From Hype to Reality: MayPac
by Caroline McCammond on Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Throughout the week of April 26th, the big question to ask was not “will you go to Boat Dance with me?”, but rather “who do you think will win: Mayweather or Pacquiao?” Saturday, May 2 marked the “Fight of the Century” or the “Battle for Greatness,” as Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao finally faced off to determine the winner of numerous welterweight titles and a WBC belt valued at $1 million. The welterweight division includes boxers with weights varying from 140lb to 147lb. The “Money vs. Pac-Man” match consisted of 12 rounds where the winner of each round was awarded 10 points and the loser 9. Ultimately, Mayweather won unanimously as the judges scored the contest 116-112 and 118-110 in “Money’s” favor. However, the score seems to have only superficially settled the May-Pac question, and now many Mustangs are asking a new one—did Floyd Mayweather really win?
For six years, the world eagerly awaited the showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao who, during their prime, were two of boxing’s undisputed greats. Early on, the fight was predicted to be the highest grossing in history. Unfortunately, numerous conflicts—everything from purse split to drug testing to location—delayed the bout and increased the hype that surrounded Mayweather and Pacquiao. Mayweather’s and Pacquiao’s extraordinary records of 47-0 (26 KO) and 57-5-2 (38 KO), respectively, and numerous world champion titles made their fight a can’t-miss affair. Not only did the boxers’ remarkable previous successes capture the public’s attention, but as did the immense amount of money revolving around the bout. Advertisements and familiar commercial mascots helped spread the boxing hysteria. With Showtime and HBO co-producing the fight and charging a fee of $100 for pay-per-view, an expected payday of $80 million for Pacquiao, and $120 million for Mayweather, the fight lived up to its economic potential.
The fight’s lucrativeness proved to be its only success, as the resounding response from the public was disappointment. Despite the high pay-per-view fee, many Mustangs and Milton dorms, along with 4.4 million other people, tuned in to watch the fight, which, in turn, generated more than $400 million, breaking all previous records. However, this success was not reflected in the public’s reactions, as many concluded that the bout “was neither worth the wait nor the money.” The boxers’ performances were seen as sub-par, especially Mayweather’s atypical defensive strategy. Satirical Vines and comics followed suit, portraying Mayweather running away from an injured Pacquiao. Trevor Turnbull (II) summed up popular opinion, saying that “Mayweather and Pac were just in it for the money, and, consequently, it became a boring fight.” Although Mayweather was the favorite to win, many claim that he did not deserve his victory, as he fought “too conservatively.” Pacquiao fans agree, They feel that Pac-Man was cheated due to his inability to report his injury. A rematch between Mayweather and Pac was requested by Pacquiao and briefly considered by Mayweather but is not likely to be scheduled given the public’s reaction to the dramatic difference between the contest’s hype and its reality.
Now, with 85 years left until the next “Fight of the Century,” Mayweather is looking forward to stepping out of the ring and focusing on his brand. Pacquiao will be taking a short sojourn from boxing to have surgery on his injured shoulder and will be out for about a year. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to a rematch, though, is time—both boxers are relatively old by boxing standards. A year from now, they may be shelling out for pay-per-view from home for the next amazing boxing match, rather than stepping into the ring to fight.
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