For almost seven years, boxing fans have yearned for the opportunity to see two of the greatest fighters of this generation, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, touch gloves at the center of the ring. On May 2nd at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the boxing gods will finally grant that wish, as boxing’s two megastars square up for what is predicted to be the most watched fight in history.
The hype surrounding this fight has been building for years. While Mayweather, 37, was on a two-year retirement, Pacquiao, 36, was dominating the boxing world. After Mayweather made his comeback in September 2009 with an impressive unanimous decision win against Juan Manuel Marquez, the two megastars’ names have been linked ever since.
There’s no question that both fighters are past their prime and a bout four or five years ago would have been more of a fair and entertaining fight to watch, but both fighters have a lot of fuel left. Mayweather is a 2-to-1 favorite going into the matchup, but the chance of an upset isn’t too farfetched.
At 5’6” with a 57-5-2 record, including 38 knockouts, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is a force in the ring. The Filipino star has shown signs of vulnerability in his last five fights but he’s also shown why he’s one of the greatest to ever step into the ring. It all started with a controversial split decision loss against Timothy Bradley in June 2012, then the world stood still when he was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round later that year. His last loss before 2012 was in 2005 against Erik Morales, so the boxing community smelled blood. Even though he won his last three fights since that Marquez knockout, the scent hasn’t faded away.
Still, Manny has showed in every one of those fights why he’s one of the best offensive fighters in the sport. His combination of speed and power, along with his 67” reach, is incomparable to any fighter in boxing right now, and although his last knockout was in 2009 against Miguel Cotto, he’s shown that he still has knockout power, knocking down Stony Brook alum, Chris Algieri, six times in their bout late last year.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather is the complete opposite of his opponent. Unlike Pacman, Mayweather’s pride is in his defense, and is arguably the greatest defensive fighter to ever live. With 47 wins and 0 losses, including 26 knockouts, he has a two inch advantage in height being 5’8” and a five inch reach advantage with 72”, which is going to make it even more difficult a task for Pacquiao to crack the “May-Vinci Code.” Mayweather is considered by many to be one of the smartest boxers in the world and it shows, making his opponents take the fight to him and using his great defensive skills, along with his ability to work well off his counter punches, as his most valuable form of offense. Money has coasted to victory in his last five fights, outclassing and out boxing his opponents along the way.
The May 2nd meeting between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is not only a fight between the best defensive boxer in the world and the best offensive boxer, it’s also a fight between two of the greatest boxers of all time. Both fighters are not at the peaks of their careers, but Pacquiao has shown that he’s beatable, while Mayweather has developed a unique fighting style that makes up for the aspects of his game that aren’t as polished as before. So if you’re betting money on the fight, the smartest and safest thing to do is to put your money on “Money” Mayweather.