By Gary Todd
WBC , WBO, and WBA super welterweight championship of the world. MGM Grand resort and casino, Las Vegas.
Over the years, we have had fight hyped slogans, in “ History” , “ Undisputed”, “The world awaits”, “ The War “ , “ It’s On “ and so on. …. Great fighters,, and great fights, but this fight hype has been dragging on , in anticipation for so long, you could say it’s been the longest running promotion for any fight in the history of boxing. Some would say, it was either a cruel joke on the boxing fans around the world, or was it just a promoters genius. I would say it was a bit of both.
In reality, this fight was always going to happen. It had to. It just needed the right ingredients, then let it come to the boil, then let the whole thing simmer for as long as possible, without letting it burn .
So here we are, some six years on, and with all the talk, all the debating, the negotiations, and all the bullshit over, we only have two weeks to go, before these two finally touch gloves for real.
When I write these big fight analysis pieces, I try to think of a heading, a title, which I think relates to the fight at hand. It took me about 2 seconds to come up with the title for this one. The glttering prize is the specially made bely which has been made for the winner. [ A reported one million dollars worth , which is a crime ] The pot of gold is the amount of money , all the players will make [ which is a billion dollars plus , which is also criminal ]
We are told that it’s a fight for the fans, but how can it be. If it was, they would have put it on at a big stadium, and sold tickets at a reasonable price. This fight is all about supply and demand , but not for the boxing fans around the world , who have been waiting on this fight to be made. This fight is all about making as much money as possible. With ringside ticket prices being sold for 65, 000 dollars to 90,000, and mid tier being sold for 14,000, not to mention the bleachers tickets going for 8,000, how can this be for the fans??
Bob Arum was reportedly offered 100,000 dollars for a ringside seat central to the ring, between the blue and the red corner, and good old Bob said, “ Give me $200,000 and you can take your pick . That is wrong .
Anyway, enough of that. It is what it is, and there’s not much we can do about that. It’s done!
Lets get to the fight.
Just so we are all clear before I write this . I have trained in the gym with Mayweather and Pacquiao , over the years. I have also spent time with the two fighters, in and out of the gym and I have been following them through their careers. I am a huge fan of Mayweather and Pacquiao. Both fighters have given me some incredible, fantastic memories. As people, [ extraordinary people ] it is tough for me to separate them .
What more can we say about Floyd Mayweather ? Not much more than has already been said. His boxing record says it all.
With 47 fights, and no losses, in a professional career that started in 1996, he has dominated every weight class he has campaigned in, from featherweight, to super feather, to lightweight, through to welterweight, and super welterweight. In my opinion, he is the greatest fighter ever. It’s a big statement, and the fans reading this will think, what !!, is this guy real, what about Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard…the list could go on. .
All , more than worthy, but Mayweather is my pick.
Some would say Pacquiao could quite easily go on to that list, and why not.
He has earned it. He has won world championship belts in 7 different weight divisions, and has multiple belts in world title fights, and has done it in exciting, devastating fashion. He is a legend of the sport of boxing.
Both fighters will go down in the history of the sport of boxing as modern day greats. This fight and the winner of this fight cannot take away or enhance their status as boxers. Like I said, their record speaks for itself.
As with all fighters, each of them have their pro’s and cons , each explore and exploit their weaknesses, their chinks in the armour, and each fighter will try to impose themselves to be first and win the battle at any cost. This fight will be no different.
Here is my thoughts on each fighters good and not so good.
Mayweather. [ strengths ]
• Ring smarts. Boxing brain.
• Speed. [ hands]
• Confidence in his abilities
• Dictating the tempo of a fight
• Dedication to training
• Height [ 5.8 ] 173 cms
• Reach [ 72’ ] 183cms
• Accuracy and precise punches
• Defensive genius
• Being able to adjust to his opponent
• Combination punching
• Counter punching
• Anticipating, reading his opponents movements
• He has great timing .
• Is a 12 round fighter
Mayweather [ weaknesses ]
• Floyd can be open on the ropes
• Can he fight flat out for 3 minutes of every round
• Is his hands ready for that
• Can he handle an aggressive southpaw , who has speed
• If he gets cut, will he handle being cut
• Can he handle pressure from pacquiao
• One punch power. [ last opponent we could count was ricky hatton in dec, 2007 ]
Please don’t count Ortiz !
Pacquiao [ strengths ]
• Speed and volume of punches thrown
• Dedication to training
• Being a southpaw
• Ko power
• Speed of foot and hand. [ in and out ]
• Awkwardness .
• Is a 12 round fighter.
Pacquiao [ weaknesses ]
• Is a 12 round fighter.
• Is he damaged. [ he has made a career out of brutal fights ] I think he is.!
• Has been ko’d [ marquez 2012. ]
• He gets counter punched a lot
• Leaves himself open to right hands
• Does he have a cramping problem in his lower leg muscles
• Can be outboxed.
• Height , and reach will favour Mayweather
The fight, and my analysis.
To win this fight, Mayweather must establish his jab early on, and throw his straight right hand, and whenever he goes to the ropes, he has to tie up Pacquiao’s arms and withstand Pacquiao’s 4 or 5 round onslaught of aggression and movement. Pacquiao basically has to throw everything at Mayweather, and turn it into a brawl.
If Mayweather gets tagged, or cut, the fight dynamic will change . Manny has been known to clash with his head and if he opens up Floyd’s eye, it could be a much different fight.
I think the referee will have a busy night, and also a big part to play in who wins. Go back to the Hatton v Mayweather fight, the referee , Joe Cortez just wouldn’t let Hatton near Mayweather.
If Mayweather can keep off Pacquiao for the early rounds, and box and move, making the Filipino use those big legs, and bust him up with eye catching combinations he should win the rounds. From there, once the legs slow up [ or get cramped], Mayweather will go to work, and try to make a statement in the remaining rounds, until he does enough damage to force the fight to be stopped in or around the 10th round. Mayweather wins.
After all these years of waiting, and talking, I just hope that it is a fight for the fans. No questions , no doubts, and no rematch required.
Gary Todd is the author of “Workouts from boxings greatest champs” volumes 1 and 2.