With Floyd Mayweather's impending release from jail this Friday, there's going to be a lot of discussion over who he's going to fight in the fall, if he fights at all. While a fight with Manny Pacquiao appears unlikely, there's still a decent chance it can happen in 2013.
So, who has the edge at the moment if Mayweather and Pacquiao fight?
In my opinion, it's Manny "Pacman" Pacquaio.
Think of the current form of both fighters. They're both in their mid-30's at the moment, but even though he's had much tougher fights, Pacquiao is still closer to his peak.
Mayweather had to totally change his fighting style to compensate for his age. When he fought against Miguel Cotto, Cotto was able to pin him against the ropes and bang away. In previous years, that would've been impossible due to Mayweather's foot speed and agility.
Cotto won about four rounds off of Mayweather, which is better than most have done over the course of his 43 fights. Was Cotto just much better than we thought he was? Or has Floyd finally slipped?
It's probably a bit of both. Cotto's a terrific fighter, and he fought about as well as he possibly could have. Floyd said in the post-fight press conference that he chose to slug it out with Cotto, but I think that's ridiculous. Cotto just fought really well, and Floyd didn't want to acknowledge that fully.
Cotto was just a little too slow and couldn't keep the pace to consistently hit Mayweather like he needed to do. After the ninth round, Mayweather was able to sweep the championship rounds to secure the fight.
Pacquiao would be able to do what Cotto couldn't. Pacquiao's endurance is second to none, and unlike Cotto, he wouldn't fade down the stretch. Pacquiao will throw close to 1000 punches, as that will be Freddie Roach's game plan.
I know Floyd has a great defense, but he's going to get hit hard by Pacquiao and much more often than against Cotto.
Could Floyd deal with this and up his output enough to keep Pacquiao off? I just don't think Floyd would be able to keep Pacquiao off him enough to win the fight. Pacquiao could just overwhelm him with punches, which Cotto was unable to do.
In Pacquiao's most recent fight, the horrible decision overshadowed what was a solid performance by Pacman. He looked the best that he has since his 2009 fight with Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao's still got a lot to give, and if he can get Floyd Mayweather in the ring, he'll beat him.
Follow me on Twitter: @RalphLongo