Mayweather vs Pacquaio – The Biggest Fight Ever?

Apr 30th, 2015 Betting Tips, Previews

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As Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio prepare to go toe to toe in Las Vegas this Sunday, the world’s sports media are abuzz in anticipation of the richest fight of all time. The so-called superfight pits the undefeated Mayweather against arguably the fastest combination fighter in a generation in Pacquaio. While Mayweather has the better numerical record, the height advantage, and the hype advantage, Pacquaio is far from a straightforward opponent.

With over $400 million on the table, this is a money fight like no other. But how does Mayweather/Pacquaio stack up against other big money fights, and will this go down in history as one of the all-time classics?

History’s Biggest Fights

Mayweather vs. Pacquaio is already one of the biggest fights in history – the sums of money involved alone have helped ensure that is the case. It’s the fight fans have been calling on for years, and one that has until now failed to materialize. It was a chance meeting between the two fighters at an NBA game that led to getting discussions back on track, with the result now hotly anticipated.

Every so often, the boxing world has produced fights of this calibre, pitting generationally supreme fighters against each other. But just how does this compare to previous ‘big money’ fights?

tyson-holyfieldTyson vs. Holyfield – 1996

The unstoppable force met the immovable object in November 1996, pairing off the two best fighters in the world at the time at the Las Vegas MGM Grand. Holyfield won by TKO, making him the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to claim the title on three separate occasions. The two were then reunited in the ring less than twelve months later, where controversy reigned supreme thanks to the now-infamous ear-biting incident.

Purse: $78 million

tyson-lewisLewis vs. Tyson – 2002

With Tyson’s reputation in tatters, even finding a venue willing to host this fight was a tall order. The fight took place in Memphis, after the city contributed $12m to host the event. After much build up and hype, the match was stopped in the eighth round, with Lewis scoring the victory by KO. Tyson’s woes were made even worse by his subsequent actions, resulting in a press conference brawl that landed him with a $350,000 fine.

Purse: $112 million

mayweather-hoyaDe La Hoya vs. Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather is no stranger to big money fights, and his battle with fading star Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 was the biggest grossing fight in history at the time. De La Hoya took $52 million, while Mayweather walked away with $25 million from the match. Mayweather emerged victorious on a split points decision, which many now characterize as the ‘passing of the torch’ in the light middleweight class.

Purse: $150 million

Valued at as much as $400 million, the Mayweather vs. Pacquaio fight has already smashed previous records as the richest fight of all time. And with two highly competitive, highly skilled boxers working tirelessly to prepare, it’s set to be a memorable night in Las Vegas.

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, Jr.

mayweatherMayweather enters the fight undefeated in 47 matches, and has of course stated that he expects to make Pacquaio the 48th opponent he will beat. A precise, powerful puncher, Mayweather has made light work of a succession of opponents, including southpaws, to reach this stage in his career.

Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather has been at the top of his game for a number of years, and is approaching the end of his current 6-fight contract with pay TV network Showtime – with many expecting Mayweather to finally retire once his obligations are fulfilled. While Manny will prove a wiry, awkward opponent for Pacquaio, there is no doubt that Mayweather has the raw power, speed and boxing ability to make this a tough, if not insurmountable, prospect for the Filipino.

Record
Wins: 47
Knockouts: 26
Losses: 0
Draws: 0

Manny ‘PacMan’ Pacquaio

pacquaioA fast, powerful southpaw, Pacquaio has been there or thereabouts at the top of boxing throughout his career, picking up titles in no fewer than 8 different weight divisions. So popular is he in his home country Philippines, he has crossed over into other sports, and has even been elected to the country’s parliament.

His boxing style sets him apart from those to have faced off against Mayweather previously. His southpaw style means Mayweather’s jab may be less authoritative than usual, and used primarily as a set up for the right, while his pace and relative scrappy power coming forward means he will be a difficult opponent for Mayweather to pick out. Quick feet and fast, flurrying hands make Pacquaio a definite threat to Mayweather’s record.

Record
Wins: 57
Knockouts: 38
Losses: 5
Draws: 2

Our Prediction

It’s likely to be an extremely good fight, and both men will feel like they have something to prove over and above the prize money or the title. Mayweather has the opportunity to potentially close his career undefeated, with only one further fight option remaining on his Showtime contract. Overturning Pacquaio would be his chance to finally lay claim to being the best fighter of his generation.

Of course, Pacquaio is in it for the same reasons, and will perhaps feel there is honour at stake in terms of protecting the name. A national hero in the Philippines, Pacquaio will be far from an easy opponent for Mayweather, and a worthy contender for the unified welterweight crown.

When the dust settles, we think Mayweather will have just too much power for Pacquaio. While the Filipino has the speed advantage, he is undoubtedly a looser fighter than Mayweather, which will allow potentially critical gaps to open up. Mayweather by contrast is much more accurate in the blows he lands.

This will by no means be a one sided affair, and there’s every chance the fight will go the distance. Pacquaio will prove a challenge for Mayweather, potentially his stiffest yet, but it looks like Floyd may just have the edge in this fight.

Still, with Pacquaio the marginal underdog for the first time since he fought De La Hoya, it would be difficult to rule him out of contention entirely. Especially KO by Pacquaio in the initial rounds may be tempting bet based on his KO record and Mayweather’s more conservative style in initial rounds. On the other hand in the later rounds Mayweather has every chance to prevail and take the win based on decision.

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