While an unnatural level of energy buzzed around Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s gazillion-dollar encounter, the absence of the fireworks we expected from the two pugilists was certainly a downer. Plus, Manny lost, so in a way, it really, really sucked. As soon as ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. uttered the words, “ and still undefeated…”, the blow of disappointment became paralysing.
Now that we've shaken off the initial shock, we can now focus on some of the things that the fight taught us about the two fighters.
1. Floyd was too long for Manny.
Being an inch and half smaller and having a five-inch reach disadvantage, made it extra-hard for Manny to get through Floyd’s already fortress-like defense. All Floyd had to do was raise his arms and the Pacman’s wild punches would automatically fall short, meeting the former’s upper limbs instead of the face. Floyd’s length also gave Manny problems when they were at the center of the ring, resulting in long range jab shootouts that the Pambansang Kamao always seemed to lose. If Manny weren’t as fast as he was, he would’ve landed much fewer punches than he did against his monolithic counterpart. In the end, the size difference was big, literally and metaphorically.
2. Floyd’s straight right lead was immaculate.
People are probably wondering why Manny didn’t press the action as much as we all would’ve liked. Well, we all can blame it on Floyd’s supremely accurate right hand lead. From the onset, Money-May’s got his right locked in on Manny’s forehead. The Fighting Congressman’s plan was to attack relentlessly but he got hit so many times with the right as he was charging in that the blows forcibly slowed him down. Floyd was sniping with his right hand and landed some solid shots; but, hey at least none of those got Manny seriously hurt. #Pampalubagloob
3. Manny did the exact opposite of what he needed to do to win.
It was largely perceived that Manny Pacquiao needed to throw an overwhelming amount of punches in order to beat the undefeated Floyd Mayweather. What happened was the complete opposite, Floyd threw more punches than Manny, 435 to 429, and had a higher connect-percentage of 34% than the Pacman’s meager 18.9%. Floyd was a wizard when it came to ring generalship; his jab controlled the distance; he expertly used the clinch in the rare moments Manny got in and was as slippery as catfish when his Filipino adversary stepped up the offense.
Pacquiao’s modest output was a product of a winning strategy masterfully executed by Floyd Mayweather—a shoulder injury, notwithstanding.
4. Manny had great moments in the fight more than you think.
We had hoped for Manny to attack with a fury that resembled a volcanic eruption but it didn’t happen. Looking back at it, though, you’ll definitely see that Manny did try to make the fight exciting. There were times when he was on the brink of doing so but his foe was so evasive that the offensive-minded fighter had no time to launch an effective barrage.
To Manny’s credit, he did have his moments of brilliance in the superbout and we’re ready to bet that you’ll see more Pacquiao highlights when you watch the fight for the second time. Manny drilled Floyd with some hard shots that we believe buckled the knees of the latter a couple of times. The Pacman also unleashed a few dazzling combos that froze Money-May into covering up—spurts of explosiveness that would ultimately fall short of outdoing Floyd’s consistent work from the outside.
5. The Fight of the Century wasn’t worth the hype.
Yes, Floyd is a boxing maestro. Yes, Floyd did beat Manny fair and square. But what he did not do, however, is allow the people to get their money’s worth. We appreciate Floyd Mayweather’s boxing genius, but he could’ve been truly the greatest prizefighter ever like he claims to be had he gone for the jugular against Manny Pacquiao. Nope, were not saying that he should’ve slugged it out with the hard-punching southpaw; what were saying is he should’ve at least tried to initiate more offense, especially during the moments when all the momentum was going his way. Even his old man was getting mad at him for not getting more aggressive.
To those who paid extra dollars and pesos to buy the Mayweather-Pacquiao PPV, we feel your pain.
6. Manny should consider hanging up the gloves.
Not that Manny is a shot fighter by any means because he definitely still has the speed and explosiveness that most of his peers—except for Floyd—can’t contend with. But in losing to the Money-Man, there’s really nothing left to prove. The sight of him riding the sunset carrying a bag containing $120M would be better than seeing him competing against B-level fighters for purses cheaper than what he’s worth.
But after watching his post fight interview, it looks like he’s not yet ready to call it quits. In that case, we hope Manny fights one last time, wins spectacularly, and retires for good.