Sunday, May 03, 2015

Mayweather Might Not Have Out-Fought Pacquiao, but He Absolutely Out-Boxed Him

As a Filipino and a PacMan fan, of course, I rooted for Manny Pacquiao.  But let me be objective here.  As far as the performance on the ring is concerned, Floyd Mayweather beat him fair and square. 

People who wanted to witness an exciting, full-on brawl is frustrated by how Mayweather refused to engage Pacquiao in a slugfest by constantly running away and clinching (hugging).  They thought of his style as dull and cowardly – or even a form of “cheating.”   However, what was displayed was actually boxing savvy. 

It is a misconception to equate boxing with brawling.  Mayweather’s “running” and “hugging” is within the parameters of the sport of boxing and he smartly used it to negate Pacquiao’s “slugger” advantage.  He ran away to avoid turning the fight into a slugfest, something he can’t win and doesn’t need to win; and clinched (hugged) whenever Pacquiao was gaining momentum.  Meanwhile, he collected points by connecting careful, well-picked shots out of Pacquiao’s initiated assaults.  It might be unsatisfying and boring to watch, but that was simply a perfect execution of smart, efficient, clinical boxing.  In spite of Pacquiao being the more active fighter, Mayweather’s style allowed him to dictate the pace and to land the cleaner punches.

I’ve always thought that it’s unlikely for Pacquiao to beat Mayweather via score cards (especially since he could be favored by the judges).  That’s why I believed that Manny could only win if he knocked Mayweather out – or, at least, knocked him down several times – and that his best gameplan was to go for broke and seek the knock out win as soon as possible.  If this had been the actual plan by Pacquiao’s corner all along, I never felt it during the match.  Yes, Pacquiao was the more aggressive fighter, as usual, but I never felt that he dominated.  

Pacquiao is definitely the better – or, some might even say, the only – fighter in that match.  That is something that can’t be denied.  However, by incorporating the exploitation of the flaws of the sport to his technique, Mayweather has made himself the superior boxer.  Mayweather knows that he doesn’t need to out-fight Pacquiao to win.  He just needs to out-box him.  Sorry to say, that’s exactly what happened.      

Miscellaneous musings:
  • All that said, still, it would be nice if boxing rules are revised to penalize too much running and hugging.
  • The Compubox stats had surprising results.  Mayweather having more punches landed and better accuracy is not really a shocker, but also having more total punches thrown?  Possibly true, but really hard to believe. 
  • Manny Pacquiao is still the People’s Champion.  It was apparent from the crowd’s reaction.  He lost the so-called “Fight of the Century” but he will never lose the love and respect of the people.
  • No matter the result, as long as Pacquiao does his best to glorify God, he is the winner in a more important matter. 
  • Just as he promised during Pacquiao’s latest guesting in Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy really dressed up like Justin Bieber when he walked with Pacquiao into the ring.  Cracked me up.      
  • I know Jamie Foxx can sing (he even won an Oscar by portraying rhythm and blues legend Ray Charles in Ray), but his singing of the American national anthem was hilariously awful.  The accompanying organ was just as bad.     
  • I feel a mix of amusement and irritation by all the sour-graping in my Facebook news feed.  Understandable, but I wish for a little bit of classiness.
  • It was said that Pacquiao was denied by the Nevada Athletic Association to take anti-inflammatory drug for his shoulder injury prior the fight.  Hence, Pacquiao was not in 100% condition.  Shame.  Could have had an opposite outcome if Pacquiao wasn’t injured, or was allowed some painkillers for the injury.    
  • In an alternate universe, Pacquiao catches up with Mayweather’s running, corners him completely, and sends him falling to the canvass after a hard left hook.  Referee counts to ten.  Manny wins by knockout.  Immediately, the date of Manny’s return to the Philippines is declared as a special non-working national holiday to honor him.  Filipinos around the world are euphoric for weeks.
  • There’s no reason for Mayweather to give Pacquiao a rematch.  But I wish there will be one.

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