"Pre-fight Breakdown of the Biggest Fight of Our Generation!"
By Delano Burnett
So… at long last...we have the highly anticipated “Super Fight” that boxing purists and casual fans alike have been waiting almost six years to see. Tonight, Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will step into the ring and we can finally end the debate on who would win a head to head matchup, who is the better fighter and ultimately, who is current the pound for pound King of the Sweet Science.
I'm a Mayweather fan and I think he's arguably the best pure boxer ever, which is saying a lot when you compare him to some of the all-time greats. But, I have to admit, I’m nervous for Floyd in this fight. Anyone who doesn't think this will be a great fight to watch hasn't observed Manny’s fighting style throughout his entire career. He's always been an aggressive fighter that really doesn't care much about defense and wants to mix it up regardless of who he is fighting. His style of boxing is going to force Floyd to throw more punches then he's used to throwing in a fight.
So here are my keys to the fight:
The way I'm judging this fight is by comparing two fighters that both Mayweather and Pacquiao have previously faced and, stylistically speaking, offered a challenge similar to what Floyd and Manny will face in each other tonight. In my opinion, the fighter most similar to Mayweather that Pac has fought is Juan Manuel Marquez and the fighter most similar to Pac that Mayweather has fought is Sugar Shane Mosley.
Floyd can be a slow-starter and in the Mosley fight he paid for it the most. Sugar had great punching power and he almost knocked him out in those early rounds.
For Manny to win this fight he's going to have to take advantage of Floyd in the early rounds, which is something that he is great at doing.
Skilled counter-punchers have always caused problems for Pacquiao, so it’s easy to see why Marquez gave him so much trouble during their four battles. In fact, the case can be made that Marquez won most of those fights. Manny’s known problems with counterpunching can play perfectly into Floyd’s strategy because, after all, what is Mayweather? He’s the best counter puncher of all time! Plus, Mayweather is great at the art of "hit and don't get hit”; so the shots that Marquez usually takes in a fight, Mayweather typically doesn't. I can see Money knocking out Pac in this fight because his aggressiveness could work to Mayweather's advantage.
Because of that last fact I pointed out you would think this should be an easy win for Mayweather. The thing that worries me about this fight is: what took Floyd so long to make it happen in the first place? Now of course I know all about the long history between him and Bob Arum and I wouldn't want to negotiate anything with him either; but there's no way, if I'm Mayweather, I would've let this linger as long as it did. If I'm a boxer, I want to fight the best out there no matter how it has to get done. This was always going to be a big money fight and I don’t think five years passing has made much of a difference. Thankfully both of these boxers aren't washed up, so this should still be a good fight. It makes me wonder though, could Mayweather have been scared of this fight? With all the of talk about Pac being on steroids and knowing that he was beating his opponents up, could that have been a factor in Mayweather not really wanting this fight? A lot of sports pundits have pointed this out and I would think that a boxer doesn't have that type of fear, but it does make you wonder why he didn't make this fight sooner.
Back to the fight, so I'm thinking this is how it's going to play out. If Pac wins this fight I think it will be by a knockout and the fight won't go past six rounds. He will have to jump on Floyd early and I think that will be his game plan. If Mayweather wins this fight it can either be by an early knockout or it can go the distance. You know, for all of his accolades, the thing I don't think Floyd gets enough credit for is his chin. In that Mosely fight he could have easily been knocked out, but he withstood that early punishment and literally dominated the rest of the fight. My prediction for this fight? Seven rounds to five with Money pulling out a close decision. I do think this will be an action packed fight that will set up a nice rematch in September for Mayweather’s swan song.
Well, there you have it. My analysis of what should be an incredible mega-event.
So…in the words of Bart Scott: “CAN'T WAIT!!”