After five years of anticipation, the super fight between the two best fighters in the world finally took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, despite seeming to be a much tougher fight on paper, it wasn’t the “Fight of the Century” some were hoping for.
It was no Hagler-Hearns the way some, perhaps unfortunately, expected.
The judges scored the fight 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 for Mayweather. RBRBoxing.com also had it 118-110 for the native of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Mayweather, 38, began the fight with an aggressive jab followed by counter right hands. Mayweather also used the ring a lot, especially when Pacquiao came forward aggressively.
“He had moments in the fight, but I kept him on the outside. I was a smart fighter. I outboxed him,” said Mayweather.
It was clear very early that Mayweather had to stay aggressive with his jab if he wanted to control the fight, but it became even clearer as Pacquiao landed a powerful left hand in Round 4.
— RoundByRoundBoxing (@RBRBoxing) May 3, 2015
Mayweather kept his composure on the ropes and Pacquiao, after second guessing his offense, backed off.
“I didn’t get hit a lot unless I sat right there in the pocket—that’s when he would land a lot of shots,” said Mayweather, who spent the rest of the night shooting long jabs before landing more counter right hands.
Pacquiao, 36, was simply befuddled by the Mayweather jab, while his habit of coming forward head-first made it nearly impossible to close the distance as he was continually hit with right hands before he attempted to throw combinations.
Even when he through combinations, the Filipino native found it hard to land cleanly on Mayweather, who sometimes rolled and parried Pacquiao’s shots easily with his shoulders and hands respectively.
In Round 6, Pacquiao landed another power shot that seemed to hurt Mayweather and he once again had him on the ropes, but Pacquiao still found it hard to land on a stationary Mayweather.
Mayweather kept his composure and regained control of the fight in the following round, once again using jabs and right hands to keep Pacquiao away from him while also landing counter right hands.
According to CompuBox punch stats, Mayweather landed 148 of 435 punches thrown (34%), while Pacquiao, who is known as a volume puncher, landed 81 of 429 punches thrown (19%).
Over half of Mayweather’s punches thrown were jabs and it was effective in decreasing Pacquiao’s output and forcing him to think before throwing.
Pacquiao, however, gives a different explanation.
“It’s not easy to throw a lot of punches if he moves around a lot,” said Pacquiao who, by comparison, landed 281 out of 790 shots on Brandon Rios in their 2013 fight.
It would have been silly for one to expect Mayweather to stand in front of Pacquiao the way Rios did and Pacquiao seemed disappointed at this. But it wasn’t merely the footwork that made it hard for Pacquiao; it was also the way Mayweather controlled the fight with the jab and the way Pacquiao didn’t come forward smarter.
A rematch will almost surely not happen, but both fighters will look to fight before the year ends.
Mayweather has one more fight in his Showtime deal and the likes of Keith Thurman and Amir Khan are all on his horizon, while Pacquiao, due to his limitations with Top Rank, may seek to fight another Top Rank fighter such as Jessie Vargas or Terence Crawford.