One dedicated website in America, Boxing News 24, sat its leading commentators down to monitor the video, first at actual speed, then in slow motion, finally frame by frame.
The task was prompted initially by astonishment at the official fight statistics, which among other anomalies proclaimed that Pacquiao had connected with less than 20 per cent of his total punches and only nine per cent of his jabs.
So they decided to tally every blow and in so doing came up with startling numbers which multiply long-standing doubts about the validity of the punch stats, as well as concerns about the verdict itself.
Mayweather, pictured watching the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, retained his unbeaten record after the judges delivered a unanimous verdict in favour of the American in his fight against Pacquiao
Only by bending over backwards to give Mayweather the benefit of one statistically equal round, by virtue of his higher work rate in those three minutes, and another in which he landed one less punch but would have got the hometown nod could he have achieved even so much as a draw.
Mark that second round 10-10 and the ninth 9-10 and Pacquiao would be their clear winner.
According to Boxing News 24, Mayweather threw 471 punches in comparison to Pacquiao’s 414
For what it’s worth, I caused something of a stir by scoring the fight a 115-115 draw from my privileged vantage point at ringside.
These were the final tallies of the three official judges, all in favour of Mayweather: Glenn Feldman 116-112. Burt Clements 116-112. Dave Moretti 118-110
These are the website tallies, calibrated round-by-round according to punches thrown, punches landed, the score for each round, with Mayweather’s stats first:
The conclusions here include:
1) The fight was far closer than the judges, especially Moretti, and most pundits perceived
2) Many rounds were exceptionally difficult if not too close to call.
3) The punch stats as counted in the heat of the night are profoundly suspect (one US commentator who had Pacquaio winning asked if they were compiled by ‘kids from the HBO and Showtime offices’ and was told ‘Yes.’)
4) Pacquiao’s claim that he had won the fight was reasonable, not outrageous as the in-ring interviewer implied.
5) If watching on television, maybe better to mute the sound commentary.
6) Mayweather is very wise to keep insisting on home-town advantage in Las Vegas, which benefits from the huge economic impact of his fights.