Mayweather – Pacquiao: The Biggest Fight of the Century

mayweather_pacquiao

(photo credit: shosports/YouTube)

 

A couple of years ago, you’d have been foolish to even consider betting on this fight actually happening, let alone placing bets on who will win. Now here we are in 2015 looking ahead to May 2nd at the illustrious MGM Grand for the long-awaited match-up between the two best P4P fighters in boxing right now. Floyd Mayweather finally takes on Manny Pacquiao for the WBC, WBA and WBO world Welterweight titles in a bout that’s been exasperatingly anticipated for the last 5 years.

 

Manny Pacquiao v Floyd Mayweather Jr Outright Betting Odds:

Pacquiao win +185

Mayweather win -225

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Mayweather is currently unbeaten and goes into this as the naturally bigger man. He’s an inch and a half taller than Pacquiao whilst also boasting a 5 inch reach advantage other the Filipino. This will be no deterrent to Pacquiao though, who has held world title in a record 8 different weight divisions. Antonio Margarito held a larger size advantage over Pacquiao than Mayweather currently does and he quite comfortably battered the tough Mexican over 12 rounds, so whilst this will play into the fight a little I don’t think it will be a defining disadvantage for Manny.

Kenny Bayliss will be the man in the middle on the night, and this announcement has given rise to some questions from fans in and of  itself. Bayliss is an excellent referee, comfortably one of the best in boxing. Bayliss refereed the Mayweather-Maidana rematch and many were critical of how quickly he wandered in to split up any inside fighting (which was seen to be Mayweather’s weakness in that fight). However, given Pacquiao’s style and – apart from that fight – Bayliss not really having a reputation for that kind of officiating, I don’t see this being an issue either.

 

It’d be prudent to say that neither of these guys have fought someone relatively similar to the other. In fact, their two styles are exactly what you need to beat the other. Mayweather comes to put on a clinic and – most crucially – he steps in the ring not to lose. He allows fighters to walk him down and then uses his impressive reflexes to make them miss and then land a few counters.

For his age (38), Mayweather still has remarkably fast hands and will utilise these to jab away at his opponent thus creating an opening to work off of. He’s happy to sit on the ropes and defend with the infamous shoulder roll technique (which he has perfected, but didn’t invent. Ken Norton and Archie Moore both used variants of this), before firing off counters to free up some room to enable him to move away. Maidana found a fair bit of success against Mayweather’s defence, particularly in their first fight. Maidana’s attacks can be somewhat crude at times, so this was most likely indicative of Mayweather starting to look his age as opposed to Maidana sussing him out.

 

Pacquiao, on the other hand, steps through the ropes to win. He’s there to beat you up as opposed to winning rounds, and this approach has cost him in the past. His career briefly took a nose dive when counter-puncher Marquez knocked him out cold in their 4th meeting to date. Pacquiao steps out and back into the action which his impeccable footwork. Adding this to his southpaw stance, he is able to attack the other fighter from a myriad of angles landing flurries to the head and body. He does have a tendency to leave his chin exposed, so it was only a matter of time before he eventually got caught flush.

It’s the shots you don’t see which leave you tasting canvas and this was a perfect example of that. Does Mayweather have the power to do that? Probably not. His last KO was against Victor Ortiz back in 2011 and that was essentially a cheapshot after the two touched gloves (though it was after an intentional headbutt from Ortiz, so morally justified). Prior to that, it was the stoppage of Ricky Hatton in 2007.

 

Two years later, Pacquiao put Hatton out cold to effectively end the Englishman’s career. They share quite a few common opponents and those fights corroborate with the above. Marquez aside (who came up two weights to fight Mayweather, who in turn came in for that fight overweight…), they’ve both beaten their mutual opponents. Mayweather outpointed De La Hoya, Mosley and Cotto (De La Hoya was SD, other 2 were UD) whilst Pacquiao stopped De La Hoya and Cotto before outscoring Mosley. Mayweather’s fights were more of an exhibitionist clinic, whereas Pacquiao’s were wars. One comes to box, the other comes to fight.

Will this go down as one of the all time great fights or something of an anti-climax? The lack of public seating and general cost of even just watching this at home leaves something of an unpleasant avaricious taste in the mouth. There remains a real buzz about this one though; even people who aren’t boxing fans are talking about it. It has the potential to be a defining classic for this generation of boxing, but with such potential comes the cataclysmic chance of sheer and utter disappointment. Either way, both Mayweather and Pacquiao will be spoken about for years to come as the greats of the last decade of boxing.

 

Betting Instinct tip – this could go either way, but we like Mayweather to win on points at -164 with AllYouBet.ag

 JAKE COLLINS  is an avid boxing fan and writer currently living in London. Read more of his work in Jake’s blog, or follow Jake on Twitter and Google+.

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