In reality, the villain can and often times does win. On Saturday night, we saw the now unquestionably No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter and villain in the sport, Floyd Mayweather, answer the question the world has been waiting to see answered for at least five years; could Mayweather beat his nemesis and rival, Manny Pacquiao?
Mayweather answered this question with an emphatic yes, leaving no room for doubt as he dominated the majority of the rounds against the Filipino buzzsaw.
The lineal welterweight champion controlled most of the early rounds against Pacquiao, until the fourth, when the world witnessed the answer to another question for the self-proclaimed “TBE“–could Mayweather survive a flush shot from Pacquiao?
Pacquiao countered Mayweather’s jab with a missle straight left shot, his signature punch, right into the nose and upper lip of the master boxer. It immediately knocked Mayweather back to the ropes, with Pacquiao in tow, peppering Floyd’s arm guard, body and sides with a vicious flurry of punches.
At that point, Mayweather tasted Pacquiao’s power and added it to the dossier he was building on his rival in real time during the fight.
After that, barring one more big punch and follow up flurry from Pacquiao in the sixth round and somewhat strong 10th round, Mayweather made Pacquiao look exactly the same as many of his previous 47 opponents; clueless. Mayweather coasted with little-to-no-turbulence to a unanimous decision with scorecards of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 from the judges.
Now Mayweather stands head, shoulders and knees above the rest as the lineal WBA, WBO, WBC and Ring welterweight and the lineal, WBC, WBA and Ring Jr. Middleweight champion of the world–though he announced after the fight that he will be relinquishing the title belts within a few weeks.
With the victory over Pacquiao, Mayweather proved that he is indisputably the best boxer our generation has ever seen.
What makes Mayweather a master of boxing is, despite the many different styles he’s encountered–even the most obscure, talented, or unique fighter will end up looking like the rest before.
His footwork was so accurate, Mayweather and Pacquiao never crossed feet which is something that inevitably happens frequently when an orthodox and southpaw face off throughout a fight.
So what’s next for the greatest fighter of our generation?
Mayweather has one more obligatory fight left, based on the six-fight contract he signed in 2013 with Showtime.
Sadly, there is no landscape for the sport’s best, as many believed that Pacquiao was the one fighter that stood guard at the top of boxing’s mountain preventing his claim as not only “the best ever,” but as the best of our generation, too.
Equally as sad, Pacquiao and Roach claimed that Pacquiao’s shoulder tear–an injury no one else knew about until the fight was over–prevented Pacquiao from putting forth his best effort offensively in the fight. Both called for an immediate rematch.
Sour grapes? Excuses? Maybe, maybe not.
Either way, with that singular fight remaining for September this year, there are a few possibilities for Mayweather.
Maybe we can get another joint venture between HBO/Showtime for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II. There will definitely be interest, granted, not as much as all the years of build up going into Saturday’s affair.
Those that bought into the shoulder injury plaguing Pac Man, or the “Mayweather was running the whole fight” rhetoric would definitely want to see Manny-Kin Skywalker face off against the Sith Lord of boxing again.
Also across the pond, there lies some interesting matchups with the UK welterweights, like IBF titlist Kell Brook and former two-time champion, Amir Khan.
Khan being the most vocal (which is a kinder way of describing it) of the two in pursuit of a fight with Mayweather. Khan definitely has attributes that make for a more interesting matchup of the two, but you’ll be hard pressed convincing people that either are a legitimate threat to Mayweather’s supremacy – especially Khan, when Khan’s chin has plagued his progress many times through his career.
Stateside, Keith “One-Time” Thurman, the WBA (regular) welterweight champion is a big, young and hungry welterweight with some interesting skill sets. He has a good measure of range, defense, footwork and a great punch, to boot.
This makes for an interesting fight as Thurman makes a case as a legitimate threat, but after last night’s performance by Mayweather, that case might be a harder sell.
Then we step into the realm of the unreasonable, with the possibility of fighting Gennady Golovkin. The WBA and IBA middleweight champion is a fan-friendly fighter who also has a great measure of range, footwork and dynamite in both hands.
Golovkin does pose the greatest risk to Mayweather at this point, but this would only be the most interesting to those who still feel Mayweather has something to prove. They could realistically meet at 154, as Golovkin said he could make that weight and Mayweather is a current champion there.
It’s doubtful that they meet though, as Mayweather probably takes one of the previous three mentioned on his victory lap into the history books.
Who will he choose? We will all have to stay tuned and see who will be the next opponent to try and crack the May-vinci Code.