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Floyd Mayweather’s victory explained.

Manny Pacquiao: ‘I thought I won the fight’

Manny Pacquiao: 'I thought I won the fight'
 TO MANY — and indeed to Manny — Floyd Mayweather’s victory was baffling.

“I thought I won the fight,” Pacquiao said repeatedly after the bout dubbed the “Fight of the Century”.

“All he did was run away.”

To casual observers, Pacquiao’s view was on the money. He was the aggressor for much of the fight. He landed the heaviest blows.

But that’s not how boxing works.

That Pacquiao — a future Hall of Famer; a 10-time world champion — would not have known he was behind going into the final two rounds is astounding.

And here’s why.

Evasive but productive, Floyd Mayweather controls the fight.

Evasive but productive, Floyd Mayweather controls the fight.

IT’S A NUMBERS GAME

For 48 fights now, Mayweather has picked off opponents time and again in essentially the same manner.

One of the greatest counter-punchers the sport has seen, his first priority is defence. His second priority is also defence.

When he throws a punch, he makes it count.

That’s why it comes as a surprise when you see the stats when all is said and done, and the numbers are heavily in Mayweather’s favour.

Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather landing 148 punches of 435, while Pacquiao landed 81 of 429.

The volume for Pacquiao was a lot lower than the 700 or more he usually throws.

“I thought we pulled it out,” Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said. “I asked him to throw more combinations between rounds but maybe he fought flat-footed a little too much.”

PACMAN’S FALSE SENSE OF DOMINANCE

Mayweather went a long way to securing the victory by just shading Pacquiao in the uneventful opening two rounds.

Neither fighter did any real damage as they worked their way into the fight, but Mayweather was slightly more effective so got the nod from all three judges.

Pacquiao created a false sense of dominance in the fourth and sixth rounds when he landed a number of hard shots and forced Mayweather to retreat to the ropes.

It gave the impression he was well on top in the fight because he arguably did more damage in those two rounds than Mayweather did in rounds one, two, three and five combined.

But because there were no knockdowns the judges could only score the rounds 10-9, leaving Pacquiao trailing 58-56 on all three scorecards at the mid-point of the fight.

From that point Mayweather, who always finishes strongly, was going to be hard to beat. It was clear in the final two rounds he’d found a comfort level against the Filipino and with the knowledge he was ahead on points could play it somewhat safe.

Pacquiao is a true fighter and as he showed in his post-fight interview judges his fights on which man inflicts and receives the most damage.

Unfortunately boxing isn’t scored like that.

CROWD NOISE DOESN’T COUNT

With every blow Pacquiao landed, the MGM Grand erupted. It may have been the same in the living room or pub where you watched the fight.

When Mayweather got a shot in, the reaction was far more subdued.

The partisan crowd gave the impression Pacquiao was on top, but the judges — and Mayweather — knew better.

“The judges aren’t scoring by the crowd screaming,” Mayweather said.

“They’re judging on the punches landed.”

There’s no doubting who the crowd was cheering for.

There’s no doubting who the crowd was cheering for.

DON’T BE FOOLED BY FLOYD’S OLD MANFLOYD Mayweather Snr teed off on his son in between rounds.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with you, man,” his dad and trainer screamed for the world to see. “You’re fighting like you’re scared.”

Was it a ploy to motivate his boy? An effort to confuse the opposing corner?

Whatever it was, it didn’t hurt Floyd Jnr.

“My dad wanted me to do more, but Pacquiao is a tough competitor and an awkward fighter,” he said.

Mayweather Snr sprays Floyd which helps him defeat Pacman

Mayweather Snr sprays Floyd which helps him defeat Pacman
 EXPERTS ARE UNANIMOUS

In the eyes of those who know boxing best, Mayweather’s victory was largely referred to as “clinical” and a “cruise”.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael said: “While it was not the drama-filled battle many had hoped for, it was an impressive performance from Mayweather, the master boxer, who never allowed the more powerful Pacquiao to deliver any truly big punches as he pulled away in the second half of the fight.”

Ring Magazine’s Michael Rosenthal offered: “For five-plus years we wondered. Now we know. Floyd Mayweather Jr. very clearly is better than Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao and many of those watching the fight didn’t appreciate the manner in which Mayweather proved it, as he fought defensively and took very few risks … (his) signature tactics were effective, though. Pacquiao groped to land any punch he could throughout the fight. He had his moments, particularly when he fired quick combinations whenever he got close enough. But it was an uphill battle for him from beginning to end as Mayweather rolled, held or ran to avoid getting hit.”

Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel wrote: “Across nearly two decades, 46 different men have stepped into the ring with Floyd Mayweather, a couple of them twice,” he wrote.

“No one ever really hit him. No one ever cornered him into a brawl. No one was able to match his boxing talent and turn him into a desperate brawler in a desperate brawl … the kind fans understandably want to watch.

“Saturday was no different. Ultimately, Manny Pacquiao was no different, left chasing and swinging and getting popped in the face and in the end … failing.”


 

Source: Story published at: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/

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