The Fight of the Century will not even be the Fight of the Year.
Neither Floyd Mayweather nor Manny Pacquiao came close to the knockout which the Money Man desired so desperately and the PacMan ended up needing so badly.
The bright start ebbed into a game of cat and mouse, Mayweather dodging and countering, Pacquiao charging and probably missing too often.
The richest fight of all time will be remembered for the mega-millions, the gigantic hype, the hordes on the Strip, the most manic media coverage of all time… and a physical chess match between two old masters.
Mayweather proved himself once again the grand master of the noble art of self defence. It was enough to settle the argument as to which of them is the greatest boxer of his generation. The man who is unbeaten in his 48 fights as a professional.
The judges may have done Pacquiao less than justice with scores of 118-110 and 116-112 twice. But although I had it a draw there can be no complaint.
Pacquiao protested: ‘I thought I won the fight. I hit him more times than he hit me. I hurt him more than he hurt me.’
But in reality so many of the rounds were so close that a preference for a style of boxing would have been enough to sway the outcome. Floyd is a clever chap, Manny a fun fellow.
Pacquiao expressed surprise at the width of the decision but in truth he left himself at the mercy of the judges by not throwing his usual volume of punches. Had he done so it might have been different.
So in the end it came down to who connected with the more of the few meaningful punches thrown.
The score cards and the punch statistics gave that advantage to Mayweather and although I thought it more marginal than they did there is no whiff of scandal or controversy.
Mayweather did what he does best and he will head to his next and last fight, back here in September, with his legacy as an all-time great secured.
Pacquiao will go back to helping the people of the Philippines regretting that he did not do more in the ring. The original PacMan would have blitzed Mayweather with relentless combinations.
Trainer Freddie Roach admitted: ‘I asked him to give me a few more combinations but I still thought we pulled it out.’
The judges disagreed and theirs was an honourable opinion.
There will be no clamour for a rematch.
Whatever our view of the result, there was none of the drama, excitement or thunderous exchanges which would encourage the pay-TV networks, the sponsors, the advertisers, the rest of the corporate juggernaut or the public to commit another half a billion pounds.
The 16,507 crowd in the MGM Grand Garden Arena went home booing. Most of them unhappy with the result. Some of them disappointed with the spectacle.
They will come out for Mayweather one last time in September and the man himself confirmed that will be that: ‘It’s time to hang them up. I’m almost 40. I’ve been doing this for 18 years.’


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