It took longer than expected for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to step in the ring for their epic clash on Saturday night, but when they finally did, the atmosphere in Las Vegas was electric. Everyone in the MGM Grand and watching on television saw Mayweather emerge from the historic battle victorious.
ESPN's David Kull tweeted out the official scorecards for all three judges that gave Mayweather the victory:
The reason for the delay, per Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk, is because there was an overload with cable companies trying to process pay-per-view orders that made it so fans were unable to see the card:
Mayweather and Pacquiao eventually made their way to the ring around midnight Eastern time. Pacquiao came out first and had a special guest in his entourage, per CBS Sports:
Kimmel is a much more entertaining person to have in your entourage than Justin Bieber, so Pacquiao had the edge in that regard.
Once the action got underway, Pacquiao tried to be the aggressor but struggled to land punches against Mayweather's usual defense. ESPN Stats & Info tweeted out what Pac-Man did with his combos through the first two rounds:
Things did seem to turn in the fourth round, as Pacquiao's aggression seemed to break through Mayweather's defensive wall, per ESPN's Dan Rafael:
Pacquiao kept that momentum going as the fight reached the halfway point. His ability to strike quickly was throwing Mayweather off his game, with Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix noting the southpaw was getting good body shots.
The problem for Pacquiao as the fight moved on was keeping up his pace and exerting his will. Mayweather is a master at manipulating everything to his advantage, whether it's dictating how quickly the action happens or backing off to frustrate an opponent into making a mistake.
HBO Boxing tweeted out a great image of Mayweather landing a stiff left-handed jab on Pacquiao:
Sports Illustrated noted in the final stretch run that the pace was more favorable to Mayweather's style than Pacquiao's.
That style doesn't always lead to the most thrilling fights, but it's allowed Mayweather to post a perfect record in 48 career fights. During the telecast, the announcers said that Money's approach was business-like, per B/R's Jonathan Snowden.
Once things got into the final round, despite a valiant effort, Pacquiao needed to score a knockout for a chance to win, per Ryan Songalia of The Ring Magazine.
The knockout didn't happen, all but guaranteeing the win for Mayweather. Even if it's hard to predict what boxing judges will do, this was a clear case of Mayweather controlling the fight for most of the 12 rounds to secure a win. The scorecards reflected that, as did the CompuBox stats (h/t Mannix):
One of the talking points coming out of the fight was how it seemed to drag, though Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel noted this is was a typical Mayweather match:
After the loss, Pacquiao wasn't quick to congratulate Mayweather by saying that he didn't do anything in the fight and noting other opponents have more strength, per MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.
One hot topic of conversation for Mayweather will be about his future, as there's only one fight left on the contract with Showtime he signed in 2013. He said after this victory that his plan is to do that one last bout before retiring, per Showtime Sports.
Based on the expected returns from this fight as well as Mayweather's ability to reach 49-0 with one more win—the same mark Rocky Marciano had when he retired in 1956—it would be a fitting way for the controversial superstar to go.
The only question is if Mayweather will end his career going in a different direction or if the potential demand for a rematch with Pacquiao is too lucrative to turn down. All that is for the future, with tonight being about Mayweather doing what he has done 48 times in his professional career.