Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao: The wait is over
The wait is finally over. Within the four corners of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand ring on May 2, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will come face-to-face to make boxing history in ‘the fight of the century’.
A global audience will cast their eyes towards Sin City as both 10-time world champions end years of anticipation and months of build-up in what is set to be the highest grossing fight in history, as half a billion pounds worth of revenue is expected to be generated.
Fighting on home soil, on his terms, ‘Money’ Mayweather is the heavy odds-on 5/6 favourite to sail through another 12 rounds and secure a points decision, potentially earning an unwavered 48-0 fighting record in the process.
Since claiming a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the undefeated American has yet to be toppled in his professional career, a record spanning 47 fights, and such an unorthodox defensive guard is the key component in that uncompromising winning streak.
Although, his ferocious Filipino opponent will undoubtedly provide the sternest test to that astute defence, with 36-year-old ‘Pacman’ having rampantly rallied to an impressive 38 career stoppages in 64 bouts, compared to Mayweather’s more mellow 26 knock-out victories.
It has been clear in recent ring outings that Pacquiao had lost some of that undisputed firepower which saw him become the first and only eight-division world champion, having been downed in the sixth round by Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in the pair’s fourth meeting in 2012.
Though, it was even more evident that the vicious southpaw was not completely focused in the ring during that career blip, having been out-gunned by Timothy Bradley as well when boxing was playing second fiddle to his homeland political contributions, but this time out ‘Pacman’ has been passionately concentrated.
Pacquiao is a 5/1 chance to succumb his confident counter punching opposition to a maiden KO or TKO defeat but, despite all the talk of the Filipino’s aggression and power, he has only managed to prematurely end two of his bouts since 2009, when he stopped Ricky Hatton in the second round and overcame Miguel Cotto several months later.
Mayweather’s knock-out chances stand at 11/2, but are flattering considering the 38-year-old has secured just a single KO triumph this decade, when he stopped fellow countryman Victor Ortiz in the fourth round after the previously-retired fighter capitalised on a lack of guard from ‘Vicious’.
‘TBE’ Floyd relies on his incredible rapid reflexes in order to avoid any damage and frustrate his opponents with clinical counter attacking abilities, having gone the 12-round distance in eight of his last nine fights. However, Pacquiao has displayed a recent revival in long-term fitness and mentality, having stormed to three consecutive unanimous decision wins after 12 rounds against Brandon Rios, Bradley and Chris Algieri.
Following such sublime stamina shown since his stunning stoppage at the hands of Marquez, ‘Pacman’ is 10/3 to cause a major upset and overcome the king of points decision victories at his own game after the final bell.
Mayweather, though, is sure to be at his deadly defensive best and the Filipino’s best chances will come straight after referee Kenny Bayless calls both fighters into the centre of the Vegas ring. ‘Pacman’ is 14/1 to secure victory in rounds 1-3, while untoppled Mayweather is 18/1 to win late on in rounds 10-12.