(First of two parts)
After Manny Pacquiao completed a one-sided beating of Brandon Rios in Macau on November 24, there were calls, also from some boxing writers, that a showdown between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather should be in order.
But judging the recent fights of Pacquiao and Mayweather, I wonder if my countryman has a good chance of beating the flamboyant American. In fact, I fear Pacquiao being rushed into the ring with Mayweather at this point.
Remember that a month before Pacquiao squared off against Rios, Mayweather did an almost one-sided beating of Canelo Alvarez, a legitimate junior welterweight (154 pounds) who has better ring credentials than Rios.
Okay I’ll go straight to the point —Pacquiao can’t beat Mayweather at this juncture. Well, I hate stating that. But if there is one thing I do not want to see, it is Pacquiao taking another loss, or being knocked out again.
At this point, Mayweather has three significant advantages over Pacquiao: chin, defense and power.
Mayweather’s chin was tested on May 5, 2007, when a still strong Oscar Dela Hoya and him squared off at 154 pounds. While Pacquiao bamboozled Dela Hoya in eight rounds on December 6, 2008, the Dela Hoya Mayweather defeated by a split decision still had legitimate knockout power at 154 pounds, having dispatched Fernando Vargas in the 11th round on September 14, 2002; Luis Ramon Campas in the 7th round on May 3, 2003; and Ricardo Mayorga in the 6th round on May 6, 2005. And these guys definitely were not tomato cans or cream puffs.
In the Dela Hoya fight, Mayweather in some occasions mixed it up with the Golden Boy but was never in danger of going down. On the other hand, the Dela Hoya Pacquiao stopped was obviously weight-drained at 147 pounds.
And in his last fight, Mayweather was never in danger against Alvarez, who definitely was no “powder puff” puncher and is still acknowledged as among the best in the 154-pound division.
When it comes to defense, Pacquiao has never met a boxer with Mayweather’s level of defensive genius. The left shoulder roll of Mayweather could easily nullify Pacquiao’s right jab and hook, which would leave the Filipino to relying on his left cross to defeat Mayweather.
But a close look at how Pacquiao throws his left cross reveals a glaring weakness: he tends to overextend himself or lunges forward when throwing it. And we all know what happened when he tried to do that against Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round of their fourth fight: Pacquiao was knocked out cold after taking a vicious right cross.
Since Mayweather has a six-inch reach advantage over Pacquiao, he could land his vaunted right hand easier than Marquez did in their last fight. And don’t tell me Mayweather is a slow, plodding fighter.
And we go to the next department where Mayweather has a significant advantage over Pacquiao: power.
When was the last time Pacquiao knocked out an opponent? That was on May 2, 2009 against Ricky Hatton at junior welterweight (140 pounds). Pacquiao would register a “stoppage” over Miguel Cotto on November 14, 2009 at 147 pounds, but the Puerto Rican wasn’t knocked out cold—the referee stopped the fight (see the difference?).
On the other hand, Mayweather deposited a feisty Victor Ortiz to the canvass in the fourth round on September 17, 2011. While Mayweather was chastised for sneaking in a few punches after a clinch break, it was obvious that Mayweather can still deck a tough welterweight. The Ortiz fight also demonstrated that Mayweather could deal with a southpaw like Pacquiao.
For those who don’t now Ortiz, just check out his fight against a then undefeated Andre Berto on April 16, 2011.
The Ortiz-Berto fight saw Berto go down in round one, Ortiz in round two, and both fighters in round six. And I thought before the Mayweather-Ortiz fight that Ortiz would be able to “test” the American. I was disappointed!