Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Stats Comparison and Early Fight Predictions

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2015

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are finally facing off in the ring.
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are finally facing off in the ring.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are all set for their crunch showdown in Las Vegas on May 2, in what will be the richest fight in boxing history.

The contest, dubbed the "Fight of the Century," has a shared purse of $250 million, and is one of the most anticipated clashes in the history of the sport, as Amir Khan pointed out on Twitter:

The pair joined up for a press conference on Wednesday, and will now not meet again until the fight, per Gareth Davies of The Telegraph. This means there's plenty of time for both men to prepare and get ready. 

Here's a look at the pair's stats and what to expect when they finally step into the ring.

Key Stats
Manny PacquiaoFloyd Mayweather
Age3638
Height5'6 ½"5'8"
Reach67"72"
Record57-5-2 (38 KO's)47-0 (26 KO's)
MightyFighter.com

Though neither boxer remains at his peak, the fight will be a fascinating climax to years of speculation. So how will the two match up?

Pacquiao has two years on his opponent, but his dynamic, offensive, always-attacking style could be cancelled out by Mayweather's defensive superiority. 

As indicated by his 47-0 record, the American is a master in defence, ducking, weaving and blocking his way out of trouble time and again, as the video below demonstrates:

If Mayweather can use all of his defensive tricks and avoid the Filipino's power, the gap in age may cease to be a factor as Pacquiao expends his energy.

That said, Mayweather is not as impervious as he used to be.

According to ProBoxing-Fans.com, in Mayweather's first clash with Marcos Maidana in May last year, the 38-year-old was hit a record 221 times. Indeed, in his last five fights, there appears to be a trend of Mayweather's opponents landing a greater percentage of hits.

From facing Robert Guerrero in 2013 to the rematch with Maidana, the percentages of total punches landed by his opponents is 19, 21, 22, 26 and 22.

With Pacquiao's powerful blitz, shown below (1:00 onwards) in his destruction of Chris Algieri in November, Mayweather could find his unbeaten record will come to an end.

According to B/R's Jonathan Snowden, the fight could come down to the difference in stances taken by the fighters.

Mayweather's orthodox style is perfect for countering a right-handed orthodox fighter, but has struggled against left-handers such as Guerrero and Zab Judah.

Pacquiao, a southpaw, is the best in the business and can exploit the unfamiliar angles of attack to land some devastating power punches on Mayweather.

Mayweather encountered difficulties against Zab Judah's left-handed stance.
Mayweather encountered difficulties against Zab Judah's left-handed stance.Al Bello/Getty Images

Mayweather's best chance lies in using his superior reach to his advantage. Pacquiao will be forced to fight at close quarters to land a punch, and that brings Mayweather's famously accurate arsenal into play. Igor Guryashkin of ESPN reports the American is the most accurate puncher in boxing.

If he can sneak in some hits in the midst of Pacquiao's ferocious offense, Mayweather may be able to catch  Pac-Man off guard. 

It's an incredibly tough fight to call, but if anyone can end Mayweather's unbeaten reign, it's Pacquiao, and his Southpaw stance can give him the edge over the ageing Mayweather. The American's career is drawing to an end, and Pacquiao will be able to exploit his weakening defence.

One thing's for sure, it'll be a close-run encounter. These two legends of the sport are champions for a reason, and neither is going down easy. 

Prediction: A narrow win for Manny Pacquiao

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