Review: Mayweather v Pacquiao

Seriously, you know you’ve been in Vegas for four days when you’re dying to eat a vegetable the second you get home.

The “Fight of the Century” has come and gone, and contrary to popular belief (or much to the dismay of some, depending on what side of the fence you’re on) boxing is, in fact, not dead. Rather, it’s been revitalized with new interest, even if that interest was purely in a superfight that failed to live up to it’s hype.  And no matter your opinion on the actual fight itself (or the personal lives of the pugilists), you have to admit that it’s fun to get this wrapped up in something bigger than all of us; it makes the days exciting and (sometimes) the letdown afterward that much harder. But it also reminds us how much fun it can be to live in a moment, if even only for a little while. Enough with this sentimental stuff, though….

I WAS IN VEGAS, Y’ALL!!!

Not being a baller and all, I couldn’t afford tickets to the actual fight itself, but I was lucky enough to be able to attend the weigh in and an amazing closed circuit watch party (which turned out to be VIP for the price of a regular ticket, thanks to a mix up) and had the absolute time of my life.

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My wristband to get into the party. It was sparkly, and it guaranteed free drinks, so this     girl was happy. 

Surprisingly, I learned a lot while in Vegas. I learned that I’m terrible at Black Jack or Roulette, but awesome at War. I learned that when you’re in Vegas, Carl Froch can be innocently walking behind you for quite some time at the Grand and you won’t even realize it until someone yells his name. (I also learned that my fangirl tendencies aren’t limited to titles on this blog-sometimes I inadvertantly also yell “AAAAHHHH!!!!” after taking a picture with a famous boxer while running back to my husband. I like to play it cool.) And finally (possibly most important) I learned how crucial it is to carry a bag large enough to hold a pair of flip flops if you’re going all out on fight night. (You’re welcome, ladies. And men. I don’t judge.)

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These were the bane of my existence after about three hours

I could go on and on about how incredible Vegas is, but I know that ain’t what y’all came here for. On to the review!

Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Gamalier Rodriguez

This fight confirmed what most of us already thought would happen: simply put, that Rodriguez got his ass handed to him by Lomachenko in a bad, bad way. Although not unwilling to engage (mostly low blows, however), Rodriguez was just no match for the Olympian. After several calls for illegal hits (one of those being Lomachenko’s retaliation low blow), Rodriguez took two knees, with the final being in the ninth round where he stayed for the 10 count, ending in a KO for Lomachenko.  At first glance, I thought that Rodriguez was just giving up, but after watching a couple of replays, it was easy to see that he was shaken and pretty hurt.

Despite this being a wholly one-sided fight, I was really impressed with Lomachenko’s performance (and his first name-if I ever have a kid {so, never} it’s name will be Vasyl. Boy or girl, I don’t care.) He’s still pretty early on in his career, and I’m really excited to see what the future will hold for him. I’m expecting greatness from this one, but I’m also horrible with my predictions so it can’t be held against me if I’m wrong.

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Jose Cayetano

Before I start in with this, I need y’all to know that I’m quite possibly (especially after this performance), the last remaining LSC fan in the greater United States. (Aside from any family or womens that LSC may have here, but that should go without saying.) And my well thought out, purely based on performance and style reasoning for liking LSC so much is this: he seems like a funny guy who enjoys his job and he wore a big cowboy hat after he fought here in San Antonio. Boom.

However; his performance on Saturday night was not his best, and I was actually very, very impressed with the heart and determination showcased by Cayetano in this fight.  Cayetano was a late addition to the fight and wasn’t officially made an opponent until the end of April, giving him little time to prepare for a bout of this magnitude, especially since he still works two day jobs. (Again, LOTS of heart. I can’t even be bothered to go to the gym after working one job.) He was also coming off of a record of two previous losses in 10 round fights, so not the best setup, either. This had all the makings of a stepping stone fight that I daresay wasn’t as easy for LSC as we all thought it would have been. (In terms of going the distance, I mean.)

The fight went all 10 rounds and ended in a Unanimous Decision for LSC, but it was a fun 10 rounder to watch, IMO.  As previously mentioned, Cayetano absolutely refused to quit, was moving around the ring well, and was a good little counterpuncher, too, at least for the first few rounds. LSC pretty much had him figured out by mid-fight.  He also seemed to handle LSC’s blows (huh, huh) with relative ease.  But in the end, LSC dominated the kid, although I’m not too sure what this says about him. It was an easy fight for LSC, as was the original intent (I’m sure), and I’d like to see better from him in the future.

But this is one of my favorite things about boxing. For all intents and purposes, they plucked a boxer out of nothingness, gave him a HUGE opportunity, and he made it worth his while. True, he didn’t show us absolute greatness or looming strength, but he went the distance and persisted during a fight billed to be the greatest of our time (well, my time anyway. Not sure how old the rest of y’all are 🙂 ), which had to have been an incredibly daunting task. Had this not happened, I’d know nothing of Cayetano, and now I’m looking forward to his next fight, whenever that may be. (Could be quite a while before he ends up on TV again, though, but still.)

Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Seriously y’all, never in a million years did I think that I would be typing that (unless it ended with the phrase, “will never happen”), so just the fact that it occurred at all still has me amped, regardless of how one feels about the actual match. By this time, I’m relatively certain that most of the world knows how this fight ended, but if for some reason you haven’t yet heard (or you don’t want spoilers) stop reading now. (But come back later, I need the “Views” on my stat count).

Also (disclaimer), I’m neither a Pactard nor a Flomo and thoroughly enjoy both fighters, so this will be an unbiased account of this fight (even though I’m sure that some of you will disagree. Kisses.)

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And for the Pac “Truthers,” here’s proof of the aforementioned statement. Yes, I bet with my heart and not my brain. My big baller $20 bet on Pac getting the KO over Mayweather.

Y’all, Floyd put on a boxing clinic on Saturday night, and it was both parts amazing and crushing all at once. To see a boxer adapt to another fighter’s style so quickly and easily is truly the mark of greatness. This statement will not be backed by popular opinion (hell, this whole review probaby won’t), but Manny truly did give it his all, and he just couldn’t make it happen. It’s a tired cliche, but the greats make it look easy, and I think that Manny realized this after a few rounds with Floyd.

And as for the hotly contested “Floyd Ran, Floyd Hugged” debate, those of you who are saying that don’t know boxing. Period. Floyd threw and landed more punches than Manny, and more clinching went on during the Klitschko fight a couple of weeks ago (and really, every other recent Klitschko fight in recent years) than during this one. As for the running argument, Manny knew well in advance (assuming that he watched tape from Floyd’s last fights, which I would imagine that he did) that it would be VERY advantageous to him to cut off the ring in order to ensure that Floyd would have to go toe to toe with him (which was really the only way that he could win the fight in the first place) and he failed to do so.

This was Manny’s loss, fair and square. I hate to say it, because I truly do like the guy and enjoy his performances, but he simply was not the better boxer this time around. This had nothing to do with the ref or the judges, and everything to do with Manny being one-dimensional in this fight and not having a Plan B, something that would have been expected of an elite pugilist going into what was the biggest fight of his life.

Annnnnddd…on to “Shoulder Gate.” Of course, instead of just being able to say “I lost,” we get a story about Manny having a torn rotator cuff, which seems to be true the more it plays out. All fine and good, and I hope that Manny is able to heal well and continue to impress us after his surgery.

BUT

Why did this go completely unmentioned until after the fight was said and done? Yes, had Manny’s shoulder been unharmed, this could have impacted the fight in a way. However; there were plenty of opportunities for him to announce this injury, and it wasn’t even mentioned on the pre-fight questionnaire, a document that explicitly asks if the boxer currently has a shoulder injury. Also, according to Bleacher Report, the shoulder injury was the catalyst for impairing Manny to the extent that he was unable to spar for WEEKS leading up to the fight. Weeks, people. (And I ain’t talking Tony.)

I completely understand the hesitance to call off a super-giant-megafight that was a huge pain in the butt to negotiate in the first place, (not to mention the on/off relationship of this fight to begin with) but really? If a boxer can’t throw punches because of a torn rotator cuff, what else is there to do?  (I mean, I would have been pissed and all, but still.)

And then? This:

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Via a text to Stephen Smith, no less. That’s how I want to negotiate big deals. And is he just fighting the shoulder, or all of Manny?  Because truly, it’s really only the shoulder that deserves a second chance. 

The circus starts all over again. Although probably not for as much money next time around. If this even happens, after all. It could take another six years.

In closing, for those of you who wanted an all out war (which, save an outstanding performance by Manny was never going to happen anyway), “Meet Mago.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/sports/meet-mago-former-heavyweight.html?_r=0

An outstanding NY Times article on Magomed Abdusalamov, a former heavyweight

These are the consequences of the brawls that the causal fans and the knockout salivaters seek. You can also look to Muhammed Ali and Freddie Roach for concrete examples of long-term boxing related injuries. As much as you may hate to admit it, boxing is just as much a sport of hitting and not being hit as it is anything else. The sweet science is the art of boxing, and what makes it equally as fun to watch as an all out brawl.

Long rant over. Be on the lookout for Canelo v Kirkland this Saturday, y’all, which should be a lot of fun. Also, HBO will be replaying the May v Pac fight prior to the broadcast of the Canelo fight, for anyone who would like a second view.

Stay safe, peeps. And thanks for hanging in there during the rant 🙂

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