Seizing control in the first round, Floyd Mayweather easily out-boxed Manny Pacquiao most of the bout en route to winning by unanimous decision in their long-awaited welterweight title unification match Saturday.
As Mayweather strutted and posed afterward, the pro-Pacquiao crowd booed him, and he responded:.
“Shut me up, “ he dared anyone. “Shut me up.”
The scorecards read 118-110, 116-112, 116-112 for Mayweather, who alternately took the offensive in the odd-numbered rounds and played lion tamer in the even rounds, which enabled Pacquiao to win the second, fourth, sixth and 10th rounds, but never to turn the tide.
“We knew we’d lose some rounds. We knew he’d have some moments,” Mayweather conceded “ I had to take my time and watch him really close.”
He didn’t concede anything else. During the odd-numbered rounds Mayweather was masterful , jabbing effectively and outmaneuvering Pacquiao to land the straight right early and often. He landed 148 punches to Pacquiao’s 81, and they weren’t all pitty-pats.
In the first round Mayweather immediately established more distance than the smaller Pacquiao could possibly cover. When Pacquiao lunged inside, Mayweather frequently landed hard rights that limited those attacks from long distance. Pacquiao’s expression suggested any hopes he’d be the quicker man had vanished quickly.
In the even rounds, Pacquiao did land power punches and then would flail away in the corner as Mayweather generally avoided further damage while trying to get Pac-Man to punch himself out.
After taking the 10th round off, Mayweather smacked Pacquaio with a three-punch combo in the early seconds of the 11th, and Pacquiao looked fully conquered. He chased Mayweather in utter futility in the 12th, failing to win the round.
Pacquiao claimed he was never convinced Mayweather had imposed anything. Manny felt he had won. “He didn’t do anything. He stayed outside,” Pacquiao argued. “I got him many times.”
But he wasn’t relentless. Mayweather’s counter punches seemed to deter Pacquiao, though he denied it. “ I could handle his power,” Pacquiao said. “It’s not strong like (Antonio) Margarito or (Miguel) Cotto. I’ve been hit by bigger than him and had no problem.”
Be that as it may, Pacquiao could not get near Mayweather in more than half the rounds, and Mayweather attacked him effectively many times.
That’s the mark of a boxing lesson, though Mayweather gave Pacquiao plenty of extra credit afterward. “Now I see why he’s one of the guys at the pinnacle of boxing.”
And vice-versa, to say the least.