All eyes will be on the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, May 2 as boxing superstars Floyd Mayweather Jr. of America and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines will finally battle it out. The 12-round, pay-per-view contest will be a welterweight unification bout as Pacquiao is the current WBO Champion and Mayweather holds the WBA and WBC versions of the title. The fight may be five years later in some fans’ eyes, but it’s better late than never.
Boxing Betting Preview – Pacquiao vs Mayweather: bet365 lists Mayweather as the favorite to win the fight 4/9 at with Pacquiao at 2/1. The odds of it going the distance are yes at 2/7 and no at 5/2
The 38-year-old Mayweather has never tasted defeat as a pro pugilist since turning professional in 1996 and owns a perfect mark of 47-0 with 26 Kos. The 36-year-old Pacquiao has been beaten just five times since his pro career began in 1995, but still has an excellent record of 57-5-2. He was stopped shortly after turning pro in 1996 and then again in 1999. Since then his defeats have come at the hands of Erik Morales of Mexico in 1995, American Timothy Bradley in 2005 and Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico, also in 2012.
The only stoppage loss Pacquiao has suffered since 1999 was in the sixth round of the Marquez bout when he was sent crashing to the canvas in the sixth round. His loss to Morales as by 12-round unanimous decision and he dropped a 12-round split decision to Bradley in a bout most viewers believed he was robbed in. However, with three KO losses on his record there’s definitely a reason to question Pacquiao’s chin. That’s not the case with Mayweather as the former 1996 Olympian has stood up to everybody he’s ever faced.
Mayweather enters the ring at 5-feet-8-inches tall with Pacquiao being slightly shorter at 5-feet-six and a half inches. Mayweather has a 72-inch reach which gives him a five-inch advantage of his challenger’s 67-inches. However, this isn’t is great as it sounds since the measurement is total wingspan rather than shoulder to fingertip. Both boxers have faced world-class opposition over the years and Pacquiao avenged his losses to Bradley and Morales. He also fought to a draw and two decision victories over Marquez in their first three meetings.
Neither boxer has had the killer instinct lately as Pacquiao’s last KO win came against Miguel Cotto in 2009 and Mayweather’s occurred in 2011 when he knocked Victor Ortiz out in controversial fashion when he hit him shortly after a break. With both boxers’ power diminishing over the years there’s a good chance this fight will go the distance. Mayweather is known for his brilliant defensive work and he likely won’t want to engage in a firefight with the Filipino boxer. As long as Pacquiao doesn’t make the mistake of walking right into one of Mayweather’s power punches he should be able to remain upright for the entire 12 rounds.
Pacquiao’s speed, movement, and offensive ability should see him win his fair share of rounds as long as he goes after Mayweather right from the opening round and doesn’t let up. He has to use angles and throw unexpected punches from everywhere and can’t give Mayweather the time to take a breather. Constant punching along with side-to-side and back and forth movement should bode well for Pacquiao since Mayweather isn’t used to handling swarming volume punches for the entire three minutes of each round.
Being a southpaw, Pacquiao needs to establish his jab and double and triple up on it before unleashing his left-handed power shots. He can’t hang in front of Mayweather too long though when throwing combinations or he’ll get tagged with counter shots. He needs to throw volume punches, early, often and hard as aggression and activity are his best chances of winning. Most fans expect to see Mayweather play the matador to Pacquiao’s bull, but he could surprise them by being more aggressive than usual. If that’s the case then the fans should certainly get their money’s worth.