Floyd Mayweather Jr. backed up his "The Best Ever" boast as he out-pointed Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao to win the "Fight of the Century" Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (Sunday in Manila).
Mayweather, the odds-on favorite entering the fight, flashed the form that made him the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world as he won with scores of 118-110, 116-112, and 116-112.
With the victory, Mayweather hiked his record to 48-0, one away from Rocky Marciano's famed 49-0 record.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, suffered the sixth defeat of his career against 57 victories and two draws.
Mayweather landed a total of 148 punches, while Pacquiao, considered the offensive dynamo, landed only 81 over the course of 12 rounds.
The first round was a feeling out process for both boxers, but it was Mayweather who landed the stronger blows with straight right hands down the middle that Pacquiao was unable to avoid. The "Pacman" did try to unload a flurry at the end of the round, only to be tied up by Mayweather.
Action picked up in the second and third round, with the final 10 seconds of the third being particularly eventful. Pacquiao landed a combination to the head of Mayweather, only for the American to come back with a flurry of his own just as the bell rang.
Pacquiao shone in the fourth round, backing up Mayweather with a stiff left straight that sent Mayweather careening back against the ropes. Pacquiao then unloaded with a flurry of punches, but Mayweather was able to avoid much damage by covering up.
Mayweather regained control in the fifth round, and clearly hurt Pacquiao with a left straight that landed flush on the Filipino's chest, and was then able to circle away from Pacquiao's range. In the sixth round, Mayweather was again backed up against the ropes, and Pacquiao landed a flurry of punches, only to see the American shake his head as though saying that he was not getting hurt.
In the corner after the sixth round, Mayweather's father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was heard exhorting his son, saying: "I don't know what's wrong with you, man."
By the seventh round, Mayweather started bleeding from the mouth, and Pacquiao was able to land a left jab that hit the American flush on the face. Mayweather was able to regain control in the eighth round, using his jab to measure Pacquiao and landing two good left hands that the Filipino shook off.
Mayweather controlled the next rounds, using his jab to keep Pacquiao at bay while pot-shotting with counter rights and lefts every time the "Pacman" tried to move forward. Pacquiao tried his best to corner Mayweather, but this time around, the American was able to roll away from his punches.
The two boxers hugged at the start of the 12th round, and again Mayweather kept Pacquiao at bay though the Filipino landed a few clean shots.
Fight of the Century
It was a fight that took over half a decade to put together, and many in boxing circles have given up hope that it will ever take place after several rounds of negotiations over the years fell apart and bad blood built up on both sides.
The Pacquiao and Mayweather camps finally came to terms earlier this year - with Pacquiao acceding to most of Mayweather's demands - for a fight that is likely to break most if not all of the sport's box office records.
Mayweather was quickly installed as the favorite to win the mega-fight, as his defensive skills were expected to neutralize Pacquiao's unorthodox offense.
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