The two men have defined this generation with their unique boxing styles, and debate has raged in perpetuity about which fighter would come out on top. For a while it looked as if such discussions would be fantastical, but one of the most intriguing rivalries in the sport’s history will be settled at the iconic MGM Grand venue in the coming days.
Here’s all the information you need on where to catch the bout live, a closer look at who the bookmakers are favouring on the cusp of the showdown and an examination of which man will stand victorious at the climax of this iconic occasion.
|Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Selected Odds|
|Win by KO, TKO or Disqualification||11/2||4/1|
|Win by Decision or Technical Decision||71/100||15/4|
Odds accurate as of 7:45 a.m. (BST), Apr. 28. For full market listings and more odds check out the OddsShark website.
Anticipated Fight Start Time: 8 p.m. (Local), 11 p.m. (ET) 4 a.m. (BST, May 3), per The Telegraph.
Manny Will Blemish Floyd’s Perfect Record
For any boxer, facing Mayweather is an ominous task. Throughout the American’s distinguished career, he’s come up against a plethora of different fighters, each thinking they have the requisite skills to unlock his stringent defence and become the first man to land a win over him. But 47 have tried, and up to now, 47 have failed.
Pacquiao must consider the quality of his opponent when plotting his own route to victory. The Filipino’s southpaw stance means he’ll have to be very careful of Floyd’s rapier-like right hand on the counter, and Manny must ensure he preserves a substantial amount of head movement as he creeps forward.
But as noted by Skip Bayless of ESPN, of all the men Mayweather has fought and beaten to date, Manny has the best chance of springing a surprise:
In order for Mayweather’s 0 to go, Manny needs to box smart. Many are expecting this fight to follow a particular pattern, with Pacquiao coming forward, trying to rough up his opponent and dictate the pace of the fight. But Mayweather has shown—especially in wins over front-foot fighters like Ricky Hatton and Marcos Maidana—that he has the physicality to mix it with the best.
Where Pacquiao has the edge on Floyd’s previous opponents is the balance in his offence. When Manny comes forward, he does so with purpose and precision. Granted, the lateral movement that was a patent of his abated slightly in losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley, but it’s been back in earnest in recent fights, especially against Chris Algieri:
These timely bursts of ferocity are what Manny will build his victory on. He has the experience and enough respect for his opponent to be patient in this bout, and while he won’t want the pace to slow too much—which would inevitably see Mayweather take control—it’s better to plot his advances with intelligence rather than recklessness.
Execute that kind of blueprint and Manny can really ruffle Floyd. Indeed, per BoxingInsider.com, former heavyweight Evander Holyfield expects Pacquiao to get the decision at the end of 12 rounds:
Fans expecting a blistering start to this showdown are set to be disappointed. The contrasting stances of each man will make things tough early on, with the jabs of both men likely to be blunted. While he has made his reputation from forcing the issue and boxing with a fierce streak, a slow start could actually suit Pacquiao this time round.
The Filipino has the fundamental skills to upset the odds in this bout, there is little doubt about that, but balance and control are the key factors for Manny as he gears up for this showdown. As an eight-weight world champion, he has the experience and intelligence to execute this game plan with distinction and enrich his boxing legacy on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pacquiao via Decision