Floyd Mayweather still remains undefeated after 12 rounds of boxing with his opponent Manny Pacquiao,he got the unanimous decision but not the crowd’s acclaim when he outlasted Manny Pacquiao to unite three of the world welterweight titles here in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Glenn Feldman of Connecticut saw it 116-112 and the Nevadans Burt Clements (Reno) and Dave Moretti (Las Vegas) awarded it 116-112 and 118-110 respectively, the latter a ludicrously one-sided appreciation of the action from this standpoint.
Mayweather now stands a single victory short of Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 record. It would be most fitting if he and Pacquiao shared a ring again in his pursuit of that mark.
I gave it to Pacquiao by a point, but could hardly argue with the verdict overall. Mayweather expressed “respect” for his opponent – “a great champion”, he said. Pacquiao, unfailingly polite in defeat (even those he did not deserve) struggled to hide his disappointment.
“I was very surprised at the scores. I thought I hit him more than he hit me,” Pacquiao said.
It was not The Fight Of The Century, not in boxing terms, although there were several moments of extended drama and no little shining class from both fighters, however the boos that greeted Mayweather’s victory speech told a story of serious dissatisfaction beyond the ropes. Freddie Roach was not thrilled, either.
After shared introductions (HBO’s Michael Buffer – his booming voice muted by a sore throat, ironically – for Pacquiao, Showtime’s Jimmy Lennon Jr for Mayweather), they got down to it with the enthusiasm of schoolboys finally let loose from class.
This was the fight we had all waited for since they first started arguing in 2009. There was a universal sentiment that it would not disappoint. In some ways it did, in other ways it did not.
Mayweather, the counter-punching artist, threw and landed more than his buzzing opponent in an impressive start, a couple of lightning right leads winning the first round for him.
His boxing shone like his blindingly bright gloves and sparkling shorts, as he lived up to pre-fight predictions that he would not be as passive as in the past. The master boxer wanted a fight, it seemed.
“Manny! Manny!” echoed through the well-heeled crowd when the Filipino rocked his man on the ropes in the second, but Mayweather, sweated up and dangerous, struck again with viper-like efficiency.
The American, bigger but maybe not much stronger than his opponent, looked sharper than he has done for a little while, and Pacquiao, two years younger at 36, struggled to get a defining fix on him. This balance would shift over the course of the fight.