With less than six weeks to go before the most anticipated showdown in boxing history, Steve Waters compares the two boxers in five different areas, scoring both guys out of ten for each category.
Manny Pacquiao will be the first opponent Floyd has ever faced who is actually faster than him, Floyd has always been very calculated his whole career and takes minimal risks. Therefore, you can understand why some believe that there was pressure from Showtime forcing him to make this fight. Despite the first Maidana fight being fairly competitive (at least for the first half), and Canelo being initially thought of as a risk.
People are beyond tired of seeing almost showcase fights from a guy who is universally, and rightly considered the sports best. Floyd still has fast hands, but his footwork is nowhere near as quick as Manny’s. In a recent interview, Brandon Rios said, “Pacman” was so fast that it felt at times like he was fighting three of him when they shared the ring.
We all know Mayweather doesn’t throw many punches. However, when he does throw, he usually lands. He is the one of the most accurate punchers in the history of the sport. The bottom line – he doesn’t throw many, but he doesn’t miss many either. Manny can get reckless, and his accuracy percentage is nowhere near that of “Money’s” but the high amount of shots he throws means that he does still land a lot.
Neither guy possesses World Class power. Both have a KO percentage of little over 50%, and I feel that Manny Pacquiao’s power is over-rated. It’s been a very long time since he stopped someone (2009 vs. Cotto) and other than the Hatton fight. I can’t recall too many one punch knockouts, most of the opponents he blasted through in his prime were overwhelmed with pressure and aggression, either being stopped on their feet or quitting on their stall.
He does still possess power, just ask his last opponent Chris Algieri who he knocked down multiple times in his last bout. However, Algieri didn’t stay down and still saw the final bell. So you could say he has power, just not KO power.
Floyd’s power hasn’t carried through the divisions, and his well publicised bristle hands have meant that he can’t put as much meat into his shots as he would like to but with that said. I think his power might be slightly underrated. After all, he gets away with not throwing many shots. Yes, a lot of that comes down to his defense but there must be some power in those fists? Otherwise, guys would just walk straight through his punches rather than being temporarily stung enough to enable Floyd to move and get away.
Mayweather is a master. I disagree with his self-proclaimed title of TBE. However, I would call him the best defensive fighter ever. He so seldom gets clipped. We might’ve only ever seen him get hit cleanly twice, his whole career (Mosely and Maidana II)
Manny’s defense is his offense. His non-stop style of coming forward, in and out from different angles means that he rarely has to be on the defense. However, he does have a tendency to walk (or jump) into on-coming shots, see Marquez IV.
We can’t score Floyd any less than perfect for this category as he has never been OFFICIALLY knocked down by a punch. Although those who remember the Zab Judah fight will recall him being caught with a shot off balance. Which meant his hand touched the ground in order to keep himself up, that should’ve been ruled a knockdown but like I previously stated we have only seen him caught with two real big shots.
The first in the opening round against hard punching Sugar Shane Mosely, and despite stumbling slightly Mayweather never went down and used his defense. As well as his smarts to hold on long enough to let his head clear which didn’t seem to take too long. Those powers of recovery were again evident when he got hit flush in his previous fight against Maidana.
Maidana landed a shot that visibly sent the crown of one his teeth flying out of his mouth and caused some real swelling to his lips. Fortunately for Floyd he was saved by the bell and stumbled to his corner. The 30 seconds was enough recovery time, and he continued his dominance in the very next round.
In the Epilogue of the fight, Floyd admitted to those re-watching the fight with him and also those of us watching on Showtime from our homes that “he (Maidana) hurt me with that shot.”
Manny we know has been knocked out before, cold in his final fight with Marquez. Does Floyd possess enough power to do the same? It’s highly unlikely, but his great timing along with Manny’s tendencies to forget his defense when attacking might mean that could be a possibility. But to be honest I cannot see either guy getting knocked out. The outcome of this mega-fight surely rests on whether Floyd still has enough athletic ability in him to keep Manny away for 12 rounds. If he can achieve that it’ll probably look like most of the previous “Money” fights. If not, Mayweather could be in for a very painful. night.
Totals (out of 50)