Money vs Manny: Fight of the Century?

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIDecember 4, 2009

Now that the hurdles have all been jumped concerning the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, the only thing left is to reset a date to accommodate Manny's political aspirations.

The early line shows Pretty Boy Floyd as the favorite.

The fight promises to be one of the best in a long time. Some are going all the way to the bridge and saying it will be the best ever. That is a tall order, my friends.

What fights would it have to surpass to be the "best ever?"

In no particular order, but indeed on the road to the best, are Hagler vs. Hearns . That fight was three rounds of non-stop fighting at its best. Both men gave as good as they got until Hagler closed the deal.

Other than the gamblers, that fight did not disappoint anyone.  The Hitman had Hagler hurt before the fight was 30 seconds old. Ring Magazine called the first round of the fight "the greatest round in boxing history" and was the round of the year in 1985.

Any talk of best bouts ever could not be complete without the "Thrilla in Manila ". Even fans who aren't "old school" have to say "Amen" to that.

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met for the third and final time in October of 1975. Ali was one year removed from shocking the boxing world with his KO of George Foreman. The two men beat each other to the point of exhaustion before Frazier's corner pulled the plug after the 14th round. Ali has said that fight was the closest he has ever come to death.

Another great one was the first fight between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo . In a close fight, Castillo came out in the 10th round of a scheduled 12-rounder and knocked Corrales down twice. Corrales had spit his mouthpiece out twice and was deducted a point (not to mention being decked twice). Diego summoned strength and reserve from a special place and came back and stopped the fight in fantastic fashion, beating Castillo helpless against the ropes.

I could go on and on, but these are just three great ones that this fight would have to top to gain serious notoriety.

The biggest wins on Pacman's portfolio are against fighters that Pretty Boy had already beaten. Ricky Hatton was blistered by Pretty Boy in their fight until Floyd KO'd him late, softening him up for his 2nd round massacre at the hands of Pacquiao.

Oscar De La Hoya was beaten by Mayweather, and Pacman finished him off late in his fight.

What do both these two brilliant pugilists bring to the table?

With Manny you will see nonstop action, just like the video game he is named after, Pacman .

Mayweather may very well prove to be the ghost that haunts Manny and keeps him from landing anything flush.

Manny is strong, maybe stronger than Floyd, but that is so hard to analyze. He has proved that he can keep it going for 12 rounds. He has adequate power to end the fight, maybe not with one punch, but certainly by combinations.

Pretty Boy Floyd will be the challenge of a lifetime for Pacquiao. Mayweather, as much as his detractors hate hearing it, has never really been seriously tested. He has never been hurt badly—I am talking Queer Street—and presents the most transparent targets for his opponent.

His hand speed is absolutely second to none, and his reflexes are above description. I believe he could catch a bat flying at him in the dark. His power is underrated, in my view, and has developed over his career. He has a very good right hand and can do damage with it.

Pacquiao has a very good record of 50-3-2 with 38 KOs. He has been stopped twice, both in the third round. His average fight is only 5.5 rounds, he has six KOs in the first round, and knocked Miguel Cotto out in the 12th round—the fight was actually stopped between the rounds 11 and 12. His power is not limited to the first couple of rounds.

He is 22-2-1 in world title fights.

Mayweather's record is 40-0 with 25 by knockout. His average fight lasts only seven rounds. He has an outstanding record of 18-0 with nine knockouts in world title fights. He has four first-round KO's and has two knockouts as late as the 10th round.

Manny has been in some serious wars, hurt some people, and took some very hard shots. After 55 fights the collateral damage is just about due to raise its ugly head.

Floyd has been shook up mildly once or twice, but never hurt. Even though Mayweather is a couple of years older, I believe he is working with a fresher body and that will be huge in this fight.

For Mayweather, the ramifications for the fight are simple. If he should beat Manny in spectacular fashion, he could retire (for good) and know that he has beaten the best and know that there is nothing left to prove. If it is a close fight, surely the world will cry for a rematch, and dollars and cents will rule the day.

If Pacquiao beats Mayweather, he can go down in history as the first man to defeat the "greatest" fighter of his era. If he would demolish Pretty Boy in the process, he could begin his political career by being the wealthiest congressman in world history.

I look for a very entertaining fight. Everything inside me says the fight will be a unanimous decision for Floyd, but the little guy in my head says he will win by a 5th round stoppage.

What do you think?


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