Article by: Abhi Kottamasu
Photographs collected by Yoonhee Tian from Daunt, Joe, and James Armstrong. “Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao – Fight Stats.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 5 May 2015. Web. 06 May 2015
3rd May 2015. The day of the Fight of the Century. Two of boxing’s greats, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao were about to make history. After five years of negotiations, boxing fans had finally got what they wanted. Early 2015, Mayweather announced that this match would be set. Though the negotiations were heavily favored towards Mayweather, with a 60-40 split of the earnings and Mayweather deciding the conditions, Pacquiao agreed. From that moment on, everyone could not wait to witness history. On the day of the fight, the streets of the Philippines were empty; everyone was watching their hero, Manny Pacquiao, fight it out at MGM arena in Las Vegas.
The Pacquiao story has captured the attention of people all around the world, leaving home at age 15, Pacquiao had to fend for himself. He soon entered the world of boxing and fought in the amateur league. Though he would be under the catchweight, he would fight with weights in his gloves to meet the weight range. Soon he fought his way to boxing stardom. On the other hand, Mayweather has had more of a Rocky Balboa-esque career. Raised in a boxing family with his father, Mayweather Sr, and his two uncles both being fighters, he was predisposed to boxing. Known for his defensive style, he has won 48 wins on the trot and is on the verge of breaking Rocky Marciano’s 49 match unbeaten streak. This fight, was the fight between the opposites, a humble Pacquiao vs an arrogant Mayweather, a Southpaw Pacquiao vs an orthodox Mayweather and an Aggressive Pacquiao vs a defensive Mayweather.
It was set to be a very entertaining match. Sadly, the match did not live up to the hype that was created. Named “the Fight of the Century”, it was far from that. It was not like the historical classics like Ali vs Frazier and the Thrillah in Manila. Many people have been quoted to say the match was quite underwhelming. Early in the match, Pacquiao tried to take control, winning the early rounds with his attacking style. Soon, Mayweather got into his rhythm and started dominating while being defensive; his quick feet and strong jabs earned him some rounds. In the latter half of the match it was all Mayweather as he clearly outfought the determined Filipino. Mayweather then won the fight with an unanimous decision of 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112.
However, a match of this magnitude would not be complete without its share of controversies. Throughout the match, Mayweather employed a tactic commonly known as clenching. Though 100% legal, clenching is not encouraged as it is not in the spirit of the fight. When a boxer is in the corner being dominated, he can clench, where he basically hugs the fighter preventing him from landing more punches. In fact, many people thought that Mayweather, who is notorious for domestic abuse, had it the wrong way around. That he was supposed to hug his wives and fight the opponent. However he did the complete opposite. In the end, Mayweather won and continued his winning streak. Ideas of a rematch have been mentioned, but only time can tell whether our dreams will become actualities.