In the opinion of most combat sports fans, the Floyd Mayweather v. Manny Pacquiao fight didn’t live up to its intense hype.
Mayweather cruised to a unanimous decision win over Pacquiao with a strategy of being quick on his feet to avoid Pacquiao’s strikes, using solid defense, throwing well-placed jabs and clinching him when Pacquiao closed the distance.
The problem with Mayweather’s cautious strategy is that it was seen as boring to the many casual fans or mixed martial arts fans watching boxing for the first time.
MMA fans are used to watching fighters mix up punches, kicks, elbows, clinch work and takedowns while looking for a finish. In boxing, only the punches are legal, as every time Mayweather clinched Pacquiao, the referee stepped in to break it up, and it didn’t look like Mayweather was actively trying to knock Pacquiao out.
For fans of MMA, boxing seemed like a watered-down version of their favorite combat sport. Many of them are calling this the demise of boxing as the more popular sport, and MMA will take its place in the fighting world.
Perhaps fans would’ve been happier had the outcome been different. The majority of people on Twitter were rooting for Pacquiao due to Mayweather’s attitude and history of allegedly beating women.
It also probably didn’t help that the cost of the fight was nearly $90, and that there were five years of build-up. For the so-called fight of the century, it was widely regarded as a fairly disappointing fight. Even those who streamed the event live for free felt the fight was a letdown.
“I felt like it was too underwhelming and anti-climatic for it to be considered the ‘Fight of the Century,’” said junior Shitanshu Kamani. “Even more so with the five-year wait and the legendary status of both fighters.”
The social media build-up probably was another detriment to the fight, as it was on every website for at least a couple of weeks prior to the event. People who had never watched a combat sport were expecting one of the most exciting sporting events they’ve ever seen, and at the end of the 12-round, 36-minute fight, they were not particularly happy with what they saw.
While some more hardcore boxing fans may have found the fight entertaining, it failed to remotely live up to its lofty expectations. That may not be Mayweather or Pacquiao’s fault. The world of boxing should hope the next big event they put on comes closer to meeting the expectations of its more casual viewers.