Paris Hilton, the evening's only knockout, remained in awe.
MAYWEATHER FIGHT?: Not on Pacquiao's mind
CULTURAL ICON: Pacquiao reaches out to Philippines
Thousands of boo-birds fluttering inside the MGM Grand Arena on Saturday felt the sting of pre-fight hype dissolving into fight-night letdown as Mosley retreated into irrelevance and, possibly, retirement.
The fighting Filipino congressman easily won the ring debate but could not contain his contempt after the lopsided 12-round decision. When the vanquished challenger tried to congratulate Pacquiao at the end of the WBO welterweight title fight, Pacquiao quickly turned and trudged away in disgust.
"The people want to see punches exchanged; that's what I wanted," Pacquiao said. "But Mosley didn't want to fight toe to toe. He was always running."
It was a desultory performance by Mosley. He was paid a minimum $5 million.
"I don't think he tried to win; I think he just tried to survive," said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer. "When you get to that point, it's time to call it a day."
Mosley, 39, wore sunglasses to help conceal swelling on his face, but found it difficult to mask his bruised pride.
"I still feel young, but I guess sometimes Father Time catches up with you," he said, undecided about his ring future.
Promoter Bob Arum's quandary: Pacquiao perhaps is running out of marketable opponents who can deliver compelling fight theater.
"When you analyze everything that's out there, it's very, very difficult to get somebody who can be very competitive," Arum said.
Pacquiao (53-3-2) covets a third fight vs. Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez, who holds two lightweight belts. They rumbled to a draw in 2004 and Pacquiao won a split decision in 2008.
But the public craves Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Negotiations unraveled last year after Mayweather demanded the 32-year-old champion submit to drug testing. Mayweather's career has been derailed by a series of legal troubles. Mayweather, 34, is 41-0 and has fought only once since 2009.
Even if they dueled in the desert, the outcome might be equally unsatisfying. Five of Mayweather's last six fights have gone the distance. "He would beat the crap out of Mayweather, I guarantee you," Arum said. "The guy who knows that best is … Floyd Mayweather Jr."
It was a lesson Mosley (46-7-1) learned in the third round when the southpaw champion blasted him to the canvas with a hard left hand. But while Mosley was in no mood to get physical, Pacquiao acquiesced to his opponent's leeriness. A silent pact of non-aggression seemed to ensue.
The combatants were polite, tapping gloves at the end of each round to signify their respect.
"I asked him, 'Why are you touching gloves with this guy? Is he your friend?' " Roach said. "I hate that. I hate that in a fighter."
Roach said he urged Pacquiao to "make it personal and knock this guy out; show the world how good you are."
At least one Pac-Man fan didn't need convincing. After the bout, Hilton strolled into the news conference and sat at the dais. She wore a low-cut black dress, a beaming smile and revealed her fight-night delight.
"I thought it was an incredible fight," she said. "He (was) amazing. He's incredible."