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Floyd Mayweather always figures out his opponents. Whether he manages to make the necessary adjustments to take over the fight is a matter of "when," not "if."
This time, it took him about six rounds.
For the first six rounds, the fight was an interesting contrast of Mayweather's clever jab and right hand and Pacquiao's eruptions on the ropes. Whenever they engaged in the middle of the ring, Mayweather's masterful distance control and counter-punching prowess left the FIlipino great unable to unload his patented offensive blitzkriegs.
When he did land, though, it made an impact. More than once, Manny landed a heavy left hand that forced Mayweather to cover up against the ropes, allowing Pacquiao to unload with heavy artillery.
By the eighth round, those moments of success seemed so very long ago.
Unlike in his first fight with Marcos Maidana, Mayweather (48-0, 26 KO) proved impossible to corral on the ropes, often cracking the aggressive Filipino as he pivoted to face him. Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO) found himself completely unable to get past the right hand and surprisingly-active jab of the undefeated champ.
Even as the Mayweather rounds piled up, Pacquiao either never tried or just wasn't able to close the distance and open up.
Pacquiao, though he had moments of greatness in the early rounds that left Mayweather flustered, just seemed cowed, something not even Juan Manuel Marquez had been able to do. Mayweather's movement prevented his signature exploitation of angles and his heavy blitzes were cut short by the oncoming jabs and right hands.
Mayweather took the unanimous decision with reasonable scores of 118-110 and two 116-112s. MMAmania.com scored the bout 116-112 for Mayweather, splitting the first six rounds and giving Pacquiao only the ninth round in the latter half of the round.
So, the "Fight of the Century" has come and gone. Where do we go from here?
I suppose we'll have to do a little more waiting before we know the answer.
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