Mayweather vs. Paquiao: Was it Even from the Start?

Manny Pacquiao, Fight of the century, defeat

Did factors outside the boxer’s performances influence the outcome of the fight.

The “Fight of the Century” was considered the greatest bout in boxing history. Or was it the most lucrative? Although different people had different takes on what the Mayweather Pacquiao bout meant, it was and is easily one of the larger fights of our generation. Most great bouts in boxing history, may have involved large purses, but were always essentially defined by the performance.

• Pacquiao said that he had a shoulder injury and couldn’t train for two weeks.
• When Pacquiao’s hired sparring partners, Haymon paid them more to refuse.
• Throughout the bout, the commentators clearly favored Mayweather.

If we were to look at events leading up to the bout that affected both fighters, we might be able to notice things that favored one fighter over the other. Without any favor to conspiracy websites out there, if we were to look at the Vegas crowd, the ringside judges and the sports commentators, we may get a an even better idea as to other reasons why this bout ended in Mayweather’s favors, besides his mastery of defensive boxing.

A look at events leading up to the fight

In the weeks leading up to fight, Manny Pacquaio sustained an injury. This is common in the boxing industry and can only result in one of two actions. A boxer, who is injured in his preparation for a fight, can either postpone the fight until a later date or keep the information confidentially within his camp. Pacquiao made a decision to be silent and not postpone the bout.

In a press conference after the bout, Pacquiao clearly stated that he had a shoulder injury and couldn’t train for two weeks. Logically, not being able to practice in the ring gave Pacquiao a distinct disadvantage. Pacquiao, who is scheduled for surgery which will suspend him for a year, blamed his injury for the outcome of the fight. Mayweather responded by saying that he had injuries in both arms and hands, but “found a way.”

Al Haymon, of Haymond Boxing, could be held responsible for disrupting the quality of the practice sessions. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach discussed the negative experiences from Haymon. “I’m hiring sparring partners, Al Haymon’s people call them up and offers more money for them not to come.” This practice is similar to the allegations by Golden Boy that Haymon violated California’s Unfair Competition laws.

Well known in US gambling news is the length of the negotiations for the “fight of the century.” Al Haymon was instrumental in negotiating the conditions of the bout which favored Mayweather in every way. It was quite clear that the only way this “super bout” would happen is if everything went according to Mayweather’s way. Even then, the fight was being “tailor made” to suit Mayweather and give him the victory before it began.

The stage that was set at the MGM Grand

MGM Grand
Al Haymon has been accused of staging impressive productions over the years. It was actually his first career when he set up shows for famous musicians such as MC Hammer, Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige. Creating shows for the masses is what Haymon did best. In 1991 alone, his 500 shows grossed $60 million. It seems as though the boxing industry isn’t different for Haymon.

Despite the audience clearly favoring Pacquiao, considerable effort was made to create an atmosphere at the MGM Grand that left little negativity towards Mayweather. Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, gave information about “sneak attacks” involving Haymon. “When the order goes out that nobody in the MGM can talk to us, how do you think it makes us feel? And one guy wrapping it around his favor. Al Haymon.”

Throughout the rounds of the bout, the commentators clearly favored Mayweather. When Mayweather was defensive and didn’t fight or when he was on the offense sparingly, the commentators spoke of Mayweather’s brilliance. When Pacquiao was defensive, the commentators criticized him for not being offensive while when he was offensive, he was criticized for not doing it more.

To those gambling in accordance to US gambling laws, some might have required explanation. After the fight, Mayweather recieved only one question that challenged his supposed superiority in the ring. In response to the left jab to the face by Pacquiao in the 4th round, Mayweather said those things happen with little elaboration. Max Kellerman “grilled” Pacquiao about his lack of aggression. Every response by Pacquiao, was met with more critical questions. In more ways than one, it just wasn’t Manny’s night.

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