Times staffers covered and scored the "Fight of the Century" in Las Vegas on Saturday. Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision.What we know:
Mayweather prevails to stay unbeaten
By David Wharton and Lance Pugmire
It was a night when the science part of the sweet science prevailed.
Quickness and smarts. Movement and accuracy.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. employed all of his trademark boxing skills to outfox a determined but ultimately frustrated Manny Pacquiao, winning the so-called “Fight of the Century” at the MGM Grand on Saturday.
The welterweight championship went a full 12 rounds, with the judges agreeing on a unanimous decision.
“I knew he was going to push me,” Mayweather said. “I was a smart fighter. I out-boxed him.”
The victory earned Mayweather three championships belts, unifying the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Assn. and World Boxing Organization welterweight titles. His record goes to 48-0 and Pacquiao is 57-6-2.
If there was any doubt about the significance of the evening, referee Kenny Bayless told the boxers beforehand: “This is a fight that the world has been waiting for.”
It took years of on-again, off-again negotiations to bring together two men recognized as the greatest fighters of their generation.
Mayweather knew what to expect from this fight, saying that previous opponents had tried “to come forward and throw a lot of punches.”
“If that's the game plan,” he said of Pacquiao, “we'll have to see how it breaks down.”
Many of Pacquiao's combinations missed the mark throughout the early rounds as Mayweather stayed on the move, keeping out of range or clinching when his opponent drew too close.
A solid left counter-punch brought Pacquiao to life midway through the fourth round. Mayweather backed to the ropes and covered up. It was hard to tell whether he was hurt, but the exchange certainly gave Pacquiao confidence.
But the fifth round brought a return to form as Mayweather moved, ducked, threw select punches and stayed away from any serious threat.
“He's moving around,” Pacquiao said. “It's not easy to throw a lot of punches.”
As a boxer who goes by the nickname “Money,” Mayweather came into this fight looking past his legacy, focusing instead on the tens of millions of dollars he would earn for himself and his family, saying his daughter can't “eat no record.”
By contrast, Pacquiao had stayed true to his reputation as a good guy, smiling his way through much of the last week, thinking about the people in the arena and a global pay-per-view audience.
“This is a great responsibility for me,” he told a sold-out crowd at the weigh-in. “Whether you're a fan of Mayweather or a fan of Manny Pacquiao, you deserve to have a good fight.”
The action settled into a familiar pattern by the middle rounds. While Mayweather succeeded with a defensive brand of boxing, Pacquiao found success in short bursts, driving his rival back with strong left hands, rousing the crowd to cheers.
“I got him many times,” he said. “I thought I won the fight.”
But whenever Pacquiao seemed to be gaining an edge, Mayweather would spin away, delivering a quick, scoring blow on his way out.
The sheer volume of punches that Pacquiao needed to win? It never materialized.
As the seconds ticked down, Mayweather danced in circles, waving his fist in the air.
“When the history books are written,” he said, “it was worth the wait.”
12 rounds are scheduled. Times judges will be rating each contender's performance following each round.
Judge 1: Lance Pugmire
Judge 2: John Cherwa
Judge 3: Mike James
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has defeated Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision to unify the welterweight titles.
Judges scoring: Dave Moretti, 118-110; Glenn Feldman, 116-112; Burt Clements 116-112
Mayweather threw lefts and jabs, avoiding Pacquiao's efforts to come forward, backing and sliding away, even laughing at times. A good Pacquiao left to the body likely wasn't enough. Mayweather holds up his right glove in the final seconds.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9; Mayweather wins fight (unofficially), 115-113
Pacquiao seeks action and forces it with a hard left to Mayweather's chest and a scoring left. Mayweather is backing away, might be thinking he has decision in bag. Mayweather and Pacquiao exchange rights. Pacquiao lands a right, taps his gloves together for Mayweather to bring it and Mayweather lands a jab and taps his gloves back.
Pacquiao wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 105-104
Mayweather lands a right. Pacquiao looks bruised under his left eye. A Mayweather right lands clean. Pacquiao looks frustrated in this round, like he can't dictate the action. Two good Mayweather jabs sting Pacquiao, who is slowed again.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 96-94
The action slows a bit. They exchange lefts separated by several seconds. Pacquiao goes to the body, Mayweather holds again. Mayweather lands a big right to the face. Then, late, Mayweather does it again.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 86-85
Mayweather tried to use his superior boxing skill to rule this round. He took one good right-left combination form Pacquiao, though, and Mayweather's jab wasn't enough to outscore Pacquiao's work. Even though Pacquiao missed some punches, he was working more.
Pacquiao wins round, 10-9; Fight is even, 76-76
Another narrow round. Mayweather did the better work early, letting his hands go as his dad has implored. He jabbed well. But Pacquiao rallied with a good left. And then adds another. Then he follows with a left jab.
Pacquiao wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 67-66
That was exactly what Pacquiao needs to do. He delivered an early combination, landed a hard left and subjected Mayweather to flurries to the body. Mayweather nods again that he's not hurt, but he lost that round.
Pacquiao wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 58-56
A classic Mayweather round -- just enough to win, with limited action. He missed an early right shot angled down at Pacquiao, but then made Pacquiao retreat, or slide away, with a hard right to the face. Mayweather held twice to burn off seconds. He was tentative, but Pacquiao couldn't find him.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 49-46
After some even rounds, Pacquiao dominated this one. He backed up Mayweather with a big left and hammered him against the ropes with body shots. Mayweather tried to nod that it didn't hurt but he was not aggressive as he reeled. Two big short rights from creative angles punctuated the winning round for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 39-37
Mayweather hit Pacquiao low with a right. Pacquiao tries a flurry. Mayweather misses a right, but then lands one to the face. Pacquiao holds and they exchange late.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 30-27.
Mayweather clips Pacquiao in the head with a right. Pacquiao wants to increase pressure, charges in, punching on the way. Minimal damage is done. Mayweather lands a left to the body, Manny answers to head. Right by Mayweather sneaks in. Pacquiao left and Mayweather right. Pacquiao pressures again. Close round.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9; Mayweather leads fight, 20-18.
Incredibly, after all this time, lined up in opposing corners, the pair slowly come together. Mayweather darts in a right and lands some jabs. Pacquiao goes soft to the body with a left. Good right by Mayweather. More jabs peppered in. A good Mayweather left.
Mayweather wins round, 10-9.
Mayweather, Pacquiao enter the ring
Manny Pacquiao, after taking a selfie with trainer Freddie Roach, entered the arena to a song he sang himself, “I Will Fight for the Philippines,” and was the clear crowd favorite, smiling throughout his ring walk.
A more stoic Floyd Mayweather, with black and gold-edged clothing, was accompanied by Justin Bieber into the ring.
Playing of the anthems
It appears the welterweight title unification fight between unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will begin around 9 o'clock.
An HBO spokesman confirmed the start of the fight is being delayed so that cable systems can process pay-per-view orders.
The national anthems of the Philippines and the U.S.A. have been played at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jamie Foxx sang the American anthem.
The fighters, first Pacquiao and then Mayweather, will enter the ring at some point after the anthems.
Fight reportedly delayed by ordering problems
Nationwide cable issues with the pay-per-view ordering system have caused a delay to the start of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, according to multiple reports.
It appears the bout will start around 9 p.m., although there is no official word on a start time.
A statement from Time Warner Cable read: “We’re working on an issue affecting a small number of customers from ordering the fight successfully and are doing everything we can to resolve it as soon as possible.”
Leo Santa Cruz win by unanimous decision
Leo Santa Cruz has defeated Jose Cayetano by unanimous decision in a 10-round featherweight fight to clear the way for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to take the ring.
The fighter from La Habra dominated his opponent from Tijuana, winning on all the judges' scorecards, 100-90.
It appears the Mayweather-Pacquiao welterweight title unification bout will take place closer to 9 p.m. than 8:30.
Getting ready for Mayweather-Pacquiao fight
Boxing's dream fight, the one that seemed impossibly deadlocked and near death on several occasions, will become reality in a few hours.
Unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. of Las Vegas and record eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, considered the top two pound-for-pound boxers in the world, are scheduled to each step into the MGM Grand Garden Arena ring sometime after 8 p.m. Pacific time.
The Times will have full round-by-round coverage of the anticipated showdown here at latimes.com/sports, with scoring from three Times staff members, including boxing reporter Lance Pugmire, who's ringside.
After years of failed negotiations dating to late 2009, the 38-year-old Mayweather (47-0, 26 knockouts) and 36-year-old Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) are set to settle a long-running debate of whether the fast-moving, defensive-oriented Mayweather can handle the offensive attack of frequent-punching Pacquiao.
MGM Resorts reported betting Saturday on Mayweather moved him up slightly as a minus-210 favorite (meaning bettors needed to lay $210 to win $100).
The bout drew swarms of visitors, swelling the host hotel's walkways and sports book, while premium cable networks Showtime and HBO anticipate a record number of pay-per-view buys at or beyond three million at $100 apiece.
Inside the 16,800-seat arena, celebrities including Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Sting, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are expected in a venue where ringside face-value tickkets were priced at $10,000 and secondary market tickets have been bought in excess of $40,000.
“This is the fight you will tell your kids and their kids about,” an announcer bellowed to the early arriving crowd.
Mayweather, who's said he'll retire after his final Showtime bout in September, is seeking to match late heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano's legendary 49-0 record at retirement.
Trained by his father, Floyd Sr., the fighter is expected to lean on the fundamentals of elusiveness and precise punching that that have defined his career.
Pacquiao dedicated eight weeks of training in Hollywood under seven-time trainer of the year Freddie Roach.
The trainer's extensive study of Mayweather -- Roach trained Oscar De La Hoya to a split-decision loss against him in 2007 -- led Roach to make Pacquiao further develop the power in his left hand to compound Mayweather's discomfort with southpaws.
Both fighters are conditioning dynamos. How they'll hold up if the bout goes into the latest rounds, as expected by the oddsmakers, is something to watch.
Pacquiao wants to fatigue Mayweather by hurting him. Mayweather wants to tire Pacquiao by causing him to punch and miss and get hit by counterpunches and well-timed blows.
One of the plans, and one of the fighters, will prove superior. Unless there's a draw, which no one wants to see except the gamblers who've invested deeply in that possibility.
In : #HOODKNEWGLOBAL
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