People continue to speculate about who will win the fight of the century coming up shortly between the two pound-for-pound best boxers on Earth but we just don't know the outcome yet for obvious reasons. But before it is finally contested let's look at what we do know:
1, Common opponent Juan Marquez is a better boxer than Manny and even knocked him out in their fourth fight but he was handled with comparative ease by Mayweather. This doesn't bode well for Pac Man statistically.
2, Manny can get caught up in the blood and guts' chanting of the crowd and get a little 'Gung-oh' in his approach. This recklessness was his downfall in the last Marquez fight.On the absolute brink of victory he dropped his guard and the rest is boxing history. Floyd never does that-he is too disciplined. He will only open up when his man is definitely helpless. (Think of the Hatton knockout)
3, Manny can sometimes 'switch off; during fights, coasting through middle rounds, coming on strong in the last 30 seconds or so. Many believe this 'cruise' mode was a contributing factor to his (still unjust) loss to Tim Bradley in their first fight. He is unlikely to do that here but must be wary of overcompensating too.
4, If you think Manny can win then you must ask yourself how does he win? He can't outbox Floyd on the back foot despite what people like Hatton have suggested-it's a ridiculous idea. Mayweather would jab his head off with his speed and height and reach advantage. He seems unlikely to be able to knock Floyd out. Floyd's chin is solid and he is very unlikely to be caught 'running on to one' for the reasons explained in point number two above. Pacquiao must try to get punches to the body but evade the counters while he does so. How long can he do that for? Outworking Floyd is a pointless strategy if Floyd is more accurate with his economic punching style. (And let's face it he will be-Floyd doesn't throw many punches that don't land on target) Manny is very physically strong but can he really bully Floyd around on the inside? Hatton couldn't, Gatti couldn't, Corrales couldn't, even modern great Cotto couldn't. True, Manny is better than all of those guys but Floyd just won't allow that to happen even though Manny will make a courageous attempt to do so.
Couple up these facts with Mayweather's new conditioning program (With Manny's former conditioning coach) and it starts looking more and more difficult for Manny. I wish him the very best but somehow I can't see a victory for him. The other day my best friend asked me who do you think will win and I found myself looking at him with a smile and saying without pausing; "I think after the fight we will all be saying, how we dare even question Mayweather's greatness really, in light of his record?" As I have said in previous articles, nothing is proven until a fight is contested because of so many variables and intangibles but the Las Vegas bookmakers are tending to agree with me and they don't often get it wrong.