Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pacquiao-Mayweather: Who Wins and Why

Now that the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is almost a done deal, with all areas ironed out save for the venue (as of press time, the choices have been narrowed to Las Vegas (MGM Grand), Dallas (Cowboys Stadium) and New Orleans (Superdome)), here are some points worth mulling over about who would win and why in this exciting clash between arguably the most dynamic offensive boxer of this generation against perhaps one of the best defensive fighter of all time.

Why Pacquiao would win

Confidence and momentum are on this little Filipino’s side. He has not tasted defeat since the loss to Erik Morales in 2005, and has successfully campaigned through the weight divisions en route to seven titles in seven different weight categories.

In his last outing against Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao has proven that he can take a true welterweight’s punch. Not only that, he can also hurt and bring down a true welterweight. While it is said that Mayweather’s punching power is underrated, due to the fact that he picks his shots, it can be argued that Cotto is a lot stronger than Mayweather.

While many argue that Mayweather can adjust to any style the opponent brings, Pacquiao’s way of fighting is just too awkward and too unpredictable. With his knack of throwing punches from angles unheard of and in huge quantities, Mayweather may have a hard time dodging and slipping all of them. He also has speed and power to go with his hobby of volume punching.

Freddie Roach will be Pacquiao’s ultimate trump card. The boxing genius knows how to carve fight plans and he certainly did have a blueprint for Mayweather when Oscar dela Hoya faced him in 2007. The Golden Boy had his moments, pressing and backing Mayweather to the ropes,. Unfortunately, Dela Hoya faded in the later rounds. Though Mayweather was the winner, it was the first time he earned a victory via a split decision.

Why Mayweather would win

Defense will be Mayweather’s main offense. Pacquiao has never fought a defensive mastermind with Mayweather’s caliber. Breaking down Mayweather’s defense will be an aspect Pacquiao’s camp will concentrate on. But how to do that will be a herculean task to begin with.

Though Pacquiao has the skills, the speed, and the power to pressure Mayweather, Pacman does not have the natural height, size, and reach advantages Oscar had. Mayweather has the upper hand in those departments and he will certainly capitalize on those gifts.

While Pacquiao is fast, Mayweather is slightly faster. If it comes down to whose punches will land first, Mayweather will surely beat Pacquiao to the punch.

The guy certainly does not have any sign of ring rust even after a two-year hiatus. His performance against Juan Manuel Marquez should attest to that. He was superb in terms of overall boxing skills and ring generalship.

Mayweather is a great counterpuncher, and Pacquiao has had problems with counterpunchers. Add to that the fact that Mayweather uses the ring very well. Pacquiao does not want to chase his opponents (as seen in the Cotto fight) since this really frustrates the Filipino, who likes high-octane action. Mayweather, boxes well, even when he rides his bicycle backwards.

In all reality, one can easily make a plausible argument as to who wins and why. But that question can be answered only when these two living legends finally square off. As for us fight fans, we are certainly now in the calm before the storm. Only this time, we prayed for this storm.

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