Mayweather versus Pacquiao. Money, obsessive woman-beater versus boxing’s renaissance man. Evil versus good. The second of May was declared as, “The Battle for Greatness.” Enter two of boxing’s elite fighters and witness history. It was the sports Hollywood story everyone waited for five years, and when it finally arrived it was a disappointment to say the least.
Pacquiao was the crowd favorite whom everyone wanted to see put Mayweather on the ground. It comes to no surprise that America held such a sentiment. Mayweather carries a damaged reputation with four separate convictions, dating back to the early 2000s, most of which were related to domestic violence.
His ex wife Josie Harris was quoted in regards to her living situation with an absent Mayweather, “(It means) I don’t have to take a Xanax before he comes, otherwise I will be sweating bullets.” No morally upright person can care about a man who inflicts psychological harm of this kind.
To make matters worse, it seems that all Mayweather cares about in this world is money. The word is even part of his nickname. He’s corrupted by greed and has no worry in showing it. People can find videos of him counting out cash while flying private jets. His bombastic personality stays with him in the ring, in the form of $25,000 mouthguards.
The ‘Pacman’, by contrast, was symbolic for the classic beloved narrative of a young boy dreaming to represent his country in sports. Pacquiao faced adversity throughout his days growing up in the Philippines, sleeping in cardboard boxes after running away from home. The hardships weren’t enough to deter the young man from reaching the pinnacles of boxing and more. Pacquiao’s illustrious career in the ring has him pinned as the only champion across eight weight classifications. Aside from his fighting bouts, he explored different interests in music, business, and politics as well.
The characters were larger than the ring at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A story was about to unfold, and tell its eager audience the fate of either character. Mayweather’s record had proven that every previous fighter had failed to usurp his spot at the top, but this time had the potential to be different. It would have marked the first time where Mayweather was going to get what he deserved. It was suppose to be the affirmation that keeps our hearts warm – the good guys really do win in the end.
Unfortunately, the bad guy emerged as the victor after twelve rounds. So will there be a rematch? Kevin Iole, hall of fame boxing analyst, doesn’t think there will be nor does he actually want to see a rematch. Iole put it best when he said, “I didn’t see the kind of fire or passion in the fight that I really wanted to see out of either fighter. Some people might have said it was a boring fight. It was a Floyd Mayweather fight.”
It couldn’t be truer. The technical, calculated ferocity of Mayweather’s game plan allowed him to exit the arena as the better fighter. It’s not a surprise the undefeated boxer has low knockout numbers. He isn’t known as a brawler like Pacquiao is; rather, he relies on his defense, picking and unleashing his punches while acting more elusive than his opponent.
However dissatisfying the fight may have been, a rematch may materialize in the following year. According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Mayweather is willing to offer Pacquiao a rematch after he recovers from his torn rotator cuff.
In spite of the story’s undesirable ending and surrounding controversy about Pacquiao’s shoulder injury, a rematch would probably be unable to sustain the kind of hyperbolic drama and hype that captivated audiences for the past several months. Viewers are upset about the price tag of the PPV event, and the feeling is stoked by pointing out that the money aspect was really the central theme to the fight.
The Fight of the Century wasn’t remotely close to living up to its name, unless it takes on a different name: The Money Fight of the Century. Now the title sounds a bit more becoming of what had actually played out on fight night. John Branch of the New York Times, reported that each fighter walked away with well over $100 million dollars.
It was a one and done robbery in which the mastermind, Mayweather, tricked the public into believing that this would be the fight to stand against the test of time, a fight hailed as one of the greatest of all time. As Dana White said, “fool me once.”