“If Pacquiao can’t do it, nobody can.” – Mary Spencer
, May 2009
It might be another decade or two before I see a fight of this significance again. There were 85 venues in Calgary alone that were showing the fight and nearly every one was packed. Some were offering a cover to get in, others – like the Boston Pizza I went to – were not. Instead they just had wait-lists and thanks to me being a solo operator, getting a table for one didn’t require a lot of waiting or bribing of the hostess.
First of all, let’s take a very brief look at the under-card.
Lomachenko vs Rodriguez
Vasyl Lomachenko is touted as one of the greatest amateur boxers of all time, but I was wondering if he was having a difficult time transitioning to the professional ranks as Gamalier Rodriguez seemed to be on even footing with him in the early rounds of their bout. However either it was adjustments or a trap, but Lomachenko was able to make Rodriguez look a bit silly. Justin and I were briefly messaging each other during the fight and with the constant fouls being committed by Rodriguez, I felt that maybe in his frustration he was trying to get himself disqualified. As I sent that to Justin, Rodriguez was down and allowed himself to be counted out. I thought his face indicated that he was surprised he got counted out, but he knew what he was doing. Everyone knows that if you want to beat the count to ten, you usually get up BEFORE the referee finishes his count, not as he finishes.
Santa Cruz vs Cayetano
Before this fight started I sent out the tweet, “I hope Santa Cruz smokes this guy faster than a joint at a frat party.”
Sadly, this wasn’t the case as instead of dispatching his outmatched & unworthy opponent with relative ease on the under-card of the biggest fight up to this point in history, this fight went the distance and I was more concerned with what kind of tip I should leave my waitress.
A lot of us gave Danny Garcia hell for taking the fight with Rod Salka, but at least he knocked him out. Santa Cruz won every round, but we would have been happier if there were three or less instead of ten.
Mayweather vs Pacquiao
If you listen to the podcast then you’ll know that I was rooting for Pacquiao, but picking Floyd Mayweather. I hadn’t noticed any decline in his skills & abilities and came to the realization that his best strength was to neutralize whatever you’re best at. He takes that away from you, frustration sets in and from there he begins to take you apart piece by piece.
That’s not to say that Manny Pacquiao didn’t have any good moments in this fight, because he did and I thought he did give Floyd Mayweather trouble in the first few rounds. There were a few points where I wondered if the judges might be scoring on activity rate instead of actual punches landed. After all, while we the viewers have the benefit of punch stats and slow-motion replay, the judges have to go on what they see.
However even the judges would have to see that even though they were throwing close to the same amount of punches, Floyd Mayweather was just out-landing Manny Pacquiao. While I had it even after eight rounds, from there on it was all Floyd and while Pacquiao didn’t look hurt by the punches, I could tell that there was some bit of frustration as to what was going on around him. This wasn’t going to be Tim Bradley who would sit down on punches, hoping to land a big shot to knock out Pacquiao, this was Floyd Mayweather, who knew that however he won he was going to be making the largest purse in boxing history when the fight ended.
The fight wasn’t boring, but like a lot of Floyd Mayweather victories, it’s not something you’re going to replay on YouTube and say, “That’s just awesome.” My final score card was 116-112, the same as two of the official judges scoring at ringside.
Afterwards Floyd was surprisingly very complimentary of Manny, complimenting him as a fighter and perhaps overplaying how this fight would be viewed in years to come.
“When it’s time to write the history books, they’ll say it was worth the wait,” he told Jim Gray before confirming that he would be fighting his final fight this September before retiring for good.
When Max Kellerman went to interview Pacquiao, I was surprised that Manny declared that he thought he won. In fact, as much as I like Pacquiao, I don’t know how he thought he could have won. Sure maybe if you’re judging on activity rate but even then, Floyd was throwing just a little bit more.
In my personal opinion, now is the perfect time for both fighters to retire. I know that Floyd has one more fight in his Showtime contract and he wants to honor that and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s nothing left for Pacquiao to accomplish, nothing that can further enhance a legendary career. If anything, this is the perfect time to walk away and say, “I gave the people all I could for as long as I could to make them happy and now I want to focus on my political career.”
If he won I would have wanted the exact same thing.
What’s next for Floyd now is the big question? I honestly thought he would be saving this fight for last, but now it has me curious as to how you follow this up. No matter who he picks as an opponent, I think he’ll be very lucky if he can get fifty million as a purse. A rematch with Miguel Cotto? I doubt it since Cotto is fighting Daniel Geale and probably won’t be ready for September.
Canelo Alvarez? Fat chance since the first fight was so one-sided and so boring that we shouldn’t have to suffer through something like that again.
Amir Khan? Maybe but Khan can’t make up his mind whether he wants to fight Chris Algieri or Adrien Broner.I had a brief thought of Floyd fighting Gennady Golovkin but I don’t see Floyd going up to middleweight.
All in all, the fight wasn’t bad per se but I don’t see this as one that we look back on years from now and say, “Oh do you remember when…?”
If I do have one request for the next fight: Have a decent under-card. This fight is helping boxing become mainstream again and crap under-cards do nothing for the casual viewer except make them look at dedicated fans and say, “You like this?”