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Floyd Mayweather defeats Manny Pacquiao doing what he does best: Being elusive

The long-awaited Fight of the Century turned into just another day at the office for Floyd Mayweather Saturday night at the sold-out MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) did exactly what many of the experts felt he would do: Start slowly, let Manny Pacquiao put the pressure on early, make him miss, maybe give him a shot of false confidence, then pull the rug out from under him. Mayweather worked the gameplan his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr, drew up, to perfection.

He did what he set out to do, even if it cost the packed house filled with A-list celebrities and a huge pay-per-view audience what they had paid big bucks to see: A slugfest between the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Floyd Mayweather ducks to the right as Manny Pacquiao approaches. (Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)
Instead, what they got was vintage Mayweather.

Here’s an amazing statistic that tells the story of the fight, and of Mayweather’s Hall of Fame career: His previous 13 opponents connected on an average of 19% of their punches against him, according to CompuBox statistics.

Pacquiao connected on — you guessed it –19% of his punches.

In that same span, Mayweather landed an average of 50% of his punches. Against Pacquiao: 48%.

“When the history books are written,” said Mayweather, who said he was given an advance check for $100 million after his victory, said, “this fight will have been worth the wait.”

Mayweather, dressed in ultra-expensive black and gold shorts, shrugged off a partisan Pacquiao crowd and cemented his position as the pound-for-pound king by dominating Pacquiao in the second half of the fight.

Just what many smart fighters, such as Bernard Hopkins, were sure he would do.

Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs), simply was not quick enough to land his punches against Mayweather, who seemed to be in better shape. Ringside analyst Roy Jones Jr. said he thought Pacquiao looked about 10 MPH slower than Mayweather.

Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer, Freddie Roach, thought his fighter fought too flatfooted most of the night.

Pacquiao said Mayweather was moving around too much. Of course that’s what made Mayweather what he is. A defensive genius, in the words of former heavyweight champ George Foreman.

“If he would’ve stayed in one place, I could’ve thrown more punches,” Pacquiao said after it was over.

But, Manny, if he would have stayed in one place, then it wouldn’t have been Floyd Mayweather.

Pacquiao also revealed after the fight that he had injured his right shoulder in sparring a few weeks ago, but it’s unlikely that would have changed the outcome.

If Mayweather, 38, retires after his next fight in September, as he says he will, it will be boxing’s big loss.
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