LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. was money once again in the richest fight ever.
Mayweather used his reach and his jab Saturday night to frustrate Manny Pacquiao, piling up enough points to win a unanimous decision in their welterweight title bout. Mayweather remained unbeaten in 48 fights with a win that cemented his legacy as the best of his generation.
Pacquiao did what he wanted to do, chasing Mayweather around the ring most of the fight. But he was never able to land a sustained volume of punches, often looking frustrated as Mayweather worked his defensive wizardry once again.
Two ringside judges scored the fight 116-112, while the third had it 118-110. The Associated Press had Mayweather ahead 115-113.
“I’m a calculated fighter, he is a tough competitor,” Mayweather said. “My dad wanted me to do more but Pacquiao is an awkward fighter.”
The richest fight in boxing history — a bout that made Mayweather at least $180 million — wasn’t the best. Far from it, with long periods where both fighters fought cautiously, looking for an edge.
There were no knockdowns, and neither fighter seemed terribly hurt at any time. Pacquiao landed probably the biggest punch in the fight in the fourth round — a left hand that sent Mayweather into the ropes — but he wasn’t able to consistently land against the elusive champion.
The fight was a chess match, with Mayweather using his jab to keep Pacquiao away most of the fight. Pacquiao tried to force the action, but Mayweather was often out of his reach by the time he found his way inside.
“I thought I won the fight, he didn’t do anything,” Pacquiao said. “I got him many times with a lot of punches.”
A sellout crowd at the MGM Grand arena roared every time Pacquaio threw a punch, but a good percentage of what he threw never landed. Mayweather often came back with straight right hands, then moved away before Pacquiao could respond.
Ringside punch stats showed Mayweather landing 148 punches of 435, while Pacquiao landed 81 of 429. The volume of punches for Pacquiao was a lot lower than the 600-700 he usually throws in a fight as he tried to measure his aggression against an opponent who was hard to trap.