Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. Preview May 2nd
There’s no need to pinch yourself. The most anticipated boxing match in recent memory is finally scheduled to take place this Saturday, May 2 when undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. of Grand Rapids, Michigan takes on Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 12-round welterweight tilt will be for Mayweather’s WBC and WBA Welterweight Championships and Pacquiao’s WBO crown. Fans in Canada, the U.S. and the UK will all have to shell out some cash to catch it live on pay-per-view.
The 38-year-old Mayweather enters the ring with a perfect record of 47-0 with 26 Kos while the 36-year-old Pacquiao is 57-5-2 and has 38 Kos to his name. Between them, these two guys have racked up numerous title belts in several weight classes. The last time Mayweather tasted defeat was as an amateur back at the Summer Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta and Pacquiao alone has won world titles in seven different weight classes from the 112 lb flyweight division all the way up to the super welterweight class at 154 lbs.
There’s not really any need to promote this fight as there’s more than enough hype floating about out there as it’s become a huge global event that has attracted the interest of non-traditional boxing fans. Hopefully it lives up to its billing. It has the potential to, but a lot of that will depend on Mayweather’s tactics. Will he stand his ground and fight aggressively or be more interested in exhibiting his superior defensive skills?
Looking at the tale of the tape, Mayweather stands 5-feet-8-inches tall and has a 72-inch reach while Pacquiao is 5-foot-6 with a 67-inch wingspan. Mayweather has fought 363 rounds since turning pro back in 1996 while Pacquiao has gone 412 since 1995. Mayweather has fought a total of 240 world championship rounds while Pacquiao has 162 under his belt. The main difference between the two here is the fact that Pacquiao is a southpaw. They’ve both taken on the best of their weight divisions over the years with Mayweather beating everybody he’s faced. Pacquiao’s five losses have come at the hands of Erik Morales, Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez and a couple of unknowns who stopped him early in his career in 1996 and 1999.
His first loss since then was to Mexican legend Morales by unanimous decision in March of 2005 while the second defeat came when Bradley was given the nod by a highly-controversial and ridiculous split decision in June of 2012. There was no controversy in the loss to Marquez though as Pacquiao was knocked out cold in the sixth round just six months after losing to Bradley. Pacquiao avenged his losses to Morales twice as well as beating Bradley in a rematch and had already beaten Marquez twice by decision and had a draw against him. Pacquiao’s other draw was a six-rounder with Agapito Sanchez back in 2001.
Pacquiao has a slight edge in power, but hasn’t stopped anybody since back in 2009 when he stopped Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto in the 12th and final round. Mayweather’s last stoppage came back in 2011 when he dropped a defenseless Victor Ortiz in the fourth round when Ortiz attempted to touch gloves with Mayweather in the middle of the ring in a sporting gesture. That turned out to be a huge mistake as Mayweather clocked him. It was legal, but arguably unsportsmanlike. His last legitimate knockout came back in 2007 when he stopped Ricky Hatton of England in the 10th round.
At this stage of their careers I’d also have to give Pacquiao the edge in hand speed and footwork while Mayweather’s defence, chin, and ring generalship is better. This guy knows how to adapt in the ring and is one of the smartest boxers of his and any other generation. The question is, does Pacquiao have what it takes to beat him? Who knows? But his best chance is to use his speed and mobility and force Mayweather to fight all three minutes of every round.
Mayweather isn’t used to fast-paced attacks from bell to bell and simply put, Pacquiao needs to swarm him with punches from all angles and in bunches. Volume and speed should go a long way for the Pac Man in this fight. However, at the same time he can’t afford to be reckless. Pacquiao’s chin is certainly questionable and this could all be over in a split second if he walks into a shot the way he did against Marquez.
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I believe this fight will go the distance unless Pacquiao gets careless and is nailed right on the chin coming forward. If it does go the distance, Pacquiao needs to hit Mayweather early and often by getting off first and then getting out of the way. He needs to throw the right jab multiple times and fast combinations and then make sure his head isn’t in the way of Mayweather’s counter shots. If the Pac Man can get in and out quickly, move side to side, and dig to Mayweather’s body he should pose some problems for the elusive Mayweather. It’s hard to pick against Mayweather due to his boxing brain, but Pacquiao should take a decision if he can stay on his feet.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights. The odds of a Mayweather victory are listed at -225 while a Pacquiao win is listed at +185. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done.
Floyd Mayweather betting • Manny Pacquiao betting