By Nicole Asgar
Recently, two of the greatest fighters of all-time went toe-to-toe in possibly the biggest fight of our lifetime. They were calling it “The Fight of the Century.”
Showtime was advertising the headline fight (blue-moon opportunity) to be full of strategy and mental aptitude. Everyone was predicting great things from the welterweight bout. Tickets for the event were sold out in one minute and the fight generated something as ridiculous as $400 million.
2:00pm – The lights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas go on and the media coverage impetuously hype the Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs. Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao countdown.The greatest fight of the modern era dominated social media. “Pac-Man” and “Money” fans were whipped into a frenzy. Christian boxer Pacquiao captured the hearts of his fans by simply quoting versus from the Bible, whilst the undefeated camp reinforced the success of the Money Team. So, did these two fighters, at the end of it all, carry the expectations as much as its revenue? The judges scored it. Mayweather landed 148 of 435 punches during the 12-round four-title unification bout, Pacquiao connected with just 81 of 429 as his all-out. In simpler terms, Floyd Mayweather Jr. came out victorious.
The insanely-hyped fight and result saw “Money” undefeated in 48 professional fights, remaining the undisputed world champion and walking away with more than just a share of the reported $400 million. However, Mayweather never went full-on aggressive, despite claiming he would. His masterful display instead produced a hugging and running match. What fans did witness was “Pacman’s” attacking style neutralized by the American’s brilliant defence.
Of course in the factional world of boxing, the most mercurial of sports, shots of disagreement spiralled from the unanimous victory decision. Boxing fans, not just Manny fans, demonstrated their displeasure at how lopsided nature of the score cards. Fans witnessing the “Fight of the Century” commented at how boxing has become more of an entertainment niche rather than a sport. Many weren’t surprised at the outcome as Mayweather had more to lose had he lost. The actual fight did not deliver the excitement that its billing promised or the ‘around the corner’ knockout that many Manny fans had hoped.
Critics were quick to jump at the topic, explaining that the fight should have happened five years ago when the boxers were in their prime and could have developed into an ongoing rivalry. Many even cited that today’s boxing lacks any real personalities and the sport has subsequently suffered. On a more positive note, some are optimistic that the mega bout will re-evaluate boxing, that all the hope and hype is a great impetus for boxing to return to where it has been in the past. Pundits were quick to add how success of any boxing event should not be measured in how much revenue it makes, but rather its legacy. Let’s hope.
What did fall into place was Mayweather protecting his undefeated streak. It even looks like he is trying to equalise Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. Mayweather could achieve this if the talk of him fighting in September is true. The opponent of that potential encounter is yet to be named.
On the other hand, Mayweather has confirmed that he is open to a rematch with Manny. However, that (ongoing) rivalry could have no-holds as Pacquiao will need to undergo surgery for a tear in his right shoulder. It may even take some time before the eight-division world champion can return to active boxing. Additionally, the Nevada Athletic Commission may be fining and sanctioning the Filipino for not revealing he had an injury before his face-off with Mayweather. Despite his heart-breaking loss, Pacquiao thanked God and his fans for all their support and simply said that “God’s ways are higher.” Despite all the controversy, shattered expectations and the supposedly one-sided manner of the bout, at the end of the night, the historic “Fight of the Century” captured the interest of all aged fans as well as breaking the record of pay-per-views.
Image courtesy of the Daily Post