It was being billed as the fight of the century. It was a dud.
Saturday night in Las Vegas, we were all expecting an all-time great fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. What we got was a boxing display by Mayweather. He is a brilliant tactician and picked apart Manny in a dominant performance. Mayweather is now a perfect 48-0 and is the best pound for pound fighter in the world. He threw more punches and landed more, 148-81.
But we were all duped, from the Manny shoulder injury to the Mayweather walk-in with the Burger King mascot behind him. It was a scene that will never be duplicated in my lifetime. Unfortunately, the anticipation was better than the fight itself.
I get that Mayweather is a defensive fighter, and a brilliant one at that. However, what we did not get were two men willing to put their legacies on the line to give us a fight for the ages. There were no memorable exchanges in the ring. Neither fighter was ever truly hurt from an opposing punch. We got an old-fashioned snooze-fest and I - for one - am done.
If Pacquiao was completely healthy would the fight have been different? Probably not. It would have been slightly more entertaining, but at this stage of his career he is no longer the fighter he once was, the popular whirling dervish. At this point, Mayweather is just flat-out better.
Would it have been nice to know that Pacquiao was hurt heading into the ring? Yes. That is why boxing is a fraud and hurts itself time and time again. The handlers for Manny Pacquiao did their fighter a disservice Saturday evening. Nobody wants to hear about injuries after you lost. If you step into the ring, the assumption is that you are healthy and ready to fight.
Pacquiao is a humble and respectful fighter and he needed to give Mayweather the proper credit Saturday night and he did not. That is a terrible job. It was yet another example of the sport not being able to get out of its own way. The fight lacked intensity and emotion. Pacquiao looked happy to be there and even thanked Mayweather at the weigh-in. What kind of fighter does that? A fighter that knows he is up against it. One that is overmatched and/or hurt and knows he is going to lose.
After the initial opening rounds, it became very clear that both fighters could not wait until they got their hands on the checks after the fight. Mayweather was running around Vegas with a check for $100 million dollars. In that way, this fight was historic. It was a historic money-making machine the likes of which we will not see again for quite some time.
We all bought in to a fight that might have been much more competitive five years ago. But that is neither here nor there. We finally got the fight that we all wanted to see and it was a dud. It was a money grab. It was another example of boxing being boxing - and that is certainly not a good thing.
This fight was being billed and promoted as good guy versus villain. The sport needed a great night that it never got. Often times the buildup is never as good as the event itself. That was definitely the case for the supposed "fight of the century."