Manny Pacquiao has had an up and down road as of late. He would lose a controversial decision to Timothy Bradley back in June of 2012 when everyone except the judges could see that Pacquiao was dominating the fight and had clearly won. To make matters worse for team Pacquiao, Manny would get the business from his long-time nemesis, Mexican superstar Juan Manuel Marquez in a shocking sixth-round KO that put Manny into a state of unconsciousness before he hit the canvas. However, all became right with the world last week as one Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, otherwise known as “Pac-Man,” worked over a very game Timothy Bradley in a twelve-round unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Quite the opposite can be said for Floyd “Money” Mayweather. He has continued to dominate everything with a pulse in the Super Feather weight to the Light Middleweight divisions for years, and even though he retired from the game for a short period, he has not missed a step with four unanimous decisions, one majority decision and one knock out in his six fights after coming out of his hiatus.
Both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have fought everyone there is to fight, and have shown that they are the two best, pound for pound champions in the boxing world; it is now time for the match of the century. The public has been clamoring for this meeting for years and the consensus is that Money Mayweather has been ducking the Pac-Man. It appeared that a fight was on the verge of happening a few years back, but then Mayweather’s camp made a demand that Pacquiao agree to a drug test the week of the event, something that the Filipino fighter balked at. Some saw this as Pacquiao not wanting to risk a positive test, while others felt that this was just another way for Mayweather’s team to avoid the fight all together because they knew that such a request was uncommon, and that Manny would never agree to it.
We have created ten points on the two greats and will leave it up to you to decide who may come out on top in what will surely be the fight of the century, (if it ever happens).
Pacquiao: Quality of Opponents
Pacquiao has a record of 56-5-2 with 38 by knockout and has been no slouch in his choice of opponents, boxing every top contender in the past 10 years with a ferocity and determination that is unmatched. While the fighting man from the Philippines has not remained undefeated, he has beaten down on most of the poor schleps that have dared to lace up the mitts with him. Victims include Timothy Bradley, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Oscar de la Hoya. It is clear that Pac-Man is the real deal.
Mayweather: Quality of Opponents
Some would like to argue that Floyd Mayweather has maintained his undefeated mark of 45-0 (with 26 by Knockout) by taking on the has-beens of the squared circle, but this cannot be further from the truth. Money Mayweather has remained unbeaten by going through an array of top caliber opponents, (many of the same ones that Pac-Man has fought), often handing them only their first or second defeat. In the last 10 years, his victims include Saul Alverez, Robert Guerrero, Miguel Cotto, Victor Ortiz, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Carlos Baldomir, Zab Judah, Shaba Mitchell and Arturo Gatti.
Pacquiao: Likes to Come Forward Making Him Susceptible to Knockout
Manny likes to keep things moving forward; often attacking his opponents in a rash of aggressive shots that force them to take to their heels. In his recent contest with Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, Pac-Man forced his younger nemesis against the ropes time and time again, and any shots that Bradley was able to land, only energized Pac-Man into a blitzkrieg style attack that left Timothy stunned and bewildered. He is one of those fighters that appears to get stronger as the fight goes on, and is much more interested in keeping his opponents on the defensive; such is the style of Pacquiao.
However, as Juan Manuel Marques showed the world on December 9th, 2012, Pac-Man is susceptible to the knockout. Even though Manny was clearly winning this fourth contest, he wanted to make a statement and continued to aggressively attack Marquez; a poor strategy as during the 6th round, Pac Man walked into a devastating right hand that would have sent Mike Tyson reeling. After the fight, he had conceded that he was on a mission to knock out Marquez after their previous contest ended in a controversial majority decision for the Pac-Man.
However, that was two and a half years ago and much has changed. Manny, with the help of the great Freddy Roach, has revamped his style by adding a stick and move weapon to his arsenal. This has already proven fruitful against his last two opponents who have had a tough time finding him after absorbing a shot.
Mayweather: Defense Minded
One of the reasons that Floyd Mayweather can still refer to himself as “Pretty Boy” is because he rarely gets hit. He is an expert at making himself the smallest target possible and has transformed the act of slipping punches into an art form. Mayweather accomplishes this with endless shoulder rolls, (tucking his chin behind his shoulder which then deflects the incoming shot); something that frustrates his opponents to no end. According to Compubox, Pretty Boy is only getting touched up 18% of the time, and of that 18%, few blows are actually impressive enough to be called damaging. According to sources, Mayweather states, “Defense is an art and with a great defense you can last a lot longer in this sport.”
Pacquiao: God-like speed
One of the biggest complaints of any opponent is that Pacquiao is just too quick. Even though the odds heavily favored de la Hoya in their 2008 matchup, the Sports Inquirer stated that “Pacquiao snatched those odds and ran them through a shredder, pummeling de la Hoya with a dizzying combination of speed and power for eight rounds until the latter quit in the ninth.” The “Golden Boy” could even be overheard complaining to his cornermen, “He’s too fast.”
After receiving a proper beat down at the hands of the Pac-Man, Brandon Rios shared a similar sentiment. Rios, sporting oversized sunglasses and a hat to cover the carnage that was once his face, stated, “I was trying, I tried, man. I tried my heart out. … I’ll say it over and over: the speed is what got me. The speed was the factor in this fight. He’s very fast. He’s faster than I thought he was. Motherf*****’s fast.”
Mayweather: Likes the Long Haul
Money’s last six fights have all gone the distance with the exception of the embarrassing knockout of the choir boy, and dare we say naïve Victor, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” Ortiz. As a matter of fact, According to Boxrec.com, Mayweather has won 15 of his previous 20 fights in the maximum time allowed, making him the marathon man of the fight game. This is just another testament to the champs desire to wear his opponents down and score points as fast as the judges can record them. Even his knockouts take time with 5 of his last 7 coming in round 8 or later.
Pacquiao: Ability to Attack From All Angles with Power
Manny is awkward to fight not only because he is a south paw and lightening quick, but also because he attacks from all angles with power. He can scrap from the left or the right and is almost as comfortable fighting off his front foot than his back. He catches his opponent’s off guard with impossible shots while falling sideways, and his awkward approach has kept many a trainer up late at night trying to devise a way to save their fighter from the impending beating. Rappler.com states, “Pacquiao is known for using unorthodox angles when he throws punches, which results in opponents not knowing how to defend against his attacks. He likes to throw a one-legged lead left hand, without setting his feet. Manny is able to get away with it because of the speed and velocity at which the punch travels. Coupled with an unpredictable pace and a punch angle, and you have yourself a damaging straight left.”
Mayweather: Counterpuncher Extraordinaire
No one gets to 42-0 without the ability to counterpunch, and Mayweather has proven his value in this department; just ask him. While discussing the Pacquiao/Marquez fight in a 2011 article, Floyd stated, “If he’s having a problem with Marquez, I mean, Marquez is a good counterpuncher, but I’m the best to ever do it.” English boxer Ricky Hatton can attest to this first hand. In his fight with Mayweather in 2007, Hatton had Pretty Boy backed into the corner and came forward to throw a left. Floyd then countered with his own left “Check Hook” sending the “Pride of Hyde” into unconsciousness. Pretty Boy also likes to stick his left elbow up to fend off his opponent, and has a nasty “pull counter” where he pulls his head back to avoid a shot, and then throws a right jab while moving to his right.
Pacquiao: Throws Punches in Bunches
Manny has the uncanny ability to throw combinations that just seem to go on forever. Whereas the average boxer likes to toss out a two or three-punch combination, Pac Man throw’s groups of five, six, seven, and even ten shots that equal a flurry of raw devastation for the poor schlub in front of him. In 2011, he took advantage of a much bigger and slower slugger in one Antonio Margarito, the Mexican standout known for his gigantic roundhouse swings. Manny delivered more than a UPS driver on Christmas Eve by consistently pummeling Margarito with non-stop combinations in rapid succession, leaving the brawler from Torrance Ca. battered and bruised. The same can be said for his contest against Timothy Bradley. He continued his onslaught of ten-punch combinations in the later rounds; making him look more like a glob of jello than a prize fighter.
Mayweather: Walks the Walk
It is no coincidence that Floyd Mayweather has become the highest paid athlete in the history of highly paid athletes. It is estimated that this year alone, Floyd will earn a staggering $73.5 million for his fights, which does not include income from endorsements or other business ventures. There are two reasons why this is so; first Floyd is a talker; second, Floyd backs it up. Pretty Boy has not only mastered the squared circle, he has mastered the hype, stirring it up faster than Betty Crocker. He is not shy about calling out his opponents for any weakness that he can find and is happy to make himself the bad guy in every contest.
He is also fond of flaunting his wealth on a regular basis with social media posts and television tours of his mega-mansion, diamond encrusted watches and vast luxury car collection. All would be for not if Mayweather were KO’d in the first round, but the reality is that he is the beatdown king and has demonstrated that he can talk a good game and back it up at the expense of his opponent. All of this generates enough hype and controversy to make even the greatest boxing promoter green with envy, and the result is usually the highest pay per view revenues per date.