Five years too late

Kyle Riviere
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere.

It was billed as the "Fight of the Century." As it turns out, it wasn't the fight of the year; it wasn't even the fight of the month.

The ultra-hyped mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao was the bout boxing fans begged for throughout the past five years. When it was made official, the intensity and anticipation was kicked up eighteen notches.

It led to heated debates throughout the sports world days and even weeks before the fight even took place. It quickly became one of the most anticipated boxing matches of all time.

Ticket sales went through the roof--which led to it being the richest fight ever. Mayweather and Pacquiao both brought in over $100 million.

Following simple economics and the principle of supply and demand, the pay-per-views costs jumped up to a staggering $100 and ticket prices were in the thousands.

That's a lot of money to throw down--which is why there were plenty of angry fans late Saturday night.

Fans were expecting an instant classic that brought back memories of Ali vs. Frazier or Gatti vs. Ward. That's not what they got.

The hype was so elevated that anything Mayweather and Pacquiao dished out would have had a hard time living up to expectations.

People were expecting an epic fight that made Dalton and Jimmy's fight scene in "Road House" look like small potatoes. It was supposed to even surpass Roddy Piper and Keith David's epic five-minute back-alley brawl in "They Live."

But the product more closely resembled "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." This kind of build up for a super-fight that exceedingly underwhelmed hasn't been seen since Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior at the 1998 Halloween Havoc.

Mayweather did his usual thing. He danced around, jabbed, jabbed, jabbed, clinched and threw an occasional power punch. Pacquiao chased him around all night and ended up hitting air most of the time.

Pac-Man was much more aggressive, but he was out-landed, 148-81. It led to Mayweather winning an easy unanimous decision.

Right after the fight, the Pacquiao camp was quick to disclose that Manny partially tore his rotator cuff two weeks before the fight and was not allowed to take a numbing injection before the fight because the required paperwork was not properly completed.

I don't want to hear any excuses. They have no one to blame but themselves.

They messed up the forms. All they had to do was check off some boxes that asked if Pacquiao was injured; they didn't. They could have postponed the fight; they didn't.

Ever since, Pacquiao has gone under the knife. Many Manny fans are using the injury as an excuse for his loss. I'm a Pacquiao fan, but I'm here to say that even if he was 100 percent, he wasn't winning that fight.

I said it when this fight was made. This isn't the Pacquiao of 2009 that was steam-rolling through everyone and leaving behind a trail of bones. That Pacquiao could have beaten Mayweather, but that Pacquiao is long gone.

The Pacquiao of 2015 doesn't have the power or the hand-speed of that 2009 monster. In fact, it has been since 2009 when Manny knocked out his last opponent.

He wasn't going to hurt Mayweather. Out-boxing him was the only way he was going to beat him, and he couldn't do that in a million years.

Mayweather has caught a lot of grief for his performance in the fight. I won't go that far. If you've watched him throughout his career, you know that that's just his style. That's how he wins.

In the end, the whole objective is to be victorious--not to entertain the fans. With his lack of power, that's what he has to do to win.

Mayweather has only knocked out 26 fighters in 48 fights. He hasn't won a fight by KO in nearly six years. He simply doesn't have the power to hurt his opponents.

Therefore, he avoids brawls and slugfests. Instead, he wins with his defense and superior boxing ability. After all, he is the greatest defensive fighter of all time and his boxing skills are second to none.

But with that said, his trademark style eliminates him from any discussion of being the greatest of all time.

He is one of the greats. He's the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of this modern era, but he's not one of the top-10 fighters of all time.

You have to possess the total package to fall into that category, and he doesn't.

He has amazing hand-speed, defensive ability, stamina and boxing skill but that lack of power is a big knock against him.

Guys in his weight-class like Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler had that power that he does not have.

They had the ability to stand in the middle of the ring and throw bombs and actually hurt their opponents. They had the ability to attack and put their opponents on the ground when they smelled blood; Mayweather doesn't.

And when it comes to the heavyweights, Ali and Joe Louis were the same.

Playing cat and mouse, bobbing and weaving and so on might win you a lot of fights, but it doesn't make you the greatest.