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Mayweather Defeats Pacquaio; Both Earn Millions


The fight of the century is over, and Floyd Mayweather is the best boxer of his generation. At least, that's what he and his fans are saying after last night's victory, by unanimous decision, over Manny Pacquiao. With the Welterweight Championship win, Mayweather moved his perfect record in the ring to 48-and-0. But the fight's immediate aftermath made the outcome feel a little less than perfect. From Las Vegas, site of the big bout, NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: As great as boxing can be, here's the thing about the sport. What you see and hear isn't always what you see and hear. We're not saying last night was a fix. Indeed, Floyd Mayweather appeared to control the fight from the outset. Except for a few big Pacquiao shots and flurries, Mayweather punched and ducked and skittered away from danger enough to win the fight on all three judges' cards. The first inkling that what we saw wasn't, happened outside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Fans who had sacrificed their kids' or future kids' college tuitions to watch in person filed out, and a few started arguing. This was George Johnston from New York and Bill Murray from San Francisco.


GEORGE JOHNSTON: You can't tell me, somewhere in there, that you think that Pacquiao could have took Mayweather's title from what you just watched?

BILL MURRAY: No, no, I don't think that.

JOHNSTON: He never took his title.

MURRAY: I don't think it was a unanimous decision though.

GOLDMAN: Pacquiao went to step further than Mr. Murray and said afterwards, yeah, he thought he won and took that welterweight title from Mayweather. What exactly made him think he won, a reporter asked. I hurt him, Pacquiao answered, over a crackly sound system.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How many times do you think you really hurt him in the fight, how many?

MANNY PACQUIAO: Him? Like three to four times, and I...

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You think that was enough to win the fight?

PACQUIAO: Like what I said, I have the review to the DVD.

GOLDMAN: Before he left to review the DVD in his hotel, Pacquiao dropped a small bomb. His right shoulder had been injured pre-fight, and he hurt it again in the third round. It's why Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, said Pacquiao couldn't throw any right hooks and why he didn't attack consistently. Pacquiao said a couple of times he didn't want to use the injury as an alibi. This was Mayweather's reaction.


FLOYD MAYWEATHER: I had injuries also going into this fight. And if he would have come out victorious, the only thing I could have got up here and said, you know what, I've got to show respect and just say he was the better man if he beat me.

GOLDMAN: Starting to feel unsettled? There's more. Pacquiao reportedly asked for a painkilling shot before the fight but was denied by the Nevada Athletic Commission because Pacquiao had turned in a form saying he wasn't hurt. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said last night Pacquiao should have gotten the shot because in Arum's words, papers were filed five days ago asking for medication for the shoulder injury, and that the commission was well aware that Pacquiao was hurt. At the very end of the press conference, commission chairman Francisco Aguilar announced what Arum said wasn't true.


FRANCISCO AGUILAR: There was no file he made. The first time the commission received notice of the actual injury was today at about 6:30.

GOLDMAN: Of course, lost in this head-scratching stuff and non-alibi alibis was the moment of glory for Mayweather, who could earn close to $200 million for the fight. He talked about proving doubters wrong, doubters who said he'd been scared of fighting Pacquiao. He talked about retiring after one more fight in September. Tellingly, he spoke several times about how the fight was a job and how his love for boxing has diminished over the years. After last night, you kind of see his point. Tom Goldman, NPR News, Las Vegas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on