The Perfect Punch Line

This is what we in the pop culture writing biz call a “deep cut”: The late, great Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, reimagined as an eight-bit—and sadly unplayable—video game. Noober Goober Gaming’s Floyd Mayweather’s Punch-Out!! pulls off three notable feats: It pays faithful homage to the 1987 Nintendo cartridge Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, with new graphics that integrate seamlessly with the original game; it provides smart and incisive commentary on the Mayweather/Pacquiao bout, despite being created long before it even happened; and, unlike the actual fight, the three-minute spoof is fun enough to watch more than once.

Mayweather’s Punch-Out!! begins with a checklist of Mayweather’s pre-fight stipulations, which are in line with the real Mayweather’s terms (my favorite: “Stay in the hotel basement”). Also much like real life, if you don’t agree to all of Money May’s demands, you don’t get to “play.” The in-game fight will give you some serious déjà vu: For instance, as happened on fight night, Mayweather frequently wraps his arms around Pacquiao in the fake video game, leading eight-bit Floyd to exclaim, “There’s no blueprint on how to beat my hugs.”

By the way, the next time you get the urge to shell out $100 for a dud, know that you can get Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! on eBay for about $30, and a used Nintendo Entertainment System for about $70. Knock yourself out.