Wow, what a tremendous fight!
After sitting through 12 rounds of tactical mastery by two of the best fighters of the past few decades—Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez—I'm still in disbelief. Rarely in the last few years have major PPV fights lived up to the hype, and come down to the wire, as this one did.
Going into the last two rounds of this fight, I thought that the bout was on the table. It seemed like whoever could out-hustle the other fighter was going to get the nod from the judges.
That guy turned out to be Pacquiao. I thought Manny Steward put it perfectly after the fight. He said, "In boxing you don't win a championship, you have to TAKE a championship."
Having said that, there is no way Juan Manuel Marquez did enough to take the belt away from Pacquiao. When the fight was on the line, Pacquiao put the pedal to the metal.
Marquez—on some suspect advice from his corner, who kept telling him he was ahead (something you should never do in a tight fight of this magnitude)—seemed content just to box from a distance and not go for broke in the last couple of rounds.
So, the question on everyone's minds after tonight's great fight is: Will Floyd Mayweather finally step up to the plate and take on Manny Pacquiao (in a fight the entire world wants to see)?
Well, the answer should be a resounding "yes." I guarantee you that Mayweather (even though he'd never admit it) was watching the fight tonight intently from his Las Vegas home. What he saw was that Manny Pacquiao has come back to earth and finally looks human enough for him to fight.
I see Mayweather as a bigger, faster and stronger version of Marquez. Both of them have similar counter-punching styles—which clearly is a huge problem stylistically for Pacquiao, as has been demonstrated.
Mayweather would have seen this during the fight tonight; he'll realize that it's time for him to go into the ring and prove he's the best fighter of this generation.
Mayweather's style is all wrong for Manny, which is something that I have long suspected.
To be quite honest—and it pains me to say this—I think that Mayweather rolls to a clear cut, unanimous decision over Pacquiao.
After what I witnessed tonight, I don't think Pacquiao will be able to solve the jigsaw puzzle that is Floyd Mayweather's defense—and this is coming from a huge Manny Pacquiao fan.
What do you guys think?