The Mayweather-Pacquiao aftermath and the week that was in boxing
We had a busy one last week in the fight game – The post-fight chatter about Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao’s disappointing “Fight of the Century,” Canelo Alvarez’s hot night in Houston, Texas and the sad loss of Andrew Lewis, among other news.
* Pacquiao kicked off the week by accusing the Nevada State Athletic Commission of sabotaging his fight against Mayweather. According to a report on Rappler.com, Pacquiao told reporters that not only was he sabotaged when the NSAC wouldn’t allow him to take a USADA-approved injection to relieve pain from an injury in his right shoulder, he stated that his vitamin supplements and water were withheld by the Commission in his dressing room. “Pac-Man” also suggested Mayweather was told about his injury and Floyd tried to take advantage by pulling his arm during the bout. Pacquiao estimated he was only at 60% for the fight and wants a rematch at full strength. This sounds like sour grapes, lobbying for a rematch or both. I never heard him mention the fouls in any post-fight interviews. if Pacquiao was at 60% before the bout, should he not have revealed this in the pre-fight medicals? Odds are good that he’ll back off on any pre-fight injury claim PDQ if they threaten to fine him.
* I’m slightly baffled by all the keyboard matchmakers and armchair experts who boldly claimed Mayweather-Pacquiao was going to be a predictably boring cash-grab, then watched the bout and then complained it was a predictably boring cash grab. Why didn’t you exercise your option to not watch it?
* For a hundred bucks, the “Fight of the Century” could have beefed up the undercard. It was a little light to say the least.
* From the “…Next?” file: This week’s Sport’s Illustrated gave Mayweather-Pacquiao a one-and-a-half page blurb that basically blew it off as just another event in a city of events.
* Manila’s ABS-CBN news reported that Dashon Johnson, who trained with Pacquiao at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, said Pacquiao’s shoulder was “messed up pretty bad” in training camp, prompting the Pacquiao camp to temporarily call off training three weeks before his fight with Mayweather. Manny probably did injure his shoulder in camp, thought he was healed up enough to fight and then re-injured it in the bout. It happens all the time in sports. Many are now accusing Pacquiao and Top Rank Promotions of the aforementioned cash grab (indicating they – and Pacquiao – knew he was hurt) but I have my doubts. If all they cared about was money, they’d have made sure Manny was 100% going into the bout because the off-the-charts revenue for Pac-Man was in a rematch, had he won the first bout.
* Showtime Sports’ Jim Gray sat down with Mayweather for a chat this week. Floyd is fighting mad but apparently after hearing some of the recent comments made by Pacquiao, he isn’t rematch-fighting mad. Asked if Floyd could sense Manny was struggling with an injury in the bout, he said, “Absolutely not. He was fast. His left hand was fast. His right hand was fast and he was throwing them both fast and strong. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I’m not going to buy into the bullshit and I don’t want the public to buy into the bullshit. He lost. He knows he lost. I lost a lot of respect for him after all of this.” As far as a rematch goes – “Did I text Stephen A. Smith and say I will fight him again? Yeah, but I changed 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.’”
* From David Weinberg, pressofatlanticcity.com: “And just in case you don’t remember, I predicted a week ago that Mayweather would dominate the fight, which he did with a dazzling display of boxing skill, defense and ring generalship. It wasn’t close, despite Pacquiao’s feeble protest and the clueless claims from ESPN host Skip Bayless. People who accused Mayweather of running weren’t paying attention. According to CompuBox statistics, Mayweather landed 148 total punches to Pacquiao’s 81 and held an 81-63 edge in power punches. “This is boxing,” Mayweather told ESPN after the fight. “This isn’t brawling. It’s not a slugfest. It’s boxing.”
“And he’s better at it than anyone,” said Weinberg. “Folks who were expecting another version of [Marvelous Marvin] Hagler-[Thomas] Hearns or even [Arturo] Gatti- [Micky] Ward III evidently had never watched any of Mayweather’s previous 47 fights. Mayweather did what he always does, which is rely on his quickness, hand speed and savvy to take control of the fight. After the 10th round, it was clear that Pacquiao needed a knockout to win but the expected rally never happened. Anyone who shelled out $100 to watch on pay-per-view and was angered or disappointed with the lack of toe-to-toe action, blame Pacquiao for not taking the fight to Mayweather. And I don’t want to hear any excuses about his shoulder injury. Pacquiao, trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum have all been around the sport long enough to know you don’t show up the night of the fight asking for an injection without ever mentioning any injury to the Nevada Commission.”
* Golden Boy Promotions filed a $300 million lawsuit against Al Haymon and his related companies alleging their repeated violation of antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. I don’t see this getting resolved anytime soon.
* It’s been a great run but the “Boxcino” finals and ESPN2’s final “Friday Night Fights” telecast will take place on May 22 in Corona, Calif.
* Finally, rest in peace, former WBA welterweight champion Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis, who was reportedly killed in a traffic accident in his native Guyana. Lewis, a big punching, fan favorite who had a pro record of 23-4-2 (20), was just 44.
* Saul “Canelo” Alvarez scored a third round KO over James Kirkland in a junior middleweight bomb-fest on Saturday night. The two battled in front of the largest live crowd this year for a boxing match with 30 000-plus fight fans filling the Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas on HBO. The fight was thrilling but Kirkland got hit by every punch thrown at him. He doesn’t need anymore nights like that in his career. Said hip-hop star and Kirkland promoter 50 Cent after the bout, “I’m proud of him; he’s a true warrior and I’m going to get him back with Ann Wolfe.”
* WBA interim super middleweight champion Fedor Chudinov snagged the vacant WBA belt (stripped from Carl Froch) with a split decision over four-time middleweight champion Felix Sturm on Saturday night in Frankfurt, Germany. It was a close, technical fight that could have gone either way. Scores were 116-112 Chudinov, 116-112 Sturm and 118-110 for Chudinov. Don’t be surprised to see these two do it again.
* Some Saturday afternoon, hot action in Hidalgo, Texas, courtesy of “Premier Boxing Champions” on CBS. WBA “regular” bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell squeaked by previously unbeaten former WBO titlist Tomoki Kameda. Kameda dropped McDonnell in round three but came up short 114-113 on all three cards.
* Former world champions, undefeated junior welterweight Omar “Panterita” Figueroa Jr. scored a gut-check, unanimous decision win over Ricky Burns. The fight was a back-and-forth heater and featured strong moments by both fighters. In the end, the bout was scored 117-109 and 116-110 twice.
* Also on the card, former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout grabbed a “W” by stopping late sub Luis Galarza in seven in a junior middleweight clash.
As I file this to close out the weekend, my final thought is, “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the amazing moms around the world!