Mayweather outpoints Pacquiao, stays unbeaten

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, celebrates during his welterweight title fight against Manny Pacquiao, from the Philippines, on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. AP/John Locher

LAS VEGAS (UPDATED) - Floyd Mayweather Jr. overcame a spirited challenge from Manny Pacquiao to keep his promise to stay unbeaten with a unanimous decision win before a heavily pro-Pacquiao crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here Saturday (Sunday Manila time).

After getting rocked in the fourth round by a big left straight from Pacquiao - perhaps the best round by any Mayweather opponent - Mayweather kept his composure and relied on his jab and counters to keep the Filipino icon at bay.

Judge Dave Moretti scored the bout 118-110 for Mayweather while Burt Clements and Glenn Feldman had it 116-112 (twice) for the American, who remains undefeated and is now the unified WBC, WBA and WBO welterweight champion.

Philstar.com had it 115-112 for the Las Vegas-based Mayweather, who pocketed his 48th straight win - probably the most important of his career and in a fight that will inevitably go down as the richest ever.

More importantly, Mayweather settled the debate on who's the planet's best fighter. After getting forced to the ropes several times by Pacquiao, he always found a way to get out. He often clinched each time Pacquiao had him cornered, eliciting jeers from most of the 16,507-strong crowd that filled the arena.

"As long as I moved on the outside, he wasn't going to catch me," Mayweather said in an interview in the ring.

REVIEW: Blow-by-blow account of Mayweather vs Pacquiao

According to CompuBox, Mayweather threw a total of 435 punches, connecting on 148 of those for a 35 percent connect rate. Pacquiao, meanwhile, threw 429 but landed only 81 of them (19 percent).

Pacquiao kept coming to Mayweather all night, pummeling his foe each time he had him on the ropes. But the blows hardly had any impact apart from drawing cheers from the highly partisan crowd.

"I thought I won the fight," a calm Pacquiao said.

If there was any consolation for Pacquiao, it's earning Mayweather's respect.

"Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. Now I see why he has been successful in the sport," said Mayweather, who then recalled the big counter left straight he absorbed from Pacquiao in the fourth canto.

 "He's a really smart fighter though. It's only when I stayed in the pocket that he got me," he added.

Pacquiao was the clear aggressor throughout the fight, but Mayweather had him figured out by the sixth round. He would keep Pacquiao at bay by flicking his jabs and timing his counter rights.

He admitted his corner asked him to be busier, but he was cautious of Pacquiao.

"My dad wanted to do more. But Manny was really awkward and I had to watch him closely," said Mayweather, who later on announced he's fighting one more time in September before retiring.

"It's time for me to hang it up," he said.

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