Whether or not the main event was good enough to justify its $99 pay-per-view price tag is still being debated among boxing fans (and non-fans) and the media. But weeks before Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally squared off on May 2, the lineup of fights before theirs at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas left a lot to be desired.
I can’t claim to know exactly which top-level boxers were realistically and legally eligible to even fight on the Mayweather-Pacquiao undercard, but I figure the biggest boxing event of this century should include more than just the marquee two big-name fighters and more than just one important championship bout. However, Saturday’s two televised preliminary bouts were little more than one-sided showcases for rising young stars Vasyl Lomachenko (WBO featherweight champion) and Leo Santa Cruz (WBC super bantamweight champ).
The three non-televised undercard bouts also lacked star power, as expected, although it would’ve been possible with a stellar performance for one of the “dark match” guys to perhaps get their highlights shown and their name mentioned during the Mayweather-Pacquiao broadcast and perhaps put themselves on the mainstream map.
But that didn’t happen, either.
Said El Harrak, a 27-year-old from London via Morocco, was part of the non-televised portion of the card. El Harrak faced rising prospect Chris Pearson (a Mayweather protegee) in a middleweight bout, losing a 10-round unanimous decision by scores of 98-92, 99-91 and 99-91.
El Harrak reportedly fought hard and landed some solid shots in the final round as he tried to score a late knockout. He even busted Pearson open above with a cut above his right eye in the fourth round. But he was ultimately outboxed by the undefeated Pearson, whose record improved to 12-0 (9 KO). El Harrak’s record fell to 12-3-2 (7 KO).