The last time people were this geared up for a boxing match was Floyd Mayweather’s bout against Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015.
Like Mayweather’s fight against Conor McGregor, it wasn’t a matchup that excited boxing purists very much. Both fighters were long regarded as two of the best in the world and observers had been clamoring to see them get in the ring together, but by the time they did Mayweather was 38 and Pacquiao was 36. They may have been past their prime but the fight was still a massive success for promoters, pulling in $410 million in pay-per-view buys.
The fight ended up going the distance—12 rounds—and Mayweather was declared the winner by unanimous decision. Mayweather spent much of the fight ducking, dodging and blocking Pacquiao’s punches. Though it pleased the judges, Mayweather’s defensive strategy left many viewers disappointed.
Mayweather “counterpunched, avoided trouble and landed crisp, clean shots” but “made no new fans in the process,” SI.com’s Chris Mannix wrote at the time.
The victory extended Mayweather’s unbeaten record to 48–0. He fought Andre Berto four months later, winning in 12 rounds by unanimous decision, and announced his retirement.