It’s almost unbelievable that the biggest fight in the history of boxing has yet to be made. As long as Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are active, we will always wonder “What if?” The general public could care less as to why this fight hasn’t happened yet, all that matters is if and when it will happen. Obviously, the longer this cold war goes on, the more likely it is that this super fight between two of the best will never happen. Nevertheless, we can still debate. And that’s what this week’s installment of “The Great Debate” is all about. Francisco Salazar (Mayweather) and Andreas Hale (Pacquiao) explain why they think their fighter would win. After you read both sides of the argument, vote in the poll and take to the comment section to make your case.
By Francisco Salazar
Floyd Mayweather is coming up on having fought as a professional for half of his life. He just turned 37 years of age on Monday and made his professional debut at the age of 19.
He could fight until he is 40 and is likely to remain the unbeaten fighter that he is today. While casual fight fans clamor for a fight against Manny Pacquiao that will not happen anytime soon.
But what if they were to step inside the ring and fight for the title of best pound for pound fighter on the planet?
Not only would it probably generate the greatest gate in the history of the sport, but it could decide once and for all the water-cooler debates of who is the best fighter.
That would be Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Shocked? Surprised? Disagree?
Well, in my opinion, it is not much of a surprise. When you look at all the intangibles of each fighter, Mayweather will likely have his hand raised.
Still do not agree? Let me explain.
Mayweather has the better defense of the two. Mayweather is an expert in the shoulder-roll, which frustrates opponents in that they rarely hit him square to the face. He also has the ability to not get hit flush to the head and has demonstrated a tremendous chin, even against some of the more devastating punchers in the sport throughout his career.
Some of you may have looked up that Mayweather suffered a knockdown years ago against Carlos Hernandez. True, but in the Hernandez fight, Mayweather landed a punch, fractured his hand, and momentarily bent over and his glove touched the canvas. Mayweather was never hurt in the fight.
On the other hand, Pacquiao has been hurt on a number of times and has been knocked out twice in five career losses. Let us not forget the highlight-reel knockout Pacquiao suffered at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8th, 2012 in Las Vegas, NV.
Mayweather has faced and defeated countless world champions and unbeaten contenders at the peak of their career. He won a 12 round split-decision over Oscar De La Hoya and a one-sided technical knockout victory over Ricky Hatton in 2007.
Pacquiao would face both fighters, and even though he won, some media questioned whether both were the same fighters after the losses to Mayweather.
Mayweather has faced fighters with a variety of styles. Mayweather has fought slick boxers, southpaws, punchers, and fighters that have been naturally bigger than him. After all that, Mayweather has remained unbeaten.
Pacquiao has faced styles that have suited his style. Fighters such as Antonio Margarito, David Diaz, and Joshua Clottey had the slow, aggressive style that made it easy for Pacquiao to counter.
Has Mayweather had that one fight where most though he lost? Absolutely. One fight and one fight only and that was against Jose Luis Castillo in April of 2002.
Then again, Pacquiao has had at least three, all against Juan Manuel Marquez. The first three fights against Marquez, there is debate whether Pacquiao should have lost instead of winning twice and fighting to a draw.
The last argument is Mayweather and that ‘0’ in his record. Zero losses. Could he possibly lose? Sure, but it has to be against that special fighter. Is Pacquiao a special fighter? Yes. But not that special fighter to defeat Mayweather.
By Andreas Hale
Before Manny Pacquiao ran into Marquez’ perfect right hand counter, there was much debate as to how Floyd Mayweather would deal with Pacquiao’s speed and power. Obviously, things have changed since the day when Pacquiao entered into what I’d like to call “Meme-Mania.” However, the allure of the fight is still present and the danger Pacquiao presents to Mayweather is still very, very relevant.
Styles make fights and it would be very interesting to see how these two styles would mesh over the course of 12 rounds. If they fought today, Mayweather would certainly be the favorite. However, Pacquiao would still present the best opportunity to dethrone boxing’s pound for pound king. What Pacquiao has that Mayweather has yet to truly deal with is Pacquiao’s typhoon of punches that have been known to damage a fighter or two. Name the last fighter who Mayweather faced that you could truly have a debate as to which fighter has the faster hands. I’ll wait…
Zab Judah would be the correct answer (Shane Mosley was on the wrong side of his pro career, but I can see using him to make a point). Do you know when Mayweather-Judah took place? 2006. Since then, Mayweather has fought opponents that are more or less sitting ducks that “Money” can pick apart at will. Canelo, Cotto, Alvarez, Hatton and Ortiz were all too slow. Hell, even Marcos Maidana comes in a similar mold. De La Hoya arguably gave Mayweather the biggest challenge and Cotto did a number on Mayweather’s face. Shane Mosley proved that the right counterpunch could rattle Mayweather. The tools that Pacquiao possesses wouldn’t give Mayweather much time to breathe and could snare away rounds with activity.
Let’s be clear, before Pacquiao was knocked out by Marquez, the Filipino looked as if he was on his way to victory. His ability to dart in and out of the pocket frustrated Marquez and began to do a number on his face. Obviously, Pacquiao was a little too overzealous and ended up going to sleep. The thing about Mayweather is that he doesn’t necessarily have the power to thwart Pacquiao’s advances. That could turn problematic as Mayweather could find himself in a position where he would have to come from behind to win.
It will also be interesting to see how Mayweather’s shoulder roll would deal with Pacquiao’s laser-like straight lefts and rights. The shoulder roll makes it easy for Mayweather to avoid wide hooks, as Mayweather can roll with the momentum of the punch. But what happens when those punches are coming right down the middle? If Pacquiao hurts Mayweather as Mosley did, don’t expect Pacquiao to be cautious, either.
Unlike anyone else Mayweather has faced, Pacquiao’s ability to box and brawl could be the perfect formula to end Mayweather’s streak. Oh, and what happens if and when Mayweather finally gets old inside of the ring?
Nobody has cracked the Mayweather code to date, but Manny Pacquiao has all the tools to be the first.