Mayweather v Pacquiao – Money Rules The World
Mayweather v Pacquaio
The biggest fight in more than a decade is only a matter of hours away but for some, this is a foregone conclusion already.
Mayweather v Pacquiao – entitled ‘Fight of the Century’ – has been five years in the making with many permutations rolling around boxing fans heads for a long time now.
There is absolutely no doubt this won’t be the same fight it would have been when both fighters were in the prime – you can blame a tactically savvy Mayweather for that – but sparks could still fly. Who wins? We analyse both fighters.
Floyd Mayweather Jnr. – love him or absolutely loathe him – will go down as one of the greatest ever. Not the greatest ever, but one of them. His unbeaten, 47&0 record puts him on a pedestal and rightfully so.
The unbeaten American is technically one of the best fighters to ever lace up the gloves with his hand speed and head movement peerless in modern boxing.
Defensively he is practically untouchable. His ability to slide in and out of contact – particularly against opponents with like to come forward in straight lines – and land counter-punches has won him the majority of his fights with little or no damage along the way – most pertinently in his latter day fights. And that’s massively important.
Manny Pacquiao, for years now, has been a boxing promoter’s dream. The Filipino phenomenon, a champion across eight weight divisions, is the great entertainer. Pacquiao’s combination of speed and power with the ability to throw from all angles has made him an opponent’s worst nightmare.
His rise through the divisions started way back in the late nineties but he really announced his arrival with a TKO stoppage of the legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera back in 2003.
From there, he would blaze a trail through the weight classes with wins over Erik Morales (rematch), Juan Manuel Marquez, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Sugar Shane Mosley among others.
His recent defeat to Marquez in their fourth fight ended in a horrific knockout and one wonders whether that will have a huge bearing should he tire in the latter rounds v Mayweather.
The tale of the tape gives a good reading on just how equal the fight is but for one hugely significant stat: the reach.
Mayweather has a five inch reach advantage over Pacquiao and that could be vital. It will enable the American – should be decide to play it safe – to keep the Filipino at a nice distance, picking him off on the counter.
The two men should come in at similar weights but Mayweather’s overall size compared to Pacquiao has been visible throughout the promotion of this fight. Pacquaio has dealt with bigger fighters before this but none as natural at this weight as Mayweather.
Despite coming a litte too late, there are a number of different ways this fight could go and that’s what still makes this match-up so attractive and intriguing.
Pacquaio’s awkward southpaw stance, his power and hand-speed and his ability to throw from all angles will definitely trouble an opponent so used to countering boxers coming at him in straight lines.
If Pacquaio – who has been through so many wars over the years and weathered badly – can summon one gargantuan effort, there is definitely the chance of a knock-out.
The educated angle, though, is that Mayweather should have enough now to deal with whatever Pacquiao can throw at him. He’ll know within a round or two whether to counter or to go on the attack.
Should he decide it’s the former, a points victory is practically inevitable. Should it be the latter, he might even decide to put on a show and it could be a late stoppage. You would imagine Pacquiao won’t bow out wondering and could get reckless if he feels the fight is meandering.
Either way, with a fight of this magnitude, I think a knockdown on either end is eminently possible and at 23/20, I’m in. Most money will be on the fight going the distance but I favour Mayweather to get the job down inside 12 so a knockdown at 16/5 and a KO/TKO at 6/1 all look massive.
As Michael Buffer would say: