Why the fight was not even close | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Why the fight was not even close

A major principle in the rule book for international boxing judges states that the scoring of drawn (even) rounds should be discouraged. If both protaganists failed to engage and land punches, the man who made the better defensive maneuvers, who displayed commendable ring generalship should be given the (blank) round.

This was stressed by the late Dr. Jose Sulaiman when he presided over as president of the World Boxing Council in an international boxing convention in Bangkok, Thailand in 1993.

This item would be explained in detail by the late lawyer Rodrigo Salud, founding WBC secretary-general, who wrote the council’s constitution and by-laws and crafted its rules and regulations.

Veteran international referee Bruce McTavish yesterday confirmed that this rule is still very much in effect in world boxing.

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At first glance, this rule would sound limp, or self-defeating as it could tend to encourage cheap evasiveness inside the ring.

On closer look though, the rule should more significantly help develop sharper ring craft and science, if not totally deviate from useless savagery.

Anyway, this item in the world boxing rule book is being revisited here in order to help enlighten people who continued to wonder how Floyd Mayweather Jr. could’ve won over Manny Pacquiao when all the flamboyant American world welterweight boxing king did was run, run, and run.

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Majority of Filipino fans were perplexed after Mayweather, the better all-around warrior, was declared winner by unanimous decision. This disbelief would be aggravated and there would be hissing protests after Pacquiao, the loser, claimed on top of the ring that he thought he had won.

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This reporter had to explain to puzzled neighbors, who were able to watch the fight free on wide-screen television courtesy of Brgy. Vergara (Mandaluyong) captain Topet Mendiola, that the bout was decided on the clear number of punches scored, all-around sharpness, and floor control.

Pacquiao, intense and grim, did appear very heroic and was always on a fierce chase.

Mayweather, on the other hand, proved wholly superior in craft and overall competence, mainly in defense.

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In the opening round alone, Mayweather, whom Pacquiao had initially thought would run or avoid confrontation, dropped a bomb by taking on his foe at mid ring, landing at least three clear shots, to take the first. Mayweather, who would dominate the next two rounds, was cornered and tagged with a killer left in the fourth round. He was able to take cover and cower his way out. This would be the only instance when he had to scamper stiff, awkwardly.

Mayweather, who would also lose the seventh round, did battle, and prevailed through tested classy defense, sliding out of harm’s way by the skin of his teeth, an unaccommodating stand which Pacquiao fans found shallow and boring.

There, of course, was not a single moment when he was observed to have run away, or turn his back on his opponent. While he would not always score big, he quietly piled points with nifty counterpunching, at the same time making the over-eager Pacquiao paw and punish the air repeatedly.

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It was not an exciting way to win, but the fight failed to live up to expectations because the other side, who came raring to do a power grab, also did not have ample sharp ammunition.

The official computerized count of thrown and landed punches showed Mayweather as the clear unanimous winner.

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Maybe Pacquiao would realize later it was not even close, the reason he recapitulated and admitted he had lost to the better boxer.

TAGS: Boxing, pacquiao vs mayweather column, Sports

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