After Floyd Mayweather’s unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, social media lit up with complaints, rants, and tantrums. The epic bitching made legendary SNL characters Doug and Wendy Whiner look like optimists. The irony of it all is that all those supposed “boxing fans” crying in their beer got exactly what they paid for.
The long awaited title tilt billed as the “Fight of the Century” didn’t come cheap. Viewers had to dole out about $100 to see these two welterweights finally collide. Apparently many of those who paid up thought they were going to get something vastly different than what transpired.
The bout went the distance with Mayweather handily winning on all three scorecards. He outboxed and outfoxed Pacquiao all night long to move to 48-0 in his amazing career. But after the 12-round affair, fans were upset. They called it boring and slow. Others screamed for their money back. It wasn’t what they expected. Well, what did they expect? Clearly they had never watched Mayweather in action.
The strategy that turned out to be a winning one for the American pugilist was classic, cookie-cutter Mayweather. He is not a fighter. He is a boxer. Those looking for a fight would’ve been better served to wait in the parking lot outside the venue. If you wanted a flurry of punches connecting one after another, you could’ve popped in the old tape of Robin Ventura charging the mound to plant a few shots on Nolan Ryan’s balding dome (a move that turned out horribly for the White Sox third baseman). Or better yet, perhaps an old Rocky movie would’ve worked. Long story short, Mayweather never came to fight. He came to box. That’s what he’s done his whole career.
They call boxing the “sweet science” and Mayweather takes that term to heart, embracing it openly. He looks to score points and keep his opponent from doing so. He doesn’t climb in the ring to put on a show for anyone—he does so to win the bout. Just like the Patriots and Spurs and some other vanilla champions of our time, Mayweather is often methodical. Some say he’s boring. Perhaps. But he’s undefeated partially by being a real snooze.
The build up to this battle was huge. All eyes were on Vegas for this one. Mayweather would have been a fool to abandon what got him to this point. If he tried to brawl with Pacquiao he would’ve opened the door for the pride of the Philippines to have a chance at winning. Instead, Mayweather smartly stuck to his game plan with one thing in mind—winning the contest and taking home a ridiculous amount of money.
Floyd Mayweather purposely turned this competition into a chess match. He kept away from Pacquiao when he needed to and landed punches when the opportunities arose. Pacquiao, who built a career on throwing upwards of sixtysomething punches every round was held to punch numbers in the teens for some rounds. Mayweather dictated the boxing match the way he said he would. He warned all of those who paid for this spectacle exactly what he would do. Why they thought something else would happen makes no sense.
Some fans tend to complain regardless of the outcome. When Mike Tyson used to pulverize opponents in mere seconds, people screamed foul. Now a bout goes 12 rounds and that’s not good enough, either.
There are many questions about Mayweather’s character, especially when it comes to his treatment of women. He is far from a choir boy. Based on that alone some wanted to see him knocked out. Those hoping for Mayweather’s demise grew frustrated as he ran from his opponent at times. But it’s all part of the sport and certainly a huge part of Mayweather’s style.
So for all the keyboard warriors disappointed in the show the ring warriors did or didn’t put on, ask yourselves this—what did you expect? Perhaps you thought you were about to see a UFC match. Perhaps you thought Mayweather boxed like Tyson for some reason. Or more likely, perhaps you simply fell for the false billing of the event. The ‘Fight of the Century’ was actually the ‘Boxing Match of the Century’, and the undisputed, undefeated champion did exactly what he had to do to come out on top.
There is a lot to complain about when it comes to this event: The high price to watch it, Jamie Foxx’s revolting rendition of the National Anthem, the fact that it took years to make it happen, and the ridiculously late start of the first round are all valid grievances. But the actual boxing turned out exactly how most who follow the sport thought it would.
Like it or not, everyone got exactly what they paid for.