The fight most boxing fans want to see is getting closer, with the very public Mayweather Pacquiao meeting this week. William Hill Boxing Podcast host Lee Phelps looks at the history of this 'fight' and the betting for a possible bout.
Two of this generation’s best fighters have been on a collision course for years, this week they came face to face for the first time and now news is breaking that we will be seeing pound for pound Kings Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao in the ring together as early as May.
The Philippine superstar has 57 wins from his 64 fights, with five losses and two draws, has won world titles in eight different weight classes ranging from 112lbs to 154lbs and is one of the most exciting fighters to watch because of his speed. Opponents frequently say post-defeat that they didn’t see the punches coming.
Mayweather is unbeaten with 47 wins and is regarded as one of the all-time greats, with titles at five different weights and 14 world titles in all. His defensive style can turn some fans off, but there is no doubting his talent, even if he has been more careful picking opponents than Pacquaio.
The Time Line
March 2009. After a 10th round win over Ricky Hatton, Mayweather retired, but sparked rumours of the mega fight when he returned in March 2009, but he ended up dominating long-time Pacquaio rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
July 2009. It was widely reported Mayweather initially offered Pacquiao a 60-40 split, which promoter Bob Arum (who used to promote Mayweather before an acrimonious split) and trainer Freddie Roach both scoffed at.
September 2009. Mayweather Sr accused Pacquiao of using supplements and the process took a turn for the worse.
December 2009. Golden Boy approached Pacman about making the fight and it looked positive with rumours of a March 2010 date, but Mayweather apparently wanted to fight at 154 pounds with 10-ounce gloves, while Pacquiao’s camp wanted eight-ounce gloves and the fight at 147 pounds.
They were issues, but the insistence that Olympic-style random drug testing be used by Mayweather’s camp was a deal breaker. Pacquiao refused to take the testing right before the fight, but he would take the test before the kick-off press conference and after.
Mayweather's camp would not give in on the issue. Pacquiao ultimately decided to pursue legal action based on what he believed were insinuations that he was on performance-enhancing drugs.
January 2010. Bob Arum decalred the fight was off and the fighters looked at other oppoenents.
2012. It wasn’t a good year for either fighter, with Pacquiao losing controversially on points to Timothy Bradley and then emphatically to Marquez, while Mayweather went to prison for two months on domestic violence charges.
Even boxing fans grew tired of the rumours and speculation, denials and accusations and most just accepted the fight would never happen, until the last few months when we appear to be closer than ever to a welterweight fight between the WBO belt holder and the WBC and WBA champion, although of course the titles are largely irrelevant.
The latest reports say both met after their Miami Heat half time chat. Espn.com says: “They met inside Pacquiao's hotel suite and "it was very pleasant and very encouraging, and we give Floyd credit for coming over," Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, who was present at the meeting, told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "That's the first time they ever sat eye to eye. I've met Floyd many times, but he and Manny had never had a chance to meet. They talked at halftime, but this was a longer, more serious meeting. You could tell by their body language that this was very positive. It was for a good hour or more.”
As a boxing fan I see the amazing talents of both fighters, but I prefer to watch Pacquaio because you are guaranteed excitement. Here’s how I see the breakdown.
Mayweather has reach, speed and supreme defensive ability, so he is hard to hit, let alone knock down. His age and lack of top level opposition count against him.
Pacquaio has advantages in power and age. And he is a southpaw. Speculation suggests Floyd doesn’t like fighting them and many believe that is why the fight has never happened. He’s been waiting for Manny to slow down first.
That is all speculation, what we do know is this fight would generate $300 million and may not live up to the hype, with Pacquaio lunging in with fists flying, but unable to connect with as much as he would like.
I see a Mayweather points win and a frustrated Pacquaio. The straight win for the pretty Boy camp is 1.33 (1/3) so offers no value, but by fight night my heart will probably rule my head and I’ll back Pacman at 3.75 (11/4)