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Mayweather-Pacquiao Fallout: What’s Next For The Fighters?

Allen Levin

Allen Levin works for the Miami Dolphins in Media Relations and has covered the NBA for 5 years, including the Orlando Magic beat with KnightNews.com. He has been published in Fox Sports, CBS Sports the Orlando Sentinel and Sun Sentinel. Follow Allen on Twitter @TheNBAllen


The “Fight of the Century” has come and gone and essentially everyone besides “The Money Team” is disappointed with the result.

Fringe boxing fans and casual observers expected a high-octane brawl between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao after 5 years of waiting and dishing out $100 for the PPV telecast that is expected to shatter records.

Those people were unequivocally left bored and feeling robbed of their hard-earned money in what was arguably the most hyped match in the history of boxing in front of a sold-out crowd in Las Vegas that brought in a wave of athletes, celebrities and stars expecting a drama-filled battle.

It was nowhere near the fire fight everybody clamored for as Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) put on a vintage performance, outboxing Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) in a brilliant display of defense, footwork and timing.

However, if you are a fan of boxing, you expected this type of fight.

While Mayweather’s defensive-first, counter punching, “hit and don’t get hit” style is boring and off-putting to some, it’s the main reason why he is a perfect 48-0 and unquestionably the Pound-for-Pound King of this era.

The highest-grossing boxing fight of all time, which saw some tickets selling for as high as six figures, did not live up to expectations last Saturday at the MGM Grand as Mayweather cruised to a 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110 unanimous decision victory over Pacquiao and firmly established himself as the best welterweight and pound-for-pound fighter in boxing.

Sorry that every boxing match isn’t a replay of Balboa-Drago.

Mayweather is a defensive master, who uses stellar footwork, a quick jab, counterpunching, timing and ring smarts to take down his opponents.

It’s what he did in his 12 rounds against Pacquiao, clearly outpointing his opponent in a lopsided victory that should have no controversy or questions surrounding the decision.

However, shortly after the bout, it was revealed that Pacquiao was fighting with a “significant tear” in his right shoulder. He ultimately underwent successful surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff earlier this week.

It seems that Pacquiao’s camp is pinning the loss to Mayweather on the bad shoulder after he was denied his request to receive a pain-numbing injection prior to the fight.

This has led to Pacquiao supporters calling for a rematch once the Filipino icon recovers from surgery and makes a return to the ring in an expected “9-12 months.”

After Mayweather reportedly sent ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith a text message earlier this week, stating that he would grant Pacquiao a rematch next year, “Money” now has rescinded that offer because he thinks Pacquiao is a “coward” after making excuses for the defeat.

“Did I text [ESPN’s] Stephen A. Smith and say I will fight him again?” Mayweather told Jim Gray in an exclusive interview. “Yeah, but I change my mind. At this particular time, no, because he’s a sore loser and he’s a coward. … If you lost, accept the loss and say, ‘Mayweather, you were the better fighter.’ ”

Clearly, Mayweather is ticked off that Pacquiao is using his shoulder injury as an excuse for the loss and is now backing off the rematch talks.

And while the Pacman certainly looked limited with only small flashes of his usual aggressive style, can the shoulder really be the reason for such a blowout loss?

Pacquiao landed a paltry 19 percent of his punches and more surprisingly, threw six less punches overall than Mayweather.

Mayweather won the fight with efficiency. More than half of Mayweather’s punches were power shots and he landed 48 percent of them, according to CompuBox.

Would a shoulder at 100 percent allow Pacquiao to figure out Mayweather’s vaunted defense? Would it make him more aggressive and breathe life into his normally ferocious offensive fury?

Maybe.

But, it was clear that Mayweather was the better fighter on May 2nd and he firmly cemented his legacy in the sport. This fight was turned into a “good vs. evil” storyline, and given Mayweather’s well-documented past with domestic violence, it’s hard to celebrate Money’s dominance in the sport, but one must give credit where it’s due.

Mayweather may be a horrible person, but there is no denying his greatness.

So, what’s next for the two fighters and boxing in general?

Mayweather

Floyd has repeatedly stated that he plans on retiring after his final bout in his six-fight contract with Showtime/CBS, which is tentatively scheduled to take place in September of this year.

And with the potential rematch talks seeming to simmer down, we may only see Mayweather in the canvas one final time before he hangs up his gloves.

The potential opponents for Mayweather’s 49th bout seem to be limited to Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Miguel Cotto.

All of the aforementioned fighters have some level of intrigue to them, but also have some drawbacks.

Khan has timing issues due to the Muslim holiday Ramadan; Thurman has yet to notch a signature win; Garcia has looked underwhelming in recent bouts; and Cotto has already faced Mayweather and appears to have a looming mega fight of his own against Canelo Alvarez.

The 38-year-old Mayweather will likely carefully handpick his next opponent so he can ensure he ties Rocky Marciano’s legendary 49-0 record.

Pacquiao 

Pacquiao will have to endure a recovery period as he waits for his shoulder to heal.

At 36-years-old and posting a meager 3-3 record in his last 6 bouts, it certainly looks like Pacquiao is on the downside of his career.

His options will be limited as well. While he will seek a rematch with Mayweather, he may be forced to look elsewhere if that fight can’t happen.

Some names that have been thrown out there are a 5th match with Juan Manuel Marquez, as well as Khan, Jessie Vargas and Terence Crawford among others.

Pacquiao will need to assess how successful his recovery goes and then determine what type of fights Top Rank can line-up for him.

The road to Mayweather-Pacquiao was long and bumpy, but it finally happened. You may feel underwhelmed by the result, but at least we can say we witnessed it.

Now, we look forward to the final fights in the twilight of May and Pac’s respective careers, and welcome in the next wave of boxing stars.