Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: How It Compares to 5 Legendary Fights

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Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: How It Compares to 5 Legendary Fights
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It seems like I've written this article before.

In some ways, I have. Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao—will they; won't they? This has been the central topic in boxing during the past few years. It is such a big event that its nonhappening was Ring magazine's "Event of the Year" in 2010. There's an outside chance that this event's nonhappening could be the first-ever repeat winner of that award.

In my article Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. Will Happen Because it Must Happen, I discussed my strongly-held belief that this fight is a manifestation of our collective psyche. It has taken on a life of its own that transcends boxing. It relates to what we all think we stand for. It's a battle of good guy vs. bad guy, of defense vs. offense, of fan favorite vs. much-maligned living legend.

But what historical fights does it compare to? How big can it be?

A look at some of the closest historical corollaries to the potential of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. There are others—Leonard-Duran, perhaps—but these five help establish the scale of how big a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout would be.

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