May 3, 2015 12:35:49 pm
How does it feel to be an undefeated champion with a win record of 48 matches in boxing and yet be collectively booed by most of the fans in the grand colosseum of the sport?
Much before Floyd ‘Money Bank’ Mayweather stepped into the ring with Manny Pacquio, the tag Good vs Evil didn’t stick to this contest and slid off like Jello-O shots after both fighters showed each other mutual respect. However, the evil was clearly visible on Saturday’s fight night as a punch to Manny’s midsection went unnoticed and multiple head locks had to be broken off by the referee.
Mayweather moved like a coiled serpent, dancing around Manny’s empty punches, and charmed his opponent with his left before landing a counter using his right. The effectiveness of them was only felt in the last three rounds of the bout as Mayweather held his nerve till the end. But the Pac-Man did split it more than once in the run-up to the final round. In the first two, Mayweather was in control of the fight and in the next rounds till nine, Manny came after him like a bull charging at a matador’s cape.
The crowd was up on their feet every time Manny tried to knock Mayweather’s 5-foot 8-inch frame down a peg or two. Every time Manny had the undefeated champion cornered in the ring, Mayweather would do his “shoulder roll” and duck out of Manny’s punch combos. Often Mayweather would let his guard down, waiting for Manny to throw a punch so that he could land a counter and throw the Filipino off his feet. The recklessness that Mayweather said he saw in Manny previously was only visible in flashing glimpses today. As the Pac-Man launched into multiple combos, Mayweather deftly blocked them and shook his head saying ‘he didn’t hurt him’.
Mayweather Sr. would, however, disagree as he was seen pushing his son to stay in the fight. Manny, with the fans in his corner, had only 12 rounds to put an end to an 18-year-old undisputed reign. When you step out to slay a dragon you use a sword, not a kitchen knife. Manny did bring his arsenal but he couldn’t slice through Mayweather’s armour. He proved to be too good for Manny.
The richest fight in boxing history did not live up to its billing, but it did settle who the greatest of all was after Mayweather took home the unified Welterweight Championship belt.
The boos may echo in the empty of arena of MGM Grand but it will be talked about as the venue where Floyd had weathered the turn of tide.
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