in.

Fans shelled out $99.95 for the high-definition feed of the pay-per-view, while the high-priced tickets were sold out within minutes of release to the public.

The event was attended by Hollywood stars and sports icons, but for the night, they took a backseat to Mayweather and Pacquiao – two of the highest paid athletes on the planet.

Mayweather was booed vociferously throughout the night, but was all smiles in the end as his team raised his assortment of belts around him.

“When the history books is written,” he said, “it (the fight) was worth the wait.” (MNS)

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