Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather vs Manny ‘Pac-man’ Pacquiao. May 2nd marks the clash of the two of the biggest names in professional boxing. Possibly the most anticipated fight this side of the Rumble in the Jungle, Mayweather vs Pacquiao, just on the basis of pure box-office value, could rival any fight the sport has ever seen. The fight, scheduled to be held in Las Vegas’s MGM Grand, was sold out in just under a minute after the tickets were made available to the public. It is also worth noting that the total revenue expected to be generated out of the bout is upwards of $400 million- a figure that is bound to shatter all records. The money aside, the fight in itself has been hugely anticipated because of multiple reasons.
Billed as ‘The Fight of the Century’, it feels as if it has been overdue for ages. It was initially scheduled to be held in 2010. However, on account of a breakdown between the two camps the world had to wait for another five years for the fight to take place. The reason for the delay is usually attributed to Mayweather’s reluctance to spoil his unblemished 47-0 record. It has become popular opinion today that Mayweather has never really been tested in his boxing career and that he has been trying to avoid the only man who could beat him, Manny Pacquiao. Not paying too much attention to such wild claims, it does however seem that Mayweather has finally realised that for him to go down as the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of all time, he cannot rely solely on his undefeated record and keep on avoiding Pacquiao. All great fighters have to have that one great fight that is going to put a stamp on their legacy. Avoiding your rivals and keeping an unblemished record might seem great for the moment, but Mayweather had to understand eventually that you are always judged by your competition. Rocky Marciano, a great champion in his own right, held an undefeated record in the 50’s; however, history doesn’t remember him in the same way as it does a Muhammad Ali or a Mike Tyson. This is because they always had better competition. Ali had the Thrilla in Manila, while Tyson had Evander Holyfield’s ear.
The fight is even more enticing owing to the fact that it couldn’t have been between two guys who were more different. I think its perfectly understood that there isn’t anyone more of an asshole in the sporting world today than Floyd Mayweather. Just have a look at his Facebook or Instagram account. It is safe to say humility is not the strong suit of a man who has ‘Money’ as his middle-name. Ironically, his boxing style is nothing like the egomaniacal caricature he has created outside the ring. He is a defensive anchor and a master tactician who always seems to have a plan. However, Mike Tyson put it best – Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Manny Pacquiao seems to embody that badass Tyson quote more than one other boxer fighting today. Pacquiao is an offensive juggernaut who is absolutely relentless. What gives Pacquiao an additional advantage is that he is a southpaw, and that has given Mayweather trouble in the past. Understandably so, considering lefties usually have a natural advantage over their more traditional opponents, irrespective of sport. Just ask Roger Federer and Cristiano Ronaldo. All kidding aside, Mayweather’s defensive capabilities and mastery over the technical aspects of the sport cannot be overlooked. Pacquiao would be foolish to do so.
The fight is basically a pick ’em. The fact that they have such different fighting styles and neither one of them has ever faced anyone like the other, it becomes extremely difficult to pick a clear favourite. Though the pundits seem to favour Mayweather and his unblemished record, Manny Pacquiao should win the fight. The sport of boxing doesn’t like to keep its champions undefeated. It is time for the titan to fall.