Now that the fight has come and gone, I think it’s time to address the reaction to the outcome as brutally honest as possible. But before we get started, I want to clear the air by stating that I am not a fan of Floyd Mayweather and I haven’t followed boxing in a long time. So as a person with knowledge about the sport and no bias opinion what so ever, I think it’s time for casual viewers to be honest with themselves. The boxing match didn’t suck, it was just a reminder of why fans stopped watching boxing in the first place.
Before the mainstream rise of MMA, boxing was the only legitimate form of competitive combat on television. And even back then, it was filled fighters relying on the point system and clinching their way through fights. But when Dana White took over as president of UFC and found a way to make the sport more assessable to the general audience, the popularity of boxing fell as fans embraced Mixed Martial Arts as the superior form of televised combat. Considering the fact that boxing had lost most of their big name stars other than Pacquiao and Mayweather, it was extremely easy for fight fans to emerge themselves in to a sport geared more toward knock outs and submissions than judge decisions. But unfortunately, the most anticipated fight in the last five years was a boxing match with boxing rules. So fans who were looking forward to an actual brutal fight are disappointed that it didn’t live up to the hype, and the outcome wasn’t favorable.
So here is a harsh reality for fans complaining about Mayweather’s performance in the ring. At the end of the day, it was a boxing match and played out like one. Mayweather outboxed Pacquiao by keeping him at a distance while working the jab and cutting his momentum off with clinches. And even within clinching, Mayweather was able to score a few punches and rack up points. What it comes down to is the fact that his gameplan was to take the match to the distance and gain an unanimous decision from the judges. And despite how unappealing it may look to fans wanting a straight up fight, this sort of thing isn’t new to boxing at all if you’re actually familiar with the sport.
And now for the hardest pill to swallow for Pacquiao fans, and the truth that will probably piss off a lot of people. Manny’s immediate comments about Mayweather simply running away the entire time were pathetic. Mainly because it was an attempt to place blame on Floyd for his inability to cut off and corner Mayweather in the ring during the fight. It’s the equivalent of being upset because Mayweather didn’t just stand there and allow Pacquiao to punch the crap out of him. Why didn’t he prepare for Mayweather’s evasive fighting style considering that Floyd has boxed the same way for the last five years? Did he just ignore personal responsibility in studying and preparing for his opponent? And with his most recent excuse of having a shoulder injury, why didn’t he just push the fight back instead of allowing fans to pay a high price for a fight he wouldn’t give one hundred percent in? It’s understandable and would have been worth the wait if the fight was pushed back to give us a better performance instead of what we received. He also had plenty of time to go through the proper channels to get his paperwork in order to have an inflammatory shot issued to him for the fight, but waited until the last minute to ask for one instead. So Manny only has himself and his representatives to blame for his loss.
The sport of boxing isn’t as popular as it was before, but it also hasn’t changed much. If you’re familiar with the sport and Mayweather’s career within the last five years, then the fight was no big surprise for you. But the viewers who tuned in simply on the premise of watching a super fight were disappointed due to their lack of knowledge of how boxing actually is. It’s not a hard hitting Rocky movie, there aren’t any submissions or take downs, and Seth Rollins can’t cash in to turn it in to a triple threat. Boxing is what it always has been, a sport that is not for everyone. So let’s be honest about this fight. To the casual viewer who may have tuned in to a boxing match because of the big names involved, your disappointment is due to your lack of knowledge about the sport and your dislike for Floyd Mayweather. But for actual boxing fans, Manny Pacquiao simply lost the fight because he wasn’t able to cut the ring off from Floyd and put enough pressure on him. We can all agree that the match didn’t come close to living up to the hype, but let’s cut the bull and see it for what it really was. Everything we dislike about boxing.