Every generation has that fight which is a “must see” event. In the 70’s it was Ali vs. Frazier. The 80’s gave us a couple in the form of Leonard vs. Duran and Hagler vs. Hearns. While the 90’s brought us Tyson vs. Spinks. These were more than fights; they were events and when they happened the entire world stopped to watch. It took five years, but the longer the wait, the bigger the want. The 2K-generation finally has its fight in the form of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Rest assured on May 2nd the whole world will once again stop to watch. But who will win? Check out our take on MayPac.
As the cliché goes, “styles make fights”. In MayPac you have the defensive specialist in Floyd Mayweather against the offensive juggernaut that is Manny Pacquiao. What makes this match-up so hard to predict is that both fighters are the absolute best at their chosen style. It’s almost like trying to predict who wins in Batman v. Superman.
The Defensive Specialist
It’s the eve of fight night and Vegas odds makers still have Floyd Mayweather as the favorite to win. Why? As the defensive specialist and counter-punching maestro, he hasn’t lost. More importantly, its his almost savant like ability to download a boxers strategy in the early rounds and adjust his game plan better than any other. During his media day Mayweather admitted as much himself
“anyone can get hit with a great shot, but I can make more adjustments and Manny can’t. He is very, very reckless. Every move I make is calculated. I’m always 5-10 steps ahead of my opponent.”
Those 5-10 steps often consist of lightning quick counter-punching, supplemented by late fight aggression when he sees an opponent tiring as the fight gets into the later stages. His superior speed and conditioning allow him to turn it on, when others are running out of gas. This will likely be the strategy employed.
However, there are wildcards to consider that maybe of concern. First up, training camp methods. Reports of Mayweather chopping wood are of concern. Why? Past fighters that rely on speed and counter-punching who have employed this tactic get stronger but also bulkier and a bit slower for it. Manny is no slouch in the speed department and Floyd will need every bit of quickness to outmaneuver him. Here’s hoping the tree trunks wont compromise that. Also, of concern is that in Manny he faces a lefty with power and speed in both hands, who also has excellent footwork. Lefties have always given Mayweather trouble. Yet, Mayweather’s response to such critiques are as always colorful Mayweather fashion.
“Last time I checked I faced eight southpaws and won eight times, so I am not worried.”
Admittedly, when facing Southpaws, Mayweather has been able to make the adjustments after downloading their plan and when they began to tire. Manny however traditionally gets stronger as a fight goes on. Can Floyd withstand a fighter that doesn’t fade? Finally, there is Mayweather’s mindset coming into this bout. The usual pre-fight trash talk has been entirely absent. Moreover, for the first time ever, in an interview with Katie Couric, Mayweather made mention that a loss would not tarnish his legacy. One could interpret this as an acknowledgment of the possibility of a loss is in his mindset. Something that is almost sacrilege for an athlete to entertain prior to competition. This above any is the biggest concern going into the bout.