The world is aching to see a boxing showdown between Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) of the Philippines and American Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0, 25 KOs), the top two pound-for-pound-fighters on the planet. But there’s a chance it’ll never happen, especially with Mayweather facing a possible prison sentence.
But if it did come off, it’d be one of the biggest fights in boxing history -- if not the biggest from a financial standpoint. Just the mention of these two stepping into the ring against each other is enough to ignite thousands of heated debates around the globe. Everybody has an opinion on the outcome of this fantasy fight, but let’s see what some of the experts have to say about it.
Most credible boxing Web sites consist of excellent writers and analysts, and the majority of them agree Mayweather would come out on top. BoxingNewsworld.com polled 25 of the top boxing writers, including scribes from Ring magazine, Doghouse boxing, Eastside Boxing, Fight Beat, Boxing Scene, Ringside Report, and Boxing Talk. Surprisingly, a whopping 23 of the 25 thought Mayweather would win, with just two backing Pacquiao.
But examiner.com’s Brad Cooney leans towards Pacquiao and said he thinks the Filipino would knock Mayweather out. “Pacquiao’s speed is ridiculous, and he is a two handed punching machine. Pacquiao’s punches have very bad intentions, and he throws a lot of them. Fighting Pacquiao is like someone throwing 30 running chainsaws at you at the same time.”
While these writers are well respected, they aren’t in the ring everyday and don’t live and breathe the sport 24 hours a day. Let’s take a look at the opinions of those who are considered "insiders." Trainers Joe Goossen, Ronnie Shields, Buddy McGirt, Robet Garcia, and Yoel Judah all had interesting opinions.
Goossen said Mayweather wants nothing to do with Pacquiao because the WBO welterweight champion gives him the willies. He added that Mayweather doesn’t like fighting southpaws, Pacquiao is hard to discourage and he doesn’t stop punching.
Shields thinks Mayweather’s too good defensively, but it’d be a close fight with Pacquiao the aggressor and Mayweather landing the harder and cleaner shots. He sees Mayweather blocking and countering and doing enough to win.
McGirt agreed with the choice, but said Mayweather would have to punch at the same time as Pacquiao instead of waiting. “I just think Floyd is better. And he’s very fast. You don’t know how fast until you’re in the opposite corner. His speed is unbelievable. I think Pacquiao would run into counters.”
Garcia evened the score when he predicted Pacquiao would win because of the sheer volume of punches he throws, but said he wouldn’t knock Mayweather out. “Mayweather doesn’t throw that many punches. I think there’ll be times he’ll take the combinations and not throw anything back. That should give Pacquiao the rounds.”
Judah broke the deadlock when he said Pacquiao would destroy Mayweather. “He’s too busy for Floyd. Floyd is a slick fighter, smart and everything. But I think Pacquiao is too busy. He’s too busy. Too busy.”
British boxing promoter Frank Warren picked Mayweather. "I think Mayweather is a natural counter puncher, although Pacquiao is a tremendous puncher, very fast, but…he can be hit. If I was a bookmaker, I would make Mayweather the favorite. HBO boxing analyst Larry Merchant agreed and said Mayweather sould be the favourite by odds of about 7/5 or 8/5.
They’re all good and valued opinions, but let’s hear from some boxers themselves, especially those who have been in the ring with either Pacquiao or Mayweather or both of them.
Middleweight prospect Richard Pierson (9-2, 6 KOs) said the only way Mayweather wins is if he trains harder than ever, and if Pacquiao breaks both his hands before the fight. He predicted a Pacquiao knockout.
Super bantamweight Israel Vazquez (44-5, 32 KOs) went with Mayweather because of the weight difference. He said Pacquiao throws more punches, but Mayweather has better abilities.
Jr. middleweight Ishe Smith (21-9, 5 KOs) said Pacquiao would fold like Mosley did against Mayweather.
Jr. welterweight Zab Judah (39-6, 27 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in 2006, said, “I think Floyd will win. I think a lot of the shots that Pacquiao is gonna throw at him is not gonna hit him. Floyd is an expert at counter punches.”
Lightweight Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather last year and fought to a draw and a split-decision loss to Pacquiao, believes Mayweather’s smarter and faster. He said, "He has the great defense. He can move, move, move. Pacquiao has the power, but Mayweather has the intelligence, the speed and the counter punches."
Another expert opinion belongs to British boxer Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs), who was stopped by both Pacquiao and Mayweather. He backed Mayweather by saying “Mayweather is so good he doesn’t let you get any punches off. If he makes Pacquiao miss he’ll take the sting out of him.” However, he added, “I’d rather watch Pacquiao though. Mayweather will go down as one of the all time greats but I wouldn’t get up at four o’clock in the morning to watch him. He bores the sh*t out of me.”
Overall, it looks like Mayweather would be favored by most of these experts. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to see who was right and wrong in the near future.
Pacquiao enters the ring again on Nov. 13 as he takes on Antonio Margarito for the WBC Super Welterweight Title. PinnacleSports.com has the odds of a Pacquiao win at -611 and a Margarito victory at +461