Mayweather's Win Spells Trouble For The Lightweight Division

mike 'shotgun' towleCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2009

LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 19:  Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) dodges a punch from Juan Manuel Marquez in the fifth round of their fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena September 19, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather won by unanimous decision.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

I'm a Pac-nut-hugger, I admit. But I'm also trying to be an honest boxing fan and writer, so cut me some slack on this one.

If they meet in a mega-fight, after last night's performance, Floyd Mayweather Jr has to be considered the favorite, if not heavy favorite, in a match with Manny Pacquiao.

His size and physical advantages over Juan Manuel Marquez were impossible to ignore, but so too was his skill level. He dominated the smaller Mexican fighter. Had they been the same size, he probably still would've dominated him, though not as easily.

But styles make fights, which is the reason fighter A can beat fighter B who can beat fighter C who can whoop fighter A.

It doesn't always work out that way. Often times fighter A can beat both fighter B and C without much trouble if he's good enough. But the styles-make-fights argument at least leaves the door open for debate no matter who beats who however convincingly.

Yes, Mayweather dominated Marquez, who by-and-large drew even with Pacquiao. But this ain't math; it's science.

Breaking down the compounds and molecules and whatever other fancy scientific words come out my rear, a bigger, stronger, faster, younger, more skilled, and slicker counter-puncher beat an older, smaller, weaker, slower, less skilled and not at all slick counter-puncher.

With Mayweather VS. Pacquiao it's a different experiment altogether. Pacquiao has the youth, and Mayweather the size; they split even on speed and power; the slickness goes to Mayweather, while the aggression goes to Pacquiao.

While Mayweather probably gets credit for the smarter boxing intellect, Pacquiao can counter with the best coach and strategist in the game, in Freddie Roach.

Who wins this fight?

Based on last night's domination of Juan Manuel Marquez, a fighter whose speed and power did not follow him up in weight, I have to guess Mayweather.

Unlike Marquez, however, Pacquiao would not enter this fight without a hope in hell. Pacquiao's speed and power has arguably increased with his rise in weight, and his aggression would bring about a different fight.

A different fight with maybe a different result.

Marquez has never been the most athletic of fighters. He's a skilled technician who beats opponents with precision boxing and great countering.

Yesterday we witnessed a counter-puncher with no athleticism go against a counter-puncher with too much of it. Pacquiao is neither a counter-puncher, nor un-athletic.

So I will defend Pacquiao's chances at beating Mayweather, but I won't pretend he's the favorite.

Mayweather should have established himself as the favorite against Pacquiao with his thorough domination of the smaller fighter. He did not, however, establish himself as the fan favorite or the most dangerous opponent.

Roach was right in predicting the Mayweather VS Marquez fight would be a "snooze-fest". It was.

However amazing it was to witness Mayweather's domination for three rounds, beyond that it got very boring.

Roach was also right in predicting that Cotto and Mosley would be the harder, more dangerous fights. After seeing Marquez jabbed into a deep sleep on his feet, I'm pretty sure Mayweather could have tucked in the Mexican boxer with a bed-time story.

Mayweather not only established himself as the most skilled boxer on the planet, but also as less dangerous than Paulie Malignaggi. Roger Mayweather's four-year-old son would be more likely to knock out Marquez than his uncle Floyd.

To the Mayweather fans out there, my hat is off. I give props to Floyd, the best boxer in the game by far, and favorite to win against Manny Pacquiao.

But don't kid yourselves. While Pacquiao's looking for bigger challenges, Mayweather's looking for smaller ones, and that's why Manny is still the pound-for-pound best.

Because if they were the sam size, pound-for-pound, my prediction would change and I would have Manny winning the fight by knock-out.

And if Mayweather were to do what Manny's doing and look for fights two or three weight divisions above where he is right now, he would lose.

What Mayweather's doing, pound for pound, until he fights Mosley or Cotto, means very little.