It might have grossed US$11m at the gate but Saturday night’s mega welterweight fight in Las Vegas, USA between Floyd `Money’ Mayweather and `Sugar’ Shane Mosley failed to live up to its pre-fight billing.
According to fightnews website the fight attracted 15,117 persons at the MGM Grand Gardens Arena and CEO of Golden Boy Promo-tions, Richard Schaefer, also disclosed that 12,748 seats were sold at closed circuit locations at other venues and casinos in Las Vegas.
But that apart, Mosley/ Mayweather one fizzed.
While not exactly a dud, the fight, eagerly anticipated by boxing buffs, will just as easily be forgotten.
It will certainly not go down in the record books as one of the more epic battles to be fought in the ring.
Most of the action for the first Mosley/Mayweather bout took place out of the ring in the training camps and sparring sessions of both fighters and after Saturday night’s showing one doubts whether there will be a sequel.
Once inside the ring, the fight resembled a chess match with both fighters seeking to exploit the slightest opening.
There were a fair amount of gambits offered but not taken during the early exchanges but at the end of the bout it was Mayweather who had established himself as the grandmaster of boxing.
To be fair to Mayweather, he did his part completely taking away Mosley’s game plan.
When Mosley attempted to take the fight to Mayweather he was greeted by blistering counter punches that caused him to retreat and made him ultra cautious.
When he attempted to box and counter Mayweather’s punches he found out that the former pound-for-pound king had too much hand speed and ring savvy.
With Mosley unable to find a Plan `C’ the fight was as good as over after the third round.
What can be the reason for Mosley’s below par performance, one might ask?
The answer is not immediately known.
During the middle rounds of the fight it was noticeable that Mosley was reluctant to let his right hand go.
Perhaps Mosley had injured the hand when he landed two big right hands to Mayweather’s head in the second round, one of which made Mayweather’s knees buckle.
Another theory is that Mosley had overtrained for the bout.
Certainly after Mosley’s dismantling of Antonio Margarito in his previous bout, fight fans expected much more from Saturday night’s encounter.
Spectre of Manny Pacquiao looms
Mayweather’s performance Saturday night rather than cover him in glory, raised the spectre of a Manny Pacquiao/Mayweather clash once again.
The two fighters were expected to meet this year before plans were scuppered after the two sides failed to reach an agreement over drug and urine testing which paved the way for the Mosley/Mayweather clash.
Veteran Home Boxing Office (HBO) announcer Larry Merchant, who is certainly not one of Mayweather’s fans, asked the question at the post fight press conference.
A Mayweather/Pacquiao showdown is now required to answer the questions that Mosley failed to pose.
But such a fight which is expected to be very lucrative for both fighters, seems hardly likely to go on unless Pacquiao agrees to the stringent blood and urine tests which Mosley agreed to.
There are some who feel that Merchant was totally out of order in suggesting to Mayweather that he waive those tests in order for the fight to go ahead.
What they argue is that Merchant should be clamouring for Pacquiao to take the tests to make sure as Mayweather stated, that there is a level playing field and that both fighters are clean.
“I just want everyone to be on an even playing field.” If every athlete is clean in the sport of boxing, take the test. If Manny Pacquiao takes the blood and urine tests, we can fight. If he doesn’t, we won’t make the fight,” Mayweather told Merchant afterwards.
After Saturday’s display, Mayweather might have won over many of his skeptics (Merchant aside) who doubted that he still had what it takes to be the best.
It remains to be seen now whether Pacquiao will agree to the tests and whether the fight, if it eventually takes place, will live up to its billing or come close to being another chess match.