May 27, 2017 03:00 AM PST
SINCE 2007

Farce of the Century

The May 2 megafight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas was anything but the “Battle for Greatness” or the “Fight of the Century” that it was hyped to be. There’s a shared sense that it was more like the Farce of the Century. The two fighters actually battled not for greatness in the ring but for plain greed for money.

Not a few analysts agree that Mayweather and Pacquiao pulled the perfect scam. On the pretext of jousting to show which one has the more superior boxing skills, which one is the bigger champion, they fleeced fans for the privilege of watching what was panned almost universally as a glorified sparring session. The pay-per-view rate went for a far-out $100 while tickets at the venue sold for the equally preposterous prices of between $1,500 and $7,500.

The megafight went the distance and the decision went to Mayweather. Three judges were unanimous in giving Mayweather the win and it seemed like Pacquiao had no chance to pull an upset from the onset, with the judges awarding the first three and last two rounds to the American. It was like they gave Mayweather an early cushion and made sure of the outcome with a late padding.

What happened in the Mayweather-Pacquiao superfight in Las Vegas was a disappointment, to say the least. Fans paid good money to watch an eventful bout in their homes on pay-per-view TV or in closed circuit theaters. The well-heeled who came to watch the fight live did not exactly pay through the nose but they, too, surely expected their money’s worth. But all felt robbed in the end. So did Pacquiao.

First, the verdict was questionable. Many thought it was close and could’ve gone either way. That was how coach Freddie Roach and chief assistant Marvin Somodio saw it. Sports analysts who did their own scoring in the course of the fight gave the win to Pacquiao who was surprised that he lost. Even Sugar Shane Mosley and Evander Holyfield said Pacquiao had done enough to win.

Second, the disparity in the scores was unreal. How could judge Moretti have given Pacquiao only two rounds? Surely, Pacquiao deserved some credit for his aggressiveness.

Third, it appeared that the cards were stacked against Pacquiao from the beginning since Mayweather was the lead promoter of the whole shebang through the Mayweather Promotions. In the first place, Mayweather called the shots from when conditions were set for the fight to happen. Pacquiao had virtually no say on the terms of engagement. Mayweather would get $120 million, Pacquiao a smaller $80 million.

The view that Mayweather had prior knowledge of Pacquiao’s shoulder injury firms up the suspicions of a scam. Pacquiao helped along, though perhaps unwittingly, by dismissing suggestions from his camp to seek a postponement because of the injury. Result: they took the fans for a ride. It was bruited about that Mayweather and his hangers-on made a killing in the sure bettings.

The fight was touted as a big boost to boxing. But far from giving boxing a shot in the arm, or raising the integrity of the sport, the ho-hum of a fight actually contributed to its possible deterioration. The Mafia reared its ugly head in boxing. It’s no surprise if the ballyhooed Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch does not gain as much appeal to boxing fans. (DANNY LLANTO/FilAm Star)