Before the year ends, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr will take on their respective opponents in what appears to be two of the richest boxing fights this year.
Mayweather will collide with Victor Ortiz, the newly-crowned WBC welterweight champion of the world by virtue of his recent victory over unbeaten Andre Berto. They are scheduled to face each other on September 17.
Pacquiao is scheduled to face Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez in a trilogy on November 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The question is who has the tougher fight between the two highly rated boxers when they face their respective opponents this year?
It appears both Mayweather and Pacquiao are facing tough opponents but it seems Mayweather is in for a tough fight when he squares off with Victor Ortiz.
Mayweather is coming off 16 months at the time he collides with Ortiz. Certainly the "rust" that had accumulated in his body for one and a half years would be hard to remove even if he does multiple rounds of sparring sessions all the way to the day of the fight.
Actual competition up in the ring is much more difficult and slightly different from sparring sessions inside a gym where the boxer uses protective gear.
The long layoff from actual ring competition will take its toll on Mayweather as he faces Victor Ortiz, a young, powerful and determined fighter.
Boxing critics say Mayweather is taking on Victor Ortiz primarily for the purpose of getting himself ready for his next fight with pound-for-pound king Pacquiao. They say it is actually a tune-up for his ultimate fight with the Filipino ring icon.
If not for the "rust" brought about by his extended leave from boxing, Mayweather would have an easy fight with Victor Ortiz on September 17.
The Pacquiao vs. Marquez fight on the other hand looks more like a predetermined match, with Pacquiao dominating and eventually winning the fight most likely via KO.
Fights odds favor Pacquiao at this time even as Marquez embarks on unprecedented training regimen with a major tune-up fight before taking on Pacquiao in November.
Boxing critics say Marquez is facing a new fighter in Pacquiao, who has metamorphosed into a skillful, disciplined and much more speedier and powerful fighter today as he was when they first collided in 2004.
Certainly Mayweather has a tougher fight with Victor Ortiz compared to Pacquiao's upcoming fight with Marquez.