In the biggest event boxing has staged in years, Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision after 12 rounds to improve his professional record to 48-0 and unify the world welterweight titles.
A few thoughts from Mayweather after the fight, as reported by Joe DePaolo:
“[Pacquiao] definitely had his moments in the fight. As long as I moved on the outside, I was able to stay away from those. He’s a really smart fighter. Only when he stayed in the pocket was he able to do what he needed to do.”
Mayweather was asked about his father, who appeared to be quite animated in the corner.
“My dad wanted me to do more, but I had to take my time. Because Manny Pacquiao is a competitor, and he’s extremely dangerous.”
As for Pacquiao, who fell to 57-6-2, he said: “I thought I won the fight. He’s moving around. It’s not easy to throw punches when he’s moving around so much. …
“It’s not about size. Size doesn’t matter. I fought bigger. I thought I caught him many more times than he caught me.”
Analysis by Gene Wang:
The winner: Mayweather remains undefeated via unanimous decision, with two judges scoring it 116-112 and the other 118-110. Mayweather landed 67 more punches according to CompuBox. Pacquiao landed double-figure punches in only three out of 12 rounds. Accuracy, defense and ring generalship clearly belong to Mayweather, even at age 38.
Round 12: Mayweather completes the fight as he did in most of the rounds: owning the center of the ring and not allowing Pacquiao to get inside. Mayweather is too quick and too skilled defensively. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 11: Mayweather comes out firing and lands at his highest volume of the fight. Pacquiao has a brief flurry, but Mayweather ducks and escapes back to the center of the ring where he is completely comfortable. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 10: Mayweather gets backed into the corner but never absorbs more than a glancing blows and is able to counter enough. Pacquiao was more active but not nearly as accurate. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 9: Pacquiao draws cheers from the partisan crowd with a flurry at the end of the round, but Mayweather lands enough early and more frequently to keep the fight in the center of the ring. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 8: Pacquiao is the more active fighter, but Mayweather more accurate, scoring with straight rights. Mayweather baits Pacquiao to come forward, then lands several counters. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 7: Mayweather takes control by keeping the action in center of the ring and setting up Pacquiao with the jab. Pacquiao was able to land with a straight left, but Mayweather connected with greater frequency. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 6: Pacquiao comes back with more volume combinations that connect mainly to the body but glance off Mayweather’s gloves up top. Pacquiao not landing at high percentage but, Mayweather didn’t land at all. Advantage: Manny.
Round 5: Mayweather scores on counterpunches with Pacquiao laying back after a whirlwind Round 4. More activity from Mayweather, who was able to land combinations. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 4: Pacquiao begins throwing at a high rate but lands only several times. Mayweather doesn’t appear fazed, but Pacquiao appears to be gaining confidence, landing on counterpunches and having the crowd squarely behind him. Advantage: Manny.
Round 3: Mayweather keeps the action in the center of the ring, attacking the body and landing straight rights up top. Pacquiao swinging wildly and missing. Advantage: Floyd.
Round 2: Pacquiao comes back strong, moving Floyd into the corner and landing. Mayweather was unable to connect with his right like in Round 1. Advantage: Manny.
Round 1: Mayweather was more active than usual in the early going and has already begun leaning on Pacquiao and landed several scoring blows, including a straight right. Advantage: Floyd.
11:55 p.m.: Michael Buffer is making the introductions. Mayweather is hearing some boos. We’re a few minutes away from the opening bell.
11:48 p.m.: Pacquiao and his entourage are entering the arena, to be followed by Mayweather. Keep refreshing for round-by-round updates.
11:38 p.m., from Joe DePaolo at the arena: HBO spokesman Ray Stallone reports that “there are no technical problems here.” The cable systems have been overwhelmed and they’re simply trying to give people a final chance to order. The proceedings should resume momentarily.
11:35 p.m.: Final odds are in: Mayweather is -240, according to ringside announcers, meaning a bettor would have to wager $240 on a Mayweather victory to profit $100.
11:15 p.m.: HBO vice president Mark Taffet told Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix that the start of the fight could be delayed 45 minutes to attempt to resolve difficulties some customers are having ordering the pay-per-view broadcast.
Taffet told SI there could be about 45-minutes of fill time before the main event. Said ordering problems were nationwide.
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) May 3, 2015
11:04 p.m., from Joe DePaolo: With the final undercard bout in the books, there are still pocket of empty seats here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The fans, many of whom paid thousands for their tickets, have been slow to arrive.
So far, the atmosphere has been extremely subdued for an event of this magnitude. However, the first significant cheer of the night went up a few minutes ago, when Manny Pacquiao was shown on the big screen.
No word yet on the arrival of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski who, according to multiple reports, are en route to the MGM Grand after taking in the Kentucky Derby this afternoon. [Update, 12:06 a.m.: Brady has been spotted at the fight.]
Who: Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) vs. Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs)
At Stake: Mayweather’s WBC and WBA Super world welterweight titles, Pacquiao’s WBO world welterweight title
When: Saturday, approximately 11:30 p.m. Eastern time (pay-per-view broadcast starts at 9 p.m.)
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
Broadcast info: Showtime and HBO pay-per-view.