“All roads end here” went the tagline for tonight’s boxing mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
It had certainly been a long road. Many had hoped to see it happen more than five years ago — but, late or not, the meeting of the generation’s two most dominant and popular attractions was still one for the ages. The welterweight affair saw a parade of the world’s star actors and athletes congregate for the event.
At the end of that road, Mayweather stood triumphant, his undefeated record intact.
The vaunted defensive style of Mayweather, now 48-0 as a professional, proved too much for the slugger Pacquiao, who struggled to initiate an offense throughout the bout’s twelve rounds. Pacquiao was kept at the end of Mayweather’s jab for much of the fight, and also absorbed several straight right counters. As the rounds wore on, Mayweather incorporated a left hook, increasingly, into his repertoire.
Pacquiao, whose record dropped to 56-6-2 with the loss, did earn a few rounds, stalking and cornering his faster opponent for combinations to head and body. But his bright spots were few and far between. In the end, journalists and fans alike seemed in agreement with the official scores of 118-110, and 116-112 (twice).
In his post-fight interview, Mayweather, of Michigan but fighting out of Las Vegas, said that he intended to fight twice more before retiring.
Pacquiao, of Sarangani Province in the Philippines, stated he felt he won the bout — remarking of Mayweather’s performance, “All he did was run.”
Earlier in the evening, Leo Santa Cruz defeated an out-matched but game Jose Cayetano in a unanimous decision. Each judge scored the bout, a featherweight affair, 100-90.