Boxing odds have identified Mayweather as the favorite against Pacquiao but let’s compare the fighter’s styles, strengths and weaknesses to determine which one will cash in our boxing picks come May 2nd.
Manny Pacquiao, the underdog in boxing odds here, has a devastating straight left but often throws it so hard he loses balance and is vulnerable to a counterpunch which would come in the form of a right cross by Floyd Mayweather. Pacquiao’s camp is no doubt aware of this and will instead attempt to time his left using feints and head bobs. The difficulty therein lies with Mayweather’s exacting jabs and superior speed.
On the flipside, Mayweather is like a sharpshooter with his straight right and his ability to target is uncanny. “Money” is likely to launch with power at about the same time Pacquiao throws his jab and upon impact could then launch his legendary fusillade of lefts and rights in dizzying fashion.
Pacquiao’s jab has often been used to not only soften up his opponents but downright hurt them as he throws with such precision and velocity. However, this fight will be different as Mayweather is virtually never out of position and susceptible to the quick snap of leather Pacquiao is prone to throwing when he senses an opportunity. Pacquiao is much more likely to use his jab as a complement to his straight left after the power punch finds Mayweather which is unconventional because as we all know the jab normally sets up the power hand.
Mayweather often uses his jab to “feel” his opponent and find range for his power hand. Pacquiao may not be shaken by Mayweather’s jabs but if enough of them find his chin, the judge’s will take notice and the Pac-Man will find himself trailing by points as the fight enters the latter rounds.
Angle of the Dangle
Not only is Pacquiao a southpaw but he is also one with an amazing ability to throw from awkward and unusual angles. Manny will often catch his opponents unguarded because of the timing of his punches and the unusual manner in which he fires. Mayweather will have reams of tape on Pacquiao by the time he sets foot in the ring and his boxing acumen should alert him to this fact. Mayweather will need keep his hands up and guard against a sniper attack from the crafty Filipino.
One of the elements of Pacquiao’s game is that he has power and speed. When he goes for broke his left hand finds the target quickly and explodes upon impact while Mayweather likes to rat-a-tat-tat his way to blinding his opponent with speed and precision. But Pacquiao will not be deterred if he has to take several to the chin in order to aggressively move forward and land a few big bombs to a dozen of Mayweather’s Gatling like strikes.
Mayweather is comfortable against plodding fighters with explosive power but Pacquiao is a different breed of cat. He has much more speed than the likes of Zab Judah or Victor Ortiz but he doesn’t sacrifice bludgeoning power because of it. Money Mayweather can step away and counterstrike with ease but against an opponent like Pacquiao he will find that the freight train keeps chugging and will continue to come as long as Mayweather back pedals. It will be incumbent upon Mayweather to take an offensive tact every now and again to make certain Pacquiao doesn’t bully his way to victory.
Though the boxing odds may say Manny Pacquiao is the +170 underdog in this one he could be primed for an historic victory if he is able to control the action and force the pace. Pacquiao will not back down but he may take so much damage in the process that it will render him swinging wildly at the end just looking for a Hail Mary to connect and finish the impenetrable Floyd Mayweather.
While Mayweather has the height and reach advantage over Pacquiao he is in fact two years his senior and at 38-years-old will we see any semblance of age sapping his blazing speed? While no one would argue that both fighters are at their peak they have nevertheless maintained themselves in meticulous shape which accounts for their longevity and their ability to fight at such an elite level. I am willing to give the relentless, dogged Manny Pacquiao the nod at +170 for our Boxing Pick what should be a fight for the ages.
Boxing Pick: Pacquiao +188 at 5Dimes