No single moment can capture the moral and spiritual rain cloud that hovered over the Floyd Mayweather–Manny Pacquiao fight. But let’s give it a shot. After Mayweather won Saturday night, in exactly the methodical, efficient way that Manny fans had feared, the arena was cleared. Then Floyd Mayweather Sr., the champ’s trainer, wandered in. He was looking for an audience.
“I just know my son should be treated better,” Floyd Sr. told a few reporters.
“I never got the kind of accolades that Freddie Roach is getting,” Floyd Sr. said. “Freddie Roach is a joke, blowing smoke, with no hope.”
Is Floyd Jr. simply too good? a reporter asked. “Maybe that’s the truth!” Floyd Sr. said, brightening. “Sometimes things be so good, people don’t appreciate it until it’s over and done.”Students of the Mayweather family will recognize this odd mix of strutting machismo and runaway martyr complex. Floyd Sr. rambled about the drug testing that delayed the fight for five years. “Tonight, everything was random,” he said. “Random piss, random everything.”
Floyd Sr. feigned that he didn’t remember Pacquiao’s big left in the fourth, one of the few memorable punches of the night. “Did my son’s knees buckle? … I didn’t see that.”
Would there be a rematch? “[Pacquiao] would never beat him, believe me. He don’t have this” (Floyd Sr. tapped a single finger on his forehead).
Boxers and their handlers aren’t obliged to come out after an event and write the odes for their opponents’ Hall of Fame plaques. We forfeit that expectation when we ask them to beat each other senseless for two hours. But Floyd Sr.’s monologue was so casually cruel, so inane — it was the random piss of post-fight interviews — that I began to remember just why the Fight of the Century made so many people so queasy from the start.
Has there ever been a once-in-a-lifetime sporting event that made everyone feel worse than Mayweather-Pacquiao? There were calls for a boycott because of Mayweather’s domestic abuse allegations and convictions. More calls for a boycott when press credentials were yanked away from Mayweather’s critics on the eve of the fight. If you accept the media story line that Floyd Jr. called “the guy versus the Devil” (Pacquiao the former, Mayweather the latter), the Devil won. Easily. We barely needed to look at the cards.
The exciting early rounds of the fight offered the possibility, however ridiculous, that it could be a vehicle for moral vengeance. The Devil might go down. But here was the Devil Sr. celebrating a blowout. And how would he describe Pacquiao’s performance tonight?
“Terrible,” Floyd Sr. said.