Why Manny Pacquiao Will Beat Floyd Mayweather

Bill CodyCorrespondent IIIDecember 10, 2008

If you haven't heard yet, it is only a matter of time before the biggest fight of 2009 gets inked. Manny Pacquiao will fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. sometime this spring. The train is leaving the station and not even Bob Arum will be able to stop it now.

Already the Manny detractors are lining up to say the Pac-Man can’t beat Floyd, Jr. You heard the litany of reasons before. Manny only beats shot fighters, Marquez actually won his two fights with Pacquiao, and finally Mayweather is too big and powerful.  Hmmm, sounds like the same reasons 19 out of 20 boxing experts gave when they predicted Oscar would knock out Pacquiao in Vegas last Saturday.

But I’m here to tell you that not only can Manny beat Mayweather. He will beat Mayweather. And I’ll tell you why.

First off, size will not be a problem. According to sources the fight will take place at a catch weight, most likely 143 or 145. Pacquiao stepped in the ring against David Diaz at 147 and last Saturday he weighted 148. Mayweather went up to 154 to fight De La Hoya but has fought at 147 or 140 in his recent fights.

The two men will probably step into the ring at nearly identical weights. Floyd will have a height and reach advantage over Manny but so did Morales and De La Hoya. And we all know how those fights ended.

On the other hand, Floyd, Jr. has never fought anyone who hits as hard as Manny. Not Hatton, not De La Hoya and certainly not Shamba Mitchell or Zab Judah. Ask De La Hoya. He found out that the Pac-Man is an even more devastating puncher at 147 than he when he was at the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions. When Manny puts together combinations he is even more devastating than even Antonio Margarito.

And Pacquiao keeps getting better. He trains harder now than he did two years ago. He has the best trainer in the business in Freddie Roach and unlike many fighters he listens to what his trainer tells him.

Paquiao and Roach never go into a fight without a solid fight plan and Manny executes those plans brilliantly, Fighter and trainer knew they had De La Hoya after the first couple of rounds yet they still waited until later in the fight to go after the knockout. How many other fighters would have the patience or ring smarts to follow a game plan the way Manny did against De La Hoya?

It will be a tough fight. There aren’t any fighters out there as fast as Mayweather or Pacquiao. While that means that Floyd, Jr. has never faced anyone as fast as the Pac-Man, it also means Manny has never faced a fighter with Mayweather’s devastating speed.

Also, Pacquiao isn’t his best when he’s against the ropes. In between rounds of the De La Hoya fight, Roach preached to Manny to move away from the ropes as soon he felt them touch his back. The only time Oscar looked to have any advantage at all during the fight was the two or three times he backed Pacquiao into the ropes.

Mayweather on the other hand loves to hang on the ropes and uses his speed very effectively in close quarters. Pacquiao will have to get inside, throw quick combinations and move away. If Manny stays on the ropes with Mayweather, he will be in for a long night.

According to reports, Mayweather has already been training for this fight, which means even though he hasn’t fought in over a year he will not be as rusty as one might think. He’ll be in shape for this fight and wants to win it as much as the Pac-Man does.
But Manny will prevail. He’s got the skill, he’s got the power and he’s got the heart. It should be a hell of fight.