Floyd Mayweather, 47-0 (26 KOs) vs. Manny Pacquiao, 55-5-2 (38 KOs)
When: Saturday, May 2, 2015
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Weight Class: Welterweight Championship: 12 Rounds
by Scott of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Floyd Mayweather (-240) vs. Manny Pacquiao (+210). Bet your prediction using your credit card and get a 50% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at Bovada Sportsbook!
At long last, the fight that fans have been waiting for is here, as the top two pound-for-pound forces from this era collide, with Floyd Mayweather taking on Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM in Las Vegas. It is a matchup of cataclysmic proportions that will break all revenue records. The fight may be happening later than what fans wanted, but late is better than never. Both fighters remain remarkably close to their peak despite being on the wrong side of 35.
Mayweather will be 38 come fight night and is looking for his 48th straight win. For 17 years, he has been a champion and no one has beaten him. Is he a little post-peak? Perhaps, but he’s held up remarkably well and rightfully enters this bout as a better-than 2-1 favorite. Other than Pacquiao, he’s beaten the best around and for the most part, no one has been competitive with him. For Pacquiao backers, however, there is some hope in the fact that he appeared a bit easier to corral and hit in his two bouts with Marcos Maidana. Maybe the increased fury, speed, and skill of Pacquiao can do one better.
Pacquiao is a well-traveled 36. Like Mayweather, his championship resume dates back to 1998. And like Mayweather, he probably is at least slightly past his peak. But perhaps people have been too hard on Pacquiao. In recent years, the only thing he did wrong was to run into a Juan Manuel Marquez haymaker counterpunch 2.5 years ago. That’s one bad moment. And when you fight the future first-ballot Hall of Famer Marquez 4 times, something bad is bound to happen.
At the same time, there is some credence that Pacquiao is older in fight years than Mayweather, despite being younger chronologically. Pacquiao’s career has been more punishing. He’s taken more blows and been on the end of some stoppages. When a fighter gets put to sleep as Pacquiao did, it’s not a good thing. In terms of ring mileage and punch-resistance, the edge goes to Mayweather. And defensively, Mayweather is one of the best to ever do it. But again, all the Pacquiao criticism comes from one bad moment and to characterize him based on that is obviously a flawed approach.
Pacquiao has bounced back well from the JMM disaster and strung together a nice run of wins. He avenged another “defeat” by beating unbeaten Tim Bradley and has shown that if he’s fallen off, it’s not by much. In a nutshell, both fighters are at the end of the line. It all comes down to this. So when it comes to urgency and motivation, both fighters will be at a fever pitch. Legacies are on the line. It’s as high-stakes as it can be. It’s not often in any walk of life where a person’s entire life’s work comes down to one night.
Pacquiao has a lot of assets that could work, even against a defensive master like Mayweather. It’s hard to forecast someone beating Mayweather up after watching him navigate his way through 17 years of world title fights without much trouble. But Pacquiao brings some things to the table not commonly seen with Mayweather opponents. Usually, the speed edge goes to Mayweather by a long shot. And while he gets off quicker than Pacquiao, he doesn’t have a speed edge in exchanges. And that’s what Pacquiao needs to do--get Mayweather in a position where he needs to freely exchange.
Pacquiao is a lefty, which could create problems with the shoulder-roll defense of Mayweather. It’s not just the right hand that Mayweather needs to worry about or even just a left hook. Pacquiao can zing you with that left from a variety of angles and trajectories. And Mayweather’s jab might be rendered less a of a factor against Pacquiao’s southpaw stance. Even so, Mayweather loves that lead right hand and should find success with that punch against the Filipino hero.
One misnomer on the part of some coming into this fight is that Mayweather is anything but tough and durable. You don’t get through almost two decades of fighting good fighters without a loss by not being as tough as they come. With all the flash and his cute style, it’s easy to forget that Floyd is also a fighter with a lot of heart and grit. The few times he has been hit flush by a hurtful punch, he has managed to recuperate quickly. That’s a tough guy to beat. First, you’re dealing with a defense that is difficult to penetrate. And even if you do land, he’s a fighter of immense durability. And his pride is so substantial that he refuses to acknowledge defeat. For a lot of fighters, Mayweather’s over-the-top sense-of-self could be a detriment. But Floyd’s self-belief is an asset. Expect him to be fully in shape as usual and with the light at the end of the tunnel now plainly in sight, expect a prime version of Mayweather--probably better than what was seen in the two Maidana fights.
By the same token, the motivation for Pacquiao is also huge. It’s been a long and difficult ride and it’s all come down to this. He can throw himself into his preparations and score the greatest sports victory in the history of his country, where he may one day become president. He’s already a boxing legend, but a win here would put him firmly with the top all-time champions. Suffice to say this is enormous for both fighters.
Mayweather is very cagey in the area of picking fights. He catches opponents at just the right time, when they are depreciating, but it hasn’t fully manifested yet. And truth be told, this would be a lot tougher for Mayweather if this were 2009-10, where Pacquiao very well may have been a favorite. Both men have held up incredibly well for a pair of guys who are set for life financially. But even though Mayweather has let it all get to his head more than Pacquiao from a humbleness standpoint, I think he’s retained his hunger a bit more than Pacquiao. Most people see a guy in Mayweather who is living the life of a guy who is about to blow it, but for 17 years, he’s maintained his razor’s edge. And maybe his body has held up a bit better, as well.
This is the most dangerous fight of Mayweather’s career and is coming at an age when most fighters are winding down or already at pasture. It’s not terribly difficult to envision a scenario where Pacquiao’s speed, angles, and overall frenzy make it difficult for Mayweather. Pacquiao could also out-hustle Mayweather, who sometimes gets too defensive. I picture a close fight. Mayweather will be tagged, but for the most part, he will keep the fight from getting out of hand and win a good, tense fight by 12-round decision.
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on Floyd Mayweather, Jr. to win at -240. He has held up better, has more avenues to victory, and less overall vulnerabilities. In the end, he’ll be a little too smart, with his ring generalship playing a big role. Bet this fight for FREE by getting a 100% bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!
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