If you believe the Floyd Mayweather Jr. detractors who suggest he carefully calculated the moment he decided to finalize a deal to fight his most significant rival in decades, maybe throughout his entire career, Manny Pacquiao, then you agree that Mayweather Jr. is hoping to capitalize off of a weaker version of the Pacquiao he would’ve faced off against in years past.
We can’t be completely sure if this theory holds water and whether or not Manny’s age and presumed decline factored into Mayweather’s decision to finally take the fight. But whatever decline Pacquiao has suffered in the past 5-6 years it is safe to assume Mayweather has experienced a similar drop in skills.
For the Mayweather fans that are banking on their fighter winning against a less effective version of Pacquiao, those same fans must realize that Mayweather is taking the same kind of gamble.
Bob Arum, Top Rank CEO, and Pacquiao’s promoter believes that Mayweather has made a mistake if he assumes Pacquiao’s decline will be his ultimate advantage. In fact, Arum, in an interview published on Hustle Boss’ YouTube channel, said that he likes Pacquiao’s chances to beat Mayweather on May 2nd just as much as he did 5 years ago when the initial negotiations first broke down.
“I like Manny’s chances; I’ve always liked his chances. I’ve always thought that Manny has the style and the ability to beat Floyd, and I certainly feel that way now,” Arum said in the Hustle Boss interview.
Pacquiao has had a couple strong showings in his last few outings, despite the lack of confidence that some have had in his opposition, and he is heading into the Mayweather fight with at least a little momentum.
Mayweather, on the other hand, struggled so much in his first fight with Marcos Maidana that he was forced to fight a rematch in September to further cement his first victory. I feel that the first Maidana fight was blown out of proportion as Mayweather was never in any jeopardy of actually losing the fight.
Still, there are some indicators that suggest he is vulnerable now more than ever. Arum believes those indicators are further evidence that Mayweather is prime for a loss come May 2nd.
“I think that Maidana showed that Floyd is becoming a lot more vulnerable than he was because as you age the first thing that goes is your legs and Floyd doesn’t have the mobility that he had before. Also, as you age your reflexes are not what they were when you were a younger man.”