Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Who Has Performed Better Against Common Opponents?
Manny Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather is without doubt the single most anticipated boxing match of all time.
Pacquiao remained on course for this superfight with a majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, while Mayweather has announced his intention to face Pac-Man on May 5, 2012.
These two may not have crossed paths yet, but it seems they have been on a collision course, having faced four common opponents in the last four years.
Neither man has lost during these fights, but here we compare how the two performed when facing similar opposition.
Oscar De La Hoya
Mayweather registered a split-decision victory to strip De La Hoya of his WBC Light Middleweight crown in May of 2007.
De La Hoya started the fight strongly and landed a succession of body blows on Mayweather. As the fight progressed, Mayweather adjusted well to dominate the later rounds and win the fight on the scorecards.
Money May came out the victor against De La Hoya, but it was by a very fine margin. De La Hoya expressed some bitterness after the fight when talking to BBC Sport.
“I thought I landed crisper punches,” said a disappointed De La Hoya, “I am the champion and you’ve got to do more than that to beat the champion.”
Pac-Man destroyed Oscar De La Hoya with an eighth-round TKO victory in December 2008.
Pacquiao jumped on De La Hoya from the opening bell and landed a succession of punishing blows throughout a one-sided fight.
De La Hoya sat drained on his stool at the end of the eighth round, and the doctor ordered a stop to the contest due to damage to his left eye.
“I felt empty, without power,” De La Hoya told BBC Sport, causing many to speculate that De La Hoya had dropped too much weight to fight effectively.
Rather than offer excuses, De La Hoya praised Pacquiao and declared he would go into retirement.
“He’s just a great fighter. I have nothing bad to say about him, he prepared like a true champion,” said De La Hoya. “I just don’t have it any more. My heart still wants to fight, but when you physically can’t respond, what can you do?”
Manny Pacquiao: Despite the questions surrounding De La Hoya’s age and weight, Pac-Man gets the edge here as he brutalized De La Hoya into retirement.
Juan Manuel Marquez
The Pacquiao vs. Marquez rivalry is set go down in the annals as one of the greatest trilogies in the history of the sport.
Pacquiao first faced Marquez to defend his Ring Featherweight title in May 2004. Marquez was caught off guard by the speed and power of Pac-Man and found himself on the canvas three times in the opening round.
Marquez managed to recover and dominate the latter rounds as the fight ended as a thrilling draw on the judge’s scorecards.
After such a compelling fight, it was inevitable that the pair would clash once again, and they did exactly that in March of 2008.
In the third round Pacquiao again managed to put Marquez down, and that was to prove decisive in a very close fight. Despite the fact that Marquez landed more power punches over the 12-round battle, Pac-Man was awarded a split-decision victory that caused some controversy.
Marquez continually complained about being “robbed” by the judges in both fights and earned a third fight in which Pacquiao vowed to settle the debate once and for all.
The third fight was a more cagey affair that saw neither man hit the canvas, and Pacquiao was awarded a majority decision victory that was yet again the source of debate.
Pacquiao has beaten Marquez twice now but has never quite managed to establish dominance over the Mexican warrior.
Mayweather’s fight against Juan Manuel Marquez may not have been quite as exciting as Pac-Man’s, but it was much more convincing.
Money May floored Marquez in the second round and managed to keep the wily Mexican veteran on the back foot throughout the contest.
Mayweather’s size advantage allowed him to bully Marquez as the fight progressed and pepper him with damaging blows at regular intervals.
When the final bell rang, Mayweather was awarded a unanimous decision points victory, and there was no complaining from Marquez about how the fight was scored.
Floyd Mayweather: Pacquiao vs. Marquez is more significant in the history of boxing, as their three battles will go down as one of the sport's most epic trilogies. The pair went back and forth, and Marquez consistently troubled Pac-Man during all three fights.
Though it may not have been as dramatic, Mayweather’s victory over Marquez was much more dominant, and the ease with which the bigger, stronger Mayweather bullied Marquez must be of some concern to Pacquiao fans.
"Sugar" Shane Mosley had an opportunity to win the WBA Super World Welterweight championship against Money May in May 2010.
Mayweather was troubled early, with Mosley landing a big right hand in the second round that actually caused the Pretty Boy’s knees to buckle.
The resilient Mayweather recovered to pitch a shutout over the next 10 rounds and cruise to a unanimous points decision victory on the scorecards.
Mosley challenged for Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight title in May 2011. Sadly for "Sugar" Shane, this fight would end in an another unanimous decision points loss.
Pac-Man floored Mosley in the third round and was largely untroubled as he went on to defend his WBO strap in a landslide points victory.
Draw: Pacquiao did manage to register a knockdown, but neither man could stop "Sugar" Shane, and both men registered a convincing points victory.
Floyd Mayweather defended his Ring and WBC Welterweight championships against hard-hitting 43-0 English challenger Hatton in December 2007.
Hatton started well and had some success in the early rounds, but Mayweather’s defensive shell blunted the Englishman’s attack and allowed him to take control of the fight.
Mayweather turned the screw before clocking Hatton with two vicious left hooks that saw referee Joe Cortez stop the fight before Hatton even hit the canvas.
The result served Hatton his first defeat and allowed Mayweather to claim dominance over the Welterweight division.
Pac-Man defended his Ring and IBO Light Welterweight title belts against Hatton in May 2009.
Hatton had bounced back from his Mayweather defeat by registering victories over Juan Lazcano and Paulie Malignaggi. Sadly for "The Hitman," his title challenge against Pacquiao was never a contest.
Hatton ran into a buzz saw and was floored twice by the Pac-Man inside of the first three minutes. Pacquiao then finished the job by delivering one of the most brutal knockouts of his career at the end of the second round.
Manny Pacquiao: There is something to be said for the fact that Mayweather handed Hatton his first career defeat. However, "The Hitman" was disposed of in brutally clinical fashion, and like De La Hoya, Hatton was sent into retirement by Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao: Pac-Man gains the edge in this debate courtesy of his performances against Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.
While it was Mayweather who fought both men first and registered convincing wins, Pacquiao was spectacular as he brutally battered both men into retirement.
The one concern for Pacquiao will be the ease with which Mayweather disposed of Juan Manuel Marquez. Mexican counter-puncher Marquez has troubled Pac-Man on three separate occasions, while the size and strength of Mayweather allowed him to give out a convincing beating to the same opponent.