Monday, May 4, 2015

Richest Fight in History

There have been talks of a possible fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao (Pacman) since about 5 years ago to determine who of the two is the "Greatest Fighter" of this era. I was fascinated although I'm not a big fan of boxing, and was hoping to see the match come to fruition. 

My interest in the then possible match would be mainly out of curiosity, rather than rooting for any boxer. However, I spent a few moments checking out video clips on youtube to see these boxers' styles . From the first few video clips that I saw, I must say that I liked Pacman's style much more—he fights like a street fighter; he is fast, strong, and aggressive. 

On the other hand, I saw Mayweather as a much smarter fighter. Whenever he enters the rink, his game plan is almost the same—he seems to run from one corner to another and be on the defensive, rather than offensive. He is a patient fighter; he lures his opponents in and allows them to attack; he waits patiently for his chance, and then attacks only when there are good opportunities to do so. He rarely throws punches wastefully. But when he does attack, his success rate is high.

Because of his style, I don't like to see Mayweather fight. In fact, sometimes I find him a bit boring. I also find him somewhat arrogant; y'know, the kind of arrogance that you hate to love, and love to hate! But alas, nobody says that you must have a pleasant personality and exciting style to win in boxing. In the end, it all boils down to whoever can land more punches on the opponent; or better still, if you can knock him out cold.

Incidentally, I come from the black-and-white TV era when there was a very famous heavyweight boxer. He was nicknamed "The Greatest". He claimed that he "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". Curiously, he's also an arrogant chap as can be seen here; and an even bigger coincidence is that his boxing strategy was almost the same as Mayweather. He didn't attack and throw wasteful punches. He lured his opponents in, and would attack only at the right moments. That's why I wasn't a big fan of his either! But, what can I say, he brought down the 220lb George Foreman with an excellent strategy. Check out how he did it here.

Seeing the differing styles of Mayweather and Pacman, it is so easy to get caught in the emotion. Many people have the tendency to support the so-called underdog, especially if that underdog has an aggressive style. But the reality is that, in many battles, the party with a sound strategy almost always comes out on top. That's why I had to reluctantly predict Mayweather would win.

After a few years of failed attempts to set up the match between Mayweather and Pacman, I made a promise not to ever click on any online news articles about these two fighters, until a friend told me recently that the match was happening after all. I had decided long ago that if ever they're gonna end up fighting it out, Mayweather would win; not because he is stronger or faster, but mainly because he is smarter.

A friend texted me yesterday morning, saying that the match would be starting soon, but I was already leaving my house for brunch. I was hungry after running a marathon at 3am in the morning. The excitement just wasn't there, because I felt I knew what the result of the match would be even before the first bell.

Well, I had my brunch. then came home and realised that I had missed almost 5 rounds of the match. Pacman was the aggressor as I had expected; and Mayweather was the defensive freak as he usually is. I remained glued to the TV till the end, and of course Mayweather was eventually declared the winner.

Then the inevitable happened. So many people said that Pacman should have won the match. Even Pacman himself thought that he had won. I don't quite understand how they came to that conclusion. I can only guess that they equated the many punches that Pacman had thrown was all that's needed to decide the winner. I saw it differently—in a gun battle, it's not really important how many shots are traded between the parties. The winner is the one that hits his target(s) more times. Maybe Pacman's supporters had forgotten that little detail. 

I would love to have seen Pacman win the match—I really do—but I can accept that victory went to the smarter fighter. In any case, let's not forget that both these men are big winners as far as money is concerned. They walked away with insane amounts of money!

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