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Twilight of the Idols: Putting Mayweather vs. Pacquiao to Rest Once and For All


Twilight of the Idols: Putting Mayweather vs. Pacquiao to Rest Once and For All 

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Twilight of the Idols: Putting Mayweather vs. Pacquiao to Rest Once and For All


Twilight of the Idols: Putting Mayweather vs. Pacquiao to Rest Once and For All 

By Colin A. Cuttress

At last the date is set for one of the most anticipated match ups in the history of professional boxing: Pound-for-pound King Floyd Mayweather Jr. will lace up to face Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd in a fight that will gross more money than any fight in the history of boxing.

The introductions, the outfits, the celebrities and sports superstars in attendance, the Super Bowl-like bets by seasoned boxing fans who have waited 10 years plus for this bout of a lifetime: what was lost after the heavyweight hype of the Tyson-Holyfield era will be restored on May 2nd.   

It is well to say the fight would have been better 5 years ago when Floyd was a little faster and Manny a little stronger. One of the advantages of being the A side (or Floyd’s side), is that you get to calls the shots of when the fight happens, what gloves will be worn, and what the terms will be.

Boxing is as much about timing as anything and when two fighters enter the twilight years of their careers, a boxer is probably in a slightly better position than a brawler, especially on the back 6 of a 12 round fight. Manny had a lot of momentum 6 years ago coming up in weight, but time has neutralised that advantage.


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Shot callin'


Shot callin'


Floyd is in a better position and the prize purse for the winner is now worth more. Had Manny not lost to Bradley and Márquez, this fight might not have happened. Fortunately Manny was able to avenge his loss against Bradley in a rematch so that he is still marketable as a contender to Floyd rather than just “damaged goods.” 

If there is one commodity to bet on in boxing it is speed. At the pinnacle both Floyd and Manny are abundant with speed, timing, and footwork. Mayweather has a superior boxing ability but Pacquiao is a busy southpaw with a flashy right-hook. So where is the edge? What advice will their corners be giving?

Mayweather’s corner will probably advise him to use his ring savvy and speed and to move Manny into his punches.

Jab to the head long straight-right to the body, lots of right-hand left-hook combinations, and he should use his jab to draw Manny into throwing the straight-left so he can slip to the right and counter with fast straight-rights or right uppercuts as Pacquiao comes in.

Fortunately Floyd is the taller fighter and Manny will be opening up, so he will have plenty of opportunities for setting Manny up for power punches.

Not everyone realizes that southpaws give Floyd problems. Floyd is particularly susceptible to the right-hook of a southpaw as we saw when he fought Zab Judah where he was caught a number of times. Floyd’s camp will likely be working on neutralizing Manny’s right-hook. Manny’s right-hook doesn’t bear the resemblance of a high impact hook like Danny Garcia’s, but it does carry a lot of hidden power and it is awkward. 

The key to victory for Floyd will be to go back to the days where he didn’t let fighters into his fights: to dictate the pace and shut Manny out with his intelligent boxing ability and sharp ring savvy. This will not be easy as Manny will likely be trying to force a busy, high punchstat fight.

If a low output fight favours Floyd, a high punchstat bout would make it much closer and thus favour Manny. Pacquiao’s camp will no doubt be studying Floyd’s fight with Zab Judah and lifting the relevant bits that worked. There is no secret to beating Floyd Mayweather Jr. Even though he has a perfect professional record, he has lost in the amateurs and lost a number of rounds in his professional boxing career.

The prize punch for Manny is his right-hook. For one he has landed this hard shot countless times against top contenders. It is a good right-hook because it is an off-rhythm punch that carries a lot of power at the point of impact, especially when thrown as a counter-punch. Manny would also be wise to use angles as he comes in.

One of the weaknesses of Floyd is that he hasn’t had a knockout since 2011 and has won some of his fights by “majority decision.” That should give Manny a real sense of confidence as the aggressor: for example the straight-left to the body followed by the right-hook upstairs. Manny will have to leverage the south paw advantage as much as possible. This will not be easy because Floyd will come defensively switched-on this fight.

 

 

Overall prediction: Mayweather for the win.  

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