Somewhere out there, hardcore fans of pro boxing who were eased out by high-profile celebrities from the so-called “Fight of the Century” are laughing their hearts out and exclaiming “suckers!”
Pro boxing’s most anticipated fight, which took some five years to come into fruition, turned out to be as exciting as watching the weather report as American Floyd Mayweather Jr. waltzed his way to a 12-round decision win over Filipino Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather Jr. was roundly criticized for reneging on his promise to mix it up with Pacquiao at close range. Instead, Mayweather Jr. stuck to his old ways, boxing and avoiding Pacquiao like the latter carried the Ebola virus.
Mayweather Jr. was initially harpooned for his hit-and-run tactics, but the criticisms shifted to Pacquiao after he disclosed to the media that he busted his right shoulder some three weeks before the fight. Pacquiao’s disclosure triggered an avalanche of harsh words, with many directly accusing him of depriving the public of the super fight it deserved.
Mayweather Jr. was expected to be on his bicycle during the fight; Pacquiao was supposed to pursue him relentlessly. As it turned out, Pacquiao was in no position to sustain any assault because he showed up in the ring with only one good arm. It would have been different if Pacquiao was injured during the fight as he would have been praised for his gallant effort of going the distance with Mayweather Jr.
Considering the hefty price tag of the tickets and pay-per-view subscription, Pacquiao owed it to the public to show up in the best shape possible. To aggravate the situation, Pacquiao accomplished a medical checklist during the weigh-in wherein he declared himself fit for battle, only to refute the same with a contrary pronouncement after the fight.
As of this writing, a class suit has been filed against Pacquiao and Top Rank Promotions by boxing fans who felt they were gypped into buying tickets and placing bets on the fight. The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) is also mulling the filing of perjury charges against Pacquiao for his failure to disclose his true physical condition.
Amid the maelstrom of controversy surrounding the first fight, Mayweather Jr. expressed his willingness to fight Pacquiao again. Any talk of a return match is preposterous considering that the NAC is still trying to determine if fraud and other shenanigans attended the first fight. If such is the case, then the rematch is as good as dead. No person in his right frame of mind will want to be part of a rematch that could be another marketing farce. This early, the MGM Grand in Las Vegas wants no part in the proposed encore.
Mayweather Jr. only made the announcement to diffuse the criticisms that he beat a Pacquiao who fought with only one good arm. Pacquiao underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff and is expected to be out of commission for a year. A lot can happen during this period and by the time Pacquiao declares himself fit for action, Mayweather Jr. will have moved on to other endeavors. Pacquiao will be 37 years old by then and Mayweather Jr. 39. Truth be told, the mere thought of Mayweather Jr. employing the same hit-and-run tactic is enough for boxing fans to stay away from the rematch.
The first meeting between Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao showed that the fight should have been held in 2010, back then they were at the peak of their careers. Pacquiao has not scored a knockout since 2009 and had lost to Timothy Bradley and Juan Marquez going into the fight. On the other hand, Mayweather Jr. had become a shrewd businessman.
Both Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao are no longer the fighters they used to be and waiting for another year to see them do it again is just plain sickening.
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