At some time late on Sunday afternoon, we’ll have the answer to a six year old question – is Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao the superior fighter?
It is unfortunate that this question was not answered a good four to five years ago, when both fighters were at their peak. But you take what you can get, and at least this will be settled once and for all (until the rematch anyway, but that’s a different story).
It’s been painted almost as a good vs evil bout. General consensus is that Floyd Mayweather is an arrogant wife-beating misogynist and an all-round prick. When push comes to shove it’s hard to argue with really. His domestic violence charges (plural) would most likely have seen a less wealthy man locked away for some time. On the other hand, the mild-mannered Pacquiao cuts a different cloth as a clean living, church going congressman.
So who’s better?
Well, Mayweather has forged a phenomenal record of 47-0-0. On paper, it is pretty much the greatest record of all time. But in reality, he has ducked Pacquiao, dived from the likes of Amir Khan, and has defended his title by selectively appointing his opponents. Not an uncommon practice, but one undertaken by someone who is generally more interested in his bank balance than creating a legacy.
Pacquiao has fought lightly over the last four years or so, with only five bouts since June 2011. Two of those were losses – one a split decision to Tim Bradley Jr, the other that shocking knockout from Juan Manuel Marquez to complete their quadrology (if that’s a word, and it probably isn’t).
The money floating around for this fight is downright stupid. This will be the richest sporting purse in history, by some distance, and the biggest Pay-Per-View event in history. In fact, after the Pay-Per-View receipts are in, both fighters could potentially clear USD$200 million, Mayweather more so than Pacquiao. Mayweather has also suggested that this will be his second last fight, as his six-bout Showtime contract comes to an end. It would surprise nobody if Pacquiao hung up the gloves as well.
New Zealand gets off lightly on PPV – at $49.95, that’s around half the price of what you’d need to spend in the US to get the fight. If you can stomach the thought that part of your well-earned cash will end up directly in Mayweather’s pocket, it represents great value by comparison.
So we’re looking at Pacquiao – a seven time world champion across five divisions – against Mayweather, a five time world champion. It’s a mouth-watering event, and one that has a number of possibilities, provided Mayweather continues to call the shots.
Should Mayweather win, that’s it. The career will be rounded out with a patsy to continue the unbeaten record. Should Pacquiao win (or there’s a draw), Mayweather will have the option of a rematch firmly written into his contract.
Look for a fight where there is some early contact, before Mayweather buttons off and shows sufficient class to not get badly tagged. Mayweather is good enough to pick away if Pacquiao fails to come out with complete aggression for the full 12 rounds.
Pacquiao is unlikely to knock out Mayweather. Mayweather is less likely to knock out Pacquiao. Therefore, this fight is primed to go the distance.
So if you’re looking for some decent coin of your own, at the time of writing the NZ TAB was offering the draw at $15. Sure, generally speaking, it’s unlikely. But where there is boxing, there is money – and where the two are combined in this scenario, extremely unlikely results are often seen to pump up the purse for the second fight.