Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Predicting the Final 3 Fights of Each Man's Career
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have very little time left in the sport. Both men are well into their thirties and will be looking to end their careers on a fantastic note.
With Mayweather coming out of jail later this year and Pacquiao coming off a controversial split-decision loss, it would seem now is a better time than later to make a fight with each other.
That kind of talk is for dreamers though. The realists will see both men having roughly three fights left in them, give or take one.
Though they will never face each other, each man has a trio of fights lined up that could line their pockets and settle any debate left in their career.
Here is my prediction of what the final three fights of the careers of Mayweather and Pacquiao will look like.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV This November
Pacquiao vs. Marquez makes all the sense in the world for both men.
Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO) is adamant that he should have won their previous three encounters, including their third match last year.
Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO) could use the fight to reignite his fans after losing one of the most hated decisions in years against Timothy Bradley.
There has been rumblings from Marquez that the fight should not take place in Las Vegas after the decisions from their first three fights. He prefers Texas or California.
That means the proposed November 10 fourth battle between them is likely to occur at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
It is one of the biggest venues available to attract the surely sizable Mexican crowd that will be there and Pacquiao has sold well at the venue twice before despite not having an A-lister with him.
Marquez has late-bloomed a bit as an attraction after his competitive fight with Pacquiao last November. Together, they will sell out the stadium and break revenue records at the gate.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV Prediction
Juan Manuel Marquez will be excited by the record crowd of mostly Mexicans cheering on their hero to finally dethrone Manny Pacquiao.
Even though he is a veteran, Marquez is still human and will not resist the urge to trade longer than he should and more often than he should.
Marquez at age 39 knows this is his last chance at defeating Pacquiao. Though Marquez cried foul when he lost his previous fight to Pacquiao, some point to his inactivity late into championship rounds.
Those rounds are important because they give the last impression before the official scores are announced, which is partly why Marquez may fight harder this time in those rounds.
After what happened against Bradley, Pacquiao will be even more determined to finish within the distance. With neither fighter as cautious as they previously were, this scenario favors Pacquiao.
Prediction: Pacquiao wins by stoppage in Round 11
Floyd Mayweather vs. Timothy Bradley on December 8th
Floyd Mayweather began his 87-day jail sentence on June 1. If he should serve the entire sentence, he will be out sometime in August.
He can then negotiate a fight with Timothy Bradley (29-0, 12 KO) to unify the WBO and WBC welterweight world titles.
The deal should be easy to make as Bradley is a much smaller star than Pacquiao. He will likely take a 7-10 million dollar purse in a fight that hearkens back to Mayweather-Hatton five years ago.
This will be Mayweather's first undefeated fighter in five years.
Between his possible jail deterioration and advancing age and Bradley's recovery from his ankle sprains and controversial win over Pacquiao, this fight sells itself from so many angles.
Mayweather vs. Bradley Prediction
Just like when he stopped Ricky Hatton in Round 10 to deliver Hatton's first loss, Mayweather will stop Bradley late in the fight.
Bradley may have a great chin, but his lack of power makes him susceptible to even the most defensive fighter in the world taking enough risks to earn a stoppage.
Mayweather will return to the style that made Victor Ortiz back up when he fought him. He will walk Bradley down and trade with counter-shots and calculatedly sparse flurries to throw off Bradley.
Bradley's awkward movements may have helped him escape a flush beating from Pacquiao, but he will likely just run into flush unforeseen counters from Mayweather.
In boxing, it is always the punch not seen that ends the fight. Mayweather knows how to throw that punch.
Prediction: Mayweather defeats Bradley by Stoppage in Round 10
Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II Sometime During April to June 2013
With Bradley not being Hispanic, the need to place this rematch on the popular Cinco de Mayo weekend is non-existent.
There needs to be only two precursors:
Pacquiao needs to knock out Marquez.
Mayweather needs to knock out Bradley.
This will get the fans excited to see Pacquiao-Bradley if only for the promise of revenge served in a brutal knockout victory by Pacquiao.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley II Prediction
Timothy Bradley will be hurt and stopped for the second time in his career against Manny Pacquiao.
Bradley survived the first fight off his great chin and awkward movement, but Pacquiao will be more determined than ever to end this fight.
If Pacquiao has stopped Marquez by this point, his confidence in stopping Bradley will go up drastically and lead to a spirited effort at making it happen.
Prediction: Pacquiao stops Bradley in Round 7
Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez Duirng Cinco De Mayo Weekend 2013
Saul Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KO) is a rising Mexican star and WBC junior middleweight champ at age 21.
That's the same age Mayweather was when he dethroned his first Hall of Fame fighter in Genaro Hernandez.
Alvarez poses a threat due to his size, power and growing knowledge. Mayweather is the wiser fighter and is quicker with a much greater defense.
The clash between the two will be marketed as another tough test from a young undefeated warrior with echoes of how tough Miguel Cotto was for Mayweather at 154 lbs.
Mayweather vs. Alvarez Prediction
Mayweather will be out-sized and have a rough time in the early goings. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will show what he learned from facing Shane Mosley among others.
By this time, Canelo will have hopefully beaten Victor Ortiz in their proposed September 15 clash this year. A fight with Miguel Cotto could happen this December according to Canelo's promoter.
Canelo's experience from beating both Ortiz and Cotto will greatly assist him in having the necessary experience to give Mayweather a hard time. However, the 36-year-old Mayweather will be too crafty.
Prediction: Mayweather defeats Canelo by unanimous decision
Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III During November of 2013
Manny Pacquiao will go ahead and give Timothy Bradley one last chance to fight him in his farewell fight.
By this time, Bradley will not believe he can win and will likely just show up for the payday.
He recently told Boxing Scene that he's happy about the money he made against Pacquiao but he's losing his love of boxing.
To already think these thoughts before he even turns 30 all but guarantees he will cash out his career when given the chance.
This fight will not have many selling points except that it will be Pacquiao's very last performance. As his announced farewell fight, it will sell a ton of PPVs and sell out whatever venue it chooses to be in.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley III Prediction
Pacquiao will unleash a pounding similar to his third match with Erik Morales and likely have Bradley out of there early.
If Bradley has truly suffered the two knockouts I have predicted by this point in his career, he will not have the heart and drive to want to survive.
If the punches come thundering, he will not start moving crazy to avoid them like in his first effort against Pacquiao. He will lay it down and go to sleep.
Instead of counting sheep, he will count millions.
Then he will wake up and spend them with his family.
Prediction: Pacquiao Stops Bradley in Round 4
Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero on September 2013
Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KO) is a young fighter scheduled to make his welterweight debut on Jully 28 after winning world titles at featherweight and super featherweight.
Afterwards, Guerrero could face the likes of prime contenders Devon Alexander (23-1, 13 KO) and Amir Khan (26-2, 18 KO) or world titlists Paulie Malignaggi (31-4, 7 KO) and Randall Bailey (43-7, 37 KO).
Defeating one of them in the Fall/Winter of 2012 and then another one in the Spring of 2013 will ignite a desire to see him face Mayweather.
If this fight is to be on Mexican independence weekend in September, then the fight's ability to sell is tripled due to Mayweather facing a Mexican opponent in Guerrero.
He is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Translation: He can go on Mexican and American talk shows to promote a fight with Mayweather.
He has an inspiring story about his wife being sick from cancer and he staying right by her side the whole time. HBO's award-winning documentary series 24/7 would excel greatly in highlighting that story
Mayweather vs. Guerrero Prediction
Guerrero will give Mayweather a hard time. He is athletic, has decent power, decent size, and decent boxing skills to go along with his youth.
Mayweather has legendary boxing skills, but he will be 36 years old. Father Time will begin to have his way with Mayweather, causing him to work the hardest he has had to work since facing Cotto this past May.
But Mayweather will retain enough of his physical abilities and reflexes to put on a heck of a show against a determined Guerrero. He will not stop him, but he will win a close decision to close out his career.
Prediction: Mayweather defeats Guerrero by majority decision
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: The Phantom Matchup?
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are giants of the sport.
They tower over the fight game, making every fight with anyone else seem beneath them.
Only a fight between each other would fully satisfy their fanbases.
Years have been put into hyping this match that will never happen.
Whose legacy will it affect more? That's a hard question to answer.
As time goes by, the fans will inevitably forgive them and watch their last run of quality fights meanwhile wishing things could be different.
This has been a look at Mayweather and Pacquiao's final three fights that will happen over the next few years, be sure to follow me on Twitter.
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