LAS VEGAS — In one of the most anticipated bouts in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather used his trademark defense and superior boxing skills to pull away to a unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao to unify the world welterweight championship on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Judge Dave Moretti scored the fight 118-110 while judges Bert Clements and Glenn Feldman each had it at 116-112 as the 38-year-old Mayweather improved his record to 48-0.
The 36-year-old Pacquiao, a member of Congress in the Philippines who is considered to be a candidate to become the country’s president one day, fell to 57-6-2 all-time with 38 KOs.
“I thought I won the fight,” Pacquiao said during his post-fight interview. “He didn’t do anything.”
The CompuBox Punch Stats told a different story, however. Mayweather finished with a 148-81 edge in punches landed, connecting on 34 percent of the 435 punches he threw while Pacquiao connected on just 19 percent of his 429 punches. Neither fighter appeared to be seriously hurt during the fight.
Both fighters were huge winners in the pocketbook. Mayweather is expected to an earn an estimated $180 million while Pacquiao will likely pick up about $120 million from a fight that is expected to gross about $400 million, including $74 million from a star-studded live gate of 16,507.
“I did my best, but my best was not good enough,” said Pacquiao, who revealed afterward he had injured his right shoulder during training about three weeks before the fight.
Still, it was vintage – some might call it boring – performance by Mayweather who was outstanding blocking and avoiding Pacquiao’s punches while also countering with jabs and straight right hands.
Pacquiao’s best moment came in the fourth round when he connected with a left hand that sent Mayweather into the ropes and followed that up with a flurry of punches that had the crowd in a frenzy. But Mayweather then shook his head to indicate that he wasn’t hurt.
“He’s a helluva fighter,” Mayweather said. “I take my hat off to Manny Pacquiao. … He is a true champion at heart, and we both did our best tonight. When the books are written, it will be a great fight.”
But great enough for a rematch? Mayweather, who said he will fight one more time in September before retiring, wouldn’t commit to that afterward.
“Can I enjoy my victory? Please?” Mayweather said.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 3, 2015