I’ll be the first to admit that I have written Manny Pacquiao off plenty of times in the past, and, to his credit, he has always proved me wrong. I thought that Barrera was too good, Marquez was too stylish and De La Hoya was too big. But every time, Pacquiao overcame those obstacles and had his hand raised in victory, to the delight of his Filipino fans.
And now Pacquiao is drawing closer to securing another major fight, this time against the impeccable Floyd Mayweather Jr. After my previous botched predictions I’m always cautious in forecasting a Pacquiao fight outcome, but this is a fight were I can’t see Pacquiao getting the win at all.
In the aforementioned fights I saw a Pacquiao win as improbable, but against "Money" Mayweather the task is almost impossible. And here’s why.
Look at which fighter handed Manny has last loss: Erik Morales. Now you may not automatically see the connection with Mayweather. But that night in the MGM Grand, Morales elected to box from range and catch Pacquiao on the way in. It worked. Morales took a unanimous decision with scores of 115-113 on all three cards.
There’s no reason Mayweather can’t use the same strategy. Mayweather is quick enough to find the holes in Pac-Man’s defence with his jab and straights and he would have a reach advantage too. Could Mayweather nullify and negate Pacquiao pressure with this strategy? Maybe, but what is certain is that it would give Mayweather a sizeable advantage.
Don’t want to keep Pacquiao at range, Floyd? No problem, use the Juan Manuel Approach, counter punching. Marquez has held Pacquiao to a draw and then lost a razor thin decision. The only reason he didn’t win both fights is because in total Pacquiao has knocked him down 4 times over the two fights.
But can you really see Mayweather getting floored three times in the first round. The artist formerly known as "Pretty Boy" defence is so impeccable that it would be unlikely Pacquiao could find a way past the longer arms of Mayweather. And even if he does, he’s got Floyd’s wonderful head movement and elusiveness to contend with.
Additionally, who was Mayweather’s last opponent? Ricky Hatton. A come forward boxer with huge support, who loves to through punches and get inside. Sound familiar? Hatton and Pacquiao style have huge similarities And Hatton got knocked out. Could the same fate befall Pac-Man? We don’t even know if Pacquiao punch resistance will hold up at 147lbs because De La Hoya never landed a flush shot.
That was because De La Hoya was too slow. The word "slow" doesn’t belong in the same sentence as Mayweather’s name. Floyd would hit him, and hit him hard.
Need further proof; let’s look at Floyd’s record against pressure fighters on the whole. Arturo Gatti, Ricky Hatton, Diego Corrales were all knocked out and Jose Luis Castillo was beaten on points, twice! You can even put De La Hoya in this category if you like, and guess what, Mayweather beat him too.
As of now the fight has not be signed. For Pac-Man’s sake, I hope it stays that way.