Greg Cote

Greg Cote: Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was sad end to Super Saturday

Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, hugs Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, after their welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., right, hugs Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, after their welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. AP

Nobody got hurt.

This is a good thing in almost all other aspects of life, but this is not a good thing in a championship boxing match.

Pain should be de rigueur. A fight without pain is an auto race without speed. “Nobody got hurt” is a letdown, a damnation, not to mention almost unheard of. No bloody lips, altered noses or eyes puffed almost shut. Nobody staggered or knocked to the canvas in stunned surprise. Not a single punch landing so squarely, with such ferocity, that the crowd gasps as one.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao was just about the worst thing a prizefight can be:


What should have been electrifying was closer to stultifying. What might have been worth the wait after five years of anticipation was a waste of money and time. What could have left us clamoring hungrily for a rematch instead leaves us thinking, “Um, once was enough, thanks.”

Some sought the highest moral ground and “boycotted” this welterweight fight because of Mayweather’s lightly punished history of violence against women. Others, for that very reason, watched hoping to see the unbeaten Mayweather finally lose.

Instead the villain won a unanimous decision after 12 uneventful rounds characterized by Mayweather’s defensive, play-not-to-lose style. He is a technician who fights efficiently. He’s Tim Duncan. He’s Pete Sampras. Watching Mayweather fight is like watching an accountant prepare your taxes.

Speaking of taxes, Mayweather made an estimated $180 million on the fight, an obscenity about a thousand miles beyond ridiculous.

Mayweather now claims he has only one fight left in him. That’s highly doubtful, given the history of boxers and all the millions the man nicknamed “Money” would be leaving on the table. But if it’s so and it is time to judge Mayweather’s legacy, then this fight did him no favors.

A 48-0 record gets him into any conversation about greatest fighters ever, but his style and lack of punching power disqualifies him from the top tier, by my eyes. Mayweather is far more interesting outside the ring than in it.

The battered but resilient sweet science of boxing awaits its next savior, whomever that might be, because Mayweather at 38 and Pacquiao at 36 have just about stepped into yesterday — another reason the fight that ended past midnight into Sunday morning was anticlimactic and unsatisfying. Mayweather’s monotonous style, Pacquiao’s shoulder apparently not being just right and both men being past prime all contributed.

So much else on the menu for sports’ Super Saturday lived up to expectations.

The Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs delivered an NBA playoffs Game 7 that was epic.

American Pharaoh’s late charge made for a classic Kentucky Derby.

The NFL Draft, hockey playoffs and Yankees-Red Sox all were raging.

Mayweather-Pacquaio could have capped the day with a Fight for the Ages.

Instead it was just two aging guys fighting, and nobody got hurt except anyone who wasted 100 bucks to watch them.