After 12 high-intensity and often tactically cautious rounds, the judges scorecards at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas read 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 in favor of Mayweather.
And while Vegas is a town not unfamiliar with a controversial points decision, there could be little disputing the outcome of this showdown for the WBA, WBC and WBO welterweight titles.
For some, it was the fight that almost never happened as high demand meant some pay-per-view viewers in the U.S. experienced disruptions to their service.
Yet after a short delay to proceedings to enable broadcast problems to be ironed out, “MayPac” was finally on.
‘Fight of the Century’
The sense of anticipation as both men entered the ring was all the $300 million purse and their indisputable reputations promised.
Yet for all his talk of being better than Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, there was something different about Mayweather before this fight.
His usual trash talk and brash outspokenness was noticeably absent. Some said it was uncharacteristic nerves, others extreme focus on his biggest ever challenge. Some even wondered whether Mayweather was displaying a new-found maturity.
At the ripe old age of 38, could that really be?
Ready to rumble
The way the fight began Saturday, it looked like those predicting a supremely focused Mayweather were correct.
The 10-time world champion sought to establish his dominance early, using his jab to keep the powerful Pacquiao at a distance while landing with two large right hands early on.
By the eighth, the fight had become a chess match. Mayweather moved and picked his opponent off with the jab. Pacquiao was only landing with 18% of his punches, far fewer than his usual average of 34%. “I was a smart fighter, I out-boxed him,” said Mayweather.