Boxing fans had waited more than five years to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao face off in the ring; what was another 45 minutes?
So, while the nation's biggest cable and satellite providers buckled beneath the weight of massive pay-per-view buys, we all sat around and screamed at our televisions – or, if you lived in parts of New York, Los Angeles or Dallas, some poor, overworked customer service rep. And then, eventually, the so-called "Fight of the Century" finally began, and after 12 rounds of feints and holds and occasionally scintillating boxing, betting frontrunner Mayweather defeated sentimental favorite Pacquiao by unanimous decision.
The judges at ringside scored it 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 for the man known as "Money", who improved to 48-0 with the win, unifying the world welterweight championship – and cementing his legacy as the best pound-for-found fighter of this generation – in the process.
Mayweather outboxed, out-maneuvered and just plain out-punched Pacquiao during the fight, landing almost twice as many blows as the Fighting Pride of the Philippines. Pacquiao certainly had moments throughout – particularly in the fourth round, when he landed a left square on Mayweather's jaw – but Floyd controlled the fight, jabbing, countering and covering up. It wasn't until after the final bell had sounded that he lost a bit of his cool, jawing with several groups of Pac fans in the audience.
Before the fight, the celeb-packed crowd inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena buzzed with anticipation, and fans in the (relatively) cheap seats cheered loudly for Pacquiao, who entered first – accompanied by Jimmy Kimmel. Not to be outdone, Mayweather then strode to the ring backed by Justin Bieber and the actual Burger King.
Not surprisingly, after the pomp and punching, Pacquiao claimed he should have won, while Mayweather said he would retire following his next bout. He has yet to announce his opponent, though the stage is certainly set for a rematch.
And, if these two men do meet again, hopefully the likes of Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Comcast, Dish, Optimum (and all the rest) will have their shit together. Fans in dozens of cities around the U.S. reported service outages or connection problems, meaning they were unable to watch a fight they had paid between $90-$100 for. Understandably, that made for an interesting night on Twitter, and frustrated subscribers turned sites like Twitch and video-streaming apps like Periscope into impromptu viewing parties.
During the service outages, Time Warner Cable tweeted it was "working to resolve any issues related to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight," and Charter Communications told fans it was "experienc[ing] issues impacting TV service." A spokesperson for DirecTV told ESPN that "heavy PPV volume" caused some outages and ordering issues. Whether or not providers ever actually fixed those issues isn't clear – and it's not known how they'll compensate subscribers who missed the bout entirely.
But, hey, at least John Legend got to watch:
@johnlegend My apologies Mr. Legend, I can certainly look into this for you. Can you please DM me your account info? ^FG— TWC Help (@TWC_Help) May 3, 2015