‘Fight of the century’ leaves fans underwhelmed

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, avoids a right hand by Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round of the WBC Welterweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 2nd 2015. Mayweather won in a unanimous decision.

Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, avoids a right hand by Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round of the WBC Welterweight Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 2nd 2015. Mayweather won in a unanimous decision.

Joe DeNardo, Staff Writer

After an unachievable amount of hype, a title bout between Welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao left fans scratching their heads as they misunderstood what all the fuss was about.

Ever since the late 2000s, talk of the super-fight between the American Mayweather and Philippine-born Pacquiao engulfed the boxing world with anticipation and opinions on the result of the two best fighters of this era clashing in the ring. However, years of attrition, or what boxing fans call “ducking,” made it seem as if the two would never give the public what they really wanted.

Not fighting Pacquiao when he was in his prime will always be seen as an asterisk on Mayweather’s perfect 48-0 record—and the fight that was over five years in the making set the sport back, in America at least, further than it already was.

The main criticism with the fight was that it was boring—which is accurate as Floyd Mayweather stuck and ducked his way around the ring to the tune of over $180 million—which didn’t bode well in the hearts of those who coughed up $99.95 to watch the fight on pay-per view.

But that isn’t Mayweather’s or Pacquiao’s fault.

Blame the sports networks, particularly ESPN, who billed the fight as the perfect nightcap to May 2nd being best sports day of the year—on a day that also featured other spectacular sporting events, such as the 141st Kentucky Derby and Day 3 of the NFL draft.

Without the result of an action packed slugfest between the two celebrated champions, the entire sport of boxing has been disgraced by the casual public and has set itself back in America even further than it already was.”

However, the primary attention went to the fight—which many sportswriters dubbed “The fight to save boxing,” which attracted the attention of many naïve sports fans who were expecting nothing less than an all-out slugfest between the two champions.

“Boxing fans awaited this one for five years, and, had they paid attention, they should have known better than to expect great action and huge punches landed,” Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times wrote after the fight. “Mayweather simply cannot be hit. He is the boxing-action cooler.”

The attention surrounding the fight came from the confliction of styles—Pacquiao the electrifying power puncher against Mayweather the tactician. Those who were not familiar with Mayweather’s particular style were underwhelmed at the amount of action they saw from the two fighters.

Pacquiao also went in with an injured right shoulder, leaving him unable to land his patented power punches to Mayweather’s left side.

“He just couldn’t touch him,” said boxing enthusiast and Special Education teacher Zachary Weagley. “And you could see the whole time that Pacquiao was ailing on the right side. After watching him in previous fights it was obvious to see.”

Without the result of an action packed slugfest between the two celebrated champions, the entire sport of boxing has been disgraced by the casual public and has set itself back in America even further than it already was.

“I don’t know if I ever felt so bored,” Weagley said. “And it was even worse because I had to cough up a hundred bucks just to watch the darn thing!”

Losing popularity ever since Mike Tyson was knocking his opponents out in the first round live on Pay-per view, boxing has loosened its once firm grasp on the attention of the American sports world—and the May 2nd bout that yielded little action and worldwide attention may have put the entire sport down for the count.

“Call me old school,” boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya wrote on social media, “but I like the fans getting their money’s worth by watching an action-packed fight.”

De La Hoya, a common opponent of both Mayweather and Pacquiao, continued to rant, saying he was “just not into the boxing, running style.”

Though the fight generated more hype than any in this millennium at least, the sport of boxing can only see this as a failure that will do only bad things for itself in the future.

After whiffing on Pacquiao’s injured shoulder and missing the mark in making Mayweather out to be a fighter that he wasn’t, it is clear that this sport won’t be getting that kind of attention for a long time.