Floyd Mayweather scored the richest single payday any athlete of any sport has made when he beat Manny Pacquiao in the world welterweight boxing championship bout in Vegas late Saturday.
Mayweather, who extended his undefeated streak to 48 matches as a professional, showed media afterward a US$100 million check but wouldn’t allow pictures of it, AP reported.
It was just a down payment on his night’s takings, which could total more than US$200 million by the time pay-per-view sales are tallied up.
Mayweather beat Pacquiao on points in a unanimous decision by the judges to cement his legacy as the best of his generation, even if he didn’t win any new fans doing it.
In fact, loud boos filled the arena and drowned out the champ’s post-match speech.
Mayweather says he’ll fight once more in September, to finish his contract with US cable TV network Showtime, then hang up the gloves.
But it’s hard to imagine Mayweather fighting for a paltry US$30 million or US$40 million after the record amounts of money Saturday’s long-awaited fight brought in.
Before a well-heeled crowd of 16,507 that cheered every time Pacquiao threw a punch, Mayweather dominated once again with a defensive mix that relied heavily on clinches (for which he was warned by the referee) and leading his opponent on a not-so-merry chase to pull out a win that seemed closer in the ring than it did on the scorecards.
Pacquiao even said he thought he’d won, though the statistics showed Mayweather landing far more punches and even throwing more than the usually frenetic Filipino, who seemed to be willing to take fewer risks than in past fights.
Pacman later blamed a shoulder injury suffered in training last month for not being able to throw more right hands.
His handlers blamed Nevada boxing officials for not allowing him a shot to numb the shoulder just before the fight, though the excuse rang hollow, the report said.
“I cannot use a lot of my right hand, but the fight was still good,” Pacquiao said.
“What we wanted to do we couldn’t do because of my shoulder. But he’s fast, he’s a good boxer. Give the credit to him. He won tonight.”
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said his fighter would like a rematch, but there is little chance of that.
Not with Pacquiao’s shoulder injury, and certainly not after the financial stars lined up so perfectly for this once-in-a-generation fight.
The Filipino congressman likely made US$100 million himself for the fight, which packed the MGM Grand arena with celebrities, sports stars and people paying as much as US$40,000 for ringside seats.
But while Pacquiao was the crowd favorite for his fighting spirit, Mayweather showed his credentials as a masterful boxer with the ability to mount an all-round defense and lie in wait for an opportunity to deliver a textbook punch when his opponent displayed any vulnerability.
“I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough,” Pacquiao said.
“I fought a good fight.”
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