Floyd Mayweather’s tidal-wave moment befits complicated genius

American got result but not performance he wanted against Manny Pacquiao

 Floyd Mayweather  sits in his corner between rounds against Manny Pacquiao during their welterweight unification championship bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

Floyd Mayweather sits in his corner between rounds against Manny Pacquiao during their welterweight unification championship bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

 
Floyd MayweatherManny Pacquiao

The unanimous decision in favour of the American, received poorly in all sections of the rammed-solid MGM Garden Arena, hurt Pacquiao more than any of the 148 punches the plainly out-of-kilter HBO computer alleged had landed on him. Those purblind number crunchers also said Mayweather threw six more punches than Pacquiao’s 429, as blind a call as I can remember in boxing.

The rest of the statistics, consequently, are not worth referring to. What we should do is trust our eyes. There were 16,800 pairs of them trained on the action in the ring, and millions more in 150 countries around the world for The Fight Of The Century, an event nearly six years in the making and 45 minutes in the execution.

At least we got a fight. Two years ago, one bookmaker posted 9-1 that it would ever be made. Not many disagreed – except we were not to know that Mayweather, in contradiction of his public teasing, was engineering a tidal-wave moment of his own creation, a delayed action extravaganza to wipe away the glamour and records of all that had gone before.

Nobody was immune from the excitement. Freddie Roach, the Filipino’s trainer of nearly 15 years and his best friend, was moved to take a selfie as they walked to the ring. Pacquiao, as ever, did not stop smiling, thrilled by his personally recorded entrance music.

Empty streets

Surely not the last

As he said in a pre-fight note to saddened members of his Money Team: “I cannot be your saviour forever, everything has to end some time.”

What about his calm fight-week demeanour, then? Was it nerves, apprehension or prescience? All three, most likely. He is a complicated genius – and a lucky one.

They arrived for fight week separately on Tuesday, with ballyhooed entrances at their favoured casinos, a mile apart, and left joined together in history. But only one guy was smiling, and this time there would be no beatific glow on the born-again Pacquiao. He, too, has paid his dues to the sport.

Pacquiao, Arum says, paid between $3 million (€2.7 million) and $4 million (what’s a million here or there?) on tickets for 900 of his Filipino supporters. Mayweather said he’d split $50 million between three of his four children. If anyone deserved at least a split decision last night it was Pacquiao. Guardian Service

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