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MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO: THE WHINING CONTINUES FIVE YEARS LATER

By Paul Magno | May 05, 2020
MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO: THE WHINING CONTINUES FIVE YEARS LATER

Ok, I'm a few days late to this party. It was the five-year anniversary of Mayweather-Pacquiao on May 2. And, honestly, I only started thinking about this again because my social media timeline was smeared with shitified angry takes from boxing writers and fans, still whining-- five years after the fact-- that Floyd-Manny wasn't Hagler-Hearns, Ali-Frazier, and Robinson-LaMotta all rolled into one. 

First, anyone who came into that "super-fight" in 2015 expecting a knock-down, drag-out war had to be a complete and total moron. 

The only way a war would've erupted that night would've been if the skilled, counter-punching technician, Mayweather, suddenly abandoned his flawlessly-effective style to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao or if Pacquiao were somehow able to break down Mayweather's defenses and force a war. 

The former wasn't going to happen and, frankly, Pacquiao failed in his attempt in the latter.

Barring a master class in ring generalship from Pacquiao, Mayweather-Pacquiao was always going to be a tactical chess match of a bout between a master chessman (Mayweather) and high-end checkers champion (Pacquiao).

This reality was hard to voice, though, to the people caught up in the hype before the fight and impossible to explain, afterwards, to those whining and crying about not getting the brawl they somehow expected.

But if anyone gets the blame for a less-than-action-packed PPV contest, it should be made clear that the fault was Pacquiao's. The Filipino icon failed in his efforts to force Mayweather to bend and/or break. He failed in controlling the form and pace of the fight. And his failure allowed Mayweather to pretty much do as he pleased. 

Forget the nonsense about Mayweather waiting until Pacquiao got old. I mean, shit, Mayweather was older, too. It's not like he stayed the same age while Pacquiao got 5, 6, 7 years older. The competitive reality was that Mayweather, at any age, would've beaten a similarly-aged Pacquiao because Pacquiao has never been able to slow down, change around, or totally figure out a boxer. That's not a knock on Pacquiao, just an acknowledgment of who he is as a human being and as a fighter. 

Neither the flow of the bout nor the outcome surprised me-- and it shouldn't have surprised anyone else, either. It wasn't a Mayweather blowout or an "easy" fight, but the outcome was never in doubt. 

For me, as someone keenly tuned into the peripherals of the sport,  the worst part of Mayweather-Pacquiao was the way the media handled this big event. 

The media whined about not getting press passes or the "right" level of press pass preference, with some issuing ridiculous boycotts over the way they were not treated with the usual fake-deference. They also spent six years of lead-in to this fight showcasing their worst instincts-- taking sides in the he-said/he-said public negotiations, cashing in on taking sides by creating pro-Pacquiao and pro-Mayweather cottage side-industries, and just being generally dumb for buying into every damn BS talking point floated out there by both sides. They also did their fair share of foggying up the outcome by allowing all sorts of excuses and conspiracy theories to muck up the realities.

Mayweather-Pacquiao was the perfect storm for all things wrong with the boxing media and, to this day, this sour-shoed lot is still tripping all over themselves when it comes to condemning this fight. 

No, this blockbuster event did not "ruin" boxing. And if it turned off casual fans who bit on the hype, the blame should go to the fumbling, bumbling media for not better informing people of what to expect. It was no more of a money grab than any other fight-- because ALL fights are about grabbing at money. Mayweather, Pacquiao, and all the business people behind the fight were just better at grabbing the money. 

At the end of the day, Mayweather-Pacquiao was a stylistic mismatch that served its purpose as a "let's settle this" argument-ender pitting this generation's two biggest stars against one another. If you had a problem with that before the bout-- so what? If you still have beef with the ghost of the event-- get over it.

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