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Tale of the Tape…

January 7, 2010

Floyd don't want it with Pac

I’m ashamed that I didn’t write this myself, but it would be a crime if I didn’t share it with my NY sports fans. I visit a billion different blogs and message boards on a daily basis and I’m glad I stumbled on this very interesting take on both Floyd Mayweaher Jr and Manny Pacquiao. Shout out to Ryan Dunn and Boxing news for making my day.

hit the jump for more..

via Ryan Dunn @Boxing News

Okay, okay, when it comes to boxing, we are all going to have our reasons for believing Mayweather will be unstoppable against Manny Pacquiao, or why Pacquiao will knock Mayweather out easier than he did De La Hoya, or why the judges will have to decide such a close match-up. We make the most impressive troupe of armchair quarterbacks in all of sports, and every one of us believes we have it all figured out. But the truth is, I am the only one with such a rare and impressive skill. Ha.

But seriously, let’s use history to assess each of these fighters’ styles and see what they might bring to the ring come March, should these two legends work out their quibbles and face off (no small feat unto itself, as we are learning).

I need to start, however, by letting you know that I believe Pacquiao will win by TKO in the late rounds, and that he will achieve this with a smart use of body punching, a tactic which worked well for Castillo even though the Mexican warrior lost both fights against Mayweather. I believe Floyd has soft hands and lacks the willingness to take risks to do anything significant to Manny. I believe Manny’s unorthodox head movement, improved defense, uncanny hand speed and balanced two-fisted attack will simply be too much for Mayweather to handle.

With all of that said, let’s begin with the man we love to hate, the Moneymaker himself…

Floyd “Money” Mayweather has scored five knockouts since his impressive victory over Diego Corrales. That was ten years and sixteen fights ago. Since then, he has fought the occasional great champion (Castillo, Corrales, Judah), with a lot of filler in between (C. Hernandez, Sosa, N’dou, and a Gatti who proved he was no match for De La Hoya). Floyd IS, however, undefeated, a claim which Pacquiao himself cannot boast.

Many fans question whether Floyd has always took on the toughest opponents, or whether his record is padded with calculated risk-taking. Here is one example:

Kostya Tszyu fights Sharmba Mitchell in November, 2004, and knocks him out. Tszyu goes on to fight Ricky Hatton in June, 2005, and gets knocked out decidedly by the Hitman. Five months later, who does Mayweather choose to fight? That’s right, Sharmba Mitchell. Not Hatton, not even Kostya Tszyu.

True, Mayweather went on to fight Hatton two years later, but I believe it was out of pride (Hatton was quite aggressive in calling Floyd out after beating Castillo: “There was more action in those four rounds than in Floyd Mayweather’s last half dozen fights.”)

Floyd has so much as admitted that taking punishment in boxing brawls isn’t cool. I can understand and apprecaite that; heck Hopkins is one of my favorite fighters of all time. He also has said that “legacy don’t pay the bills”. That’s fine. He has stated he is in the money making business. Aren’t they all? He doesn’t speak with a passion for proving himself, or becoming the best by fighting the best, which bugs me a bit. And he says he doesn’t duck or dodge anyone, though he seldom will challenge the best fighters willing to fight him. Let’s look at a few of his bigger victories…

Mayweather couldn’t knock out Judah, the smaller man who scored an unofficial knockdown in the second round. Judah threw a few illegal punches, two of which caused Roger Mayweather to enter the ring, thus inciting a veritably riot in the ring before action resumed. Judah was simply frustrated with the non-confrontational fighting style of Mayweather (a theme common to with many Floyd’s opponents).

Mayweather couldn’t knock out Castillo (twice he tried, and failed). Castillo showed how working the body and keeping up stamina can work against Floyd. He beat Mayweather in the later rounds of their first fight this way, and it required Floyd getting scrappy to work his way out. Castillo also controlled the middle rounds in their rematch, using a lot of body work before Mayweather finally got out of the way and danced to victory.

Mayweather couldn’t knockout De La Hoya, and of all of his fights, I think this one is the most telling as to what we can expect to see if Floyd enters the squared circle against Manny. Can Mayweather dig deep and find a way to deliver on his fight plan? Or will he dance around the ring with his in-out-jab-shoulder-roll techniques? I just don’t think he will have that luxury against Pacquiao.

He couldn’t put Gatti down, never put Sosa on the mat, and Hernandez had him on the canvas before losing on points. Even DeMarcus Corley had Mayweather wobbled in the fourth round despite going on to losing a tactical fight thereafter.

The point I’m making is this: nobody can produce any evidence of a scenario where Mayweather finds a way to knock out or truly dominate Pacquiao. Manny is not a stationary target. He is hittable to be sure, but he can take a good punch, as demonstrated vs. Cotto and Hatton (however brief the latter fight was). He has spent the past ten years relentlessly working on ways to improve his strength, stamina and endurance, while expanding his talent with both fists. If Cotto couldn’t at least score a knock-down against Manny, what makes anybody think Mayweather can? He is a sharp puncher, accurate as they come, but not strong.

Alright, onto the pride of the Phillipines, the Pacman…

Ten years ago, Manny Pacquiao was a largely unknown fighter but about to break it into the big-time. He was a one-fisted puncher with an under-developed right hand. He was a speedy southpaw with little regard for his own body while throwing the kitchen sink at his opponents. In some ways he has not changed a bit. In other ways, he’s an entirely new fighter.

I will start his journey with his TKO victory over Barrera, who was at that moment (November, 2003) the undisputed pound-for-pound champion of the world. Manny has fought fourteen times since then, and of those fights, he has nine knockouts. If we go back a full ten years, however, his record is 23-1-2 with 16 knockouts (compared with Mayweather’s aforementioned record of 16-0-0 with 6 knockouts).

Pacquiao knocked out Barrera in the 11th round of their first fight. It was a war, but Manny never faded. He put Barrera on the canvas in the 3rd round, then again in the 11th, at which point Marco’s corner threw in the towel. This was Barrera at his prime, folks, not a washed up has-been on his last legs. He was the best opponent possible, and Manny destroyed him.

Later, Pacquiao would fight and knock Marquez down three times in the first round. After that round, however, Marquez proved why he was the dark horse of boxing everyone was afraid to face (like Paul Williams is today and Winky Wright was a few years back). The fight was a draw only because one of the judges failed to score the first round 10-6, as most if not all would agree it should have been. Their rematch would turn out to be much closer, though it went Manny’s way in the end. Marquez is, in my opinion, the only style of fighter who can pose challenges for Manny: a strong, accurate warrior with great defense and a willingness to trade and take risks. Mayweather DOES has good defense. He is NOT, however, a risk-taker on any level.

Pacquiao lost to Erik Morales in their first of three match-ups. He cites weakness from drawn blood, as well as a psychological effect from the NSAC mix-up (conspiracy theorists wonder whether the missing vile was part of a Morales plot to throw Pacquiao off, I’m not so sure about that). Nobody knew of Manny’s blood incident at the time of the fight, however, and it appeared to simply be a great match-up of two exciting fight styles. However, Manny had Morales wobbled in the 12th round, proving his stamina and ferocity despite his “incident”. Morales would lose both of their subsequent fights by convincing knockout. It’s worth noting that the only two losses on Morales’s record at the time of his first fight with Manny were against Barrera. So there is no “he was over the hill” excuse there.

Pacquiao knocked out the then undefeated Solis despite a nasty cut over Pacquiao’s left eye. He also dismantled David Diaz, a fighter who would turn out to be tragically overrated, yet still a bigger man than Manny. Velazquez tasted canvas against the Filipino and so did Lucero just one fight before Manny went on to beat Barrera.

The fights with De La Hoya and Hatton both have an asterisks behind them, as Floyd got to these men first and beat them. However, if you think that simply losing to Floyd is enough to break a man’s will, you must be listening a little to closely to Floyd himself. He doesn’t devastate an opponent in the way a Sugar Ray Leonard or a Mike Tyson or a George Foreman or a Wladimir Klitchko, or (yes) a Manny Pacquiao can. So it’s worth looking at HOW Mayweather and Pacquiao handled both of those fighters, and how they won. You can look that up on your own.

Since fighting Barrera six years ago, Pacquiao has proved (to my mind) that he is no little man with fast hands. He is powerful, unorthodox, and hard to beat. He doesn’t fade late, and he can take a good jab as well as he can take an uppercut to the chin. I know many wonder if he has been abusing drugs, or other substances which give him an edge and supernatural strength as he fights at higher weights, and for that I have an answer as well…

As you can see in my diagram of PACQUIAO’S WEIGHT SINCE 2005 [link: http://www.liftingfaces.com/uploads/mannys_weight.jpg%5D, there is a pattern. A rehydrated Manny Pacquiao has only put on ten pounds in five years, and that growth has been slow and steady with no sudden spikes. From what I can discern, Manny simply dehydrated himself MORE to make the lower weight classes, because he and his trainer felt he would be most effective fighting around 130. When he went up to fight Diaz at 135, and then De La Hoya at 142, he realized he could still be effective at the higher weights. My unofficial weight in his Cotto fight is speculation based on some second-hand “insider” information I have gleaned on another message board. It seems plausible enough so I kept it in.

Manny never went down in his match-up against Cotto last November, and was caught off balance once, maybe twice in the whole fight before going on to utterly dismantle the “bigger, stronger fighter”. Manny was convincingly more accurate and stronger. He won in an exciting fashion and gave fans every penny worth, as he always does. Floyd on the other hand, like Hopkins, doesn’t really care what the fans want. I don’t blame him for it, but he is not exciting as a result, that’s a fact. It’s his mouth outside the ring, and the fact that people want to see him beaten, that keeps him in the spotlight.

CONCLUSION

I’ve made my case as clear as I believe I can. I think it’s worth looking at history rather than speculation when deciding what might happen in the ring. Pacquiao has never faced an opponent like Floyd, because there is nobody as fast or hard to hit as Mayweather. And Floyd has never faced an opponent like Pacquiao, because there is nobody as strong for their size who throws combinations from angles you can’t train against.

But speed and strength, in this fight, win out over defense and precision. Floyd will have better foot control, and a larger ring to dance around, but when he is frazzled by Manny’s onslaught, bad things are going to happen, and they are going to happen in Pacquiao’s favor. Manny will destroy the body and put together 3, 4, and 5 punch combinations which will break Mayweather’s will. Floyd will curl up like a ‘possum and unload with his flashy sharp punches, but they will fall short and lack the power required to beat Pacquiao.

In the end, Pacquiao wins by TKO in round 10. I don’t know if it will be more entertaining to see Roger run into the ring to save his nephew from more damage, or to see Floyd on his back staring up at the bright lights overhead, wondering where his fight plan went wrong.

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One comment

  1. this article is f*ckn amazing! straight, no b*llsh*t, honest!



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