Judges likely to decide Mayweather-Pacquiao
April 21, 2015 3:05 AM
by Vegas Runner
In less than two weeks, Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KO’s) and Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0, 26 KO’s) will finally meet in the ring inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena for what is undoubtedly the most highly anticipated fight of this generation.
It has taken more than five years for both parties to agree to terms and make this previously hypothetical bout a reality. And though there is much drama and many storylines surrounding this epic battle for boxing supremacy, the bottom line remains that the result should ultimately depend on who is truly the better fighter on May 2.
The reason I use the word “should” is because according to Las Vegas bookmakers, whose current betting line reflecting the fight’s outcome, it is heavily favored to be left in the hands of the judges. The OVER/UNDER for total rounds is listed at 11½ with the OVER now a little greater than 3-to-1.
Knowing how judging can be extremely subjective, coupled with two fighters who utilize very different skill sets, it’ll be very interesting to see which style they prefer.
It’s no secret Mayweather has used a superior defense to reach the pinnacle of the sport by sticking to the mantra “hit and not be hit.” That style has afforded him the No. 1 ranking in accuracy according to Compubox, since its inception.
For Pacquiao, it’s been a relentless style of offense that’s systematically broken down many of this era’s most accomplished boxers. The fighting pride of the Philippines has been willing to throw punches in bunches for the opportunity of landing a power shot.
Simply put, the outcome of this bout should very well come down to which fighter is able to impose his will and make the proper adjustments. The old cliché is “styles make fights” and I for one believe this one will result in the ultimate chess match.
Both men will enter the ring in arguably the best shape of their lives. Both have conceded this is without a doubt the biggest fight of their careers.
Sure, there have been rumors circulating that Mayweather hasn’t looked all that sharp in sparring and I can say with confidence, according to a source who has visited Floyd’s camp, his sparring partners have been giving as good as they’ve been receiving.
No surprise since Mayweather has invited a lot of young, very quick, and skilled opponents to train with. My source also said the 5-division world titlist has been practicing a lot of holding when both against the ropes and in the center of the ring.
That makes a lot of sense when you consider trainer Freddie Roach has stated numerous times that Floyd’s legs aren’t what they once were.
On the flip side, Mayweather’s camp believes Pacquiao’s lack of discipline and propensity for mistakes will eventually be his undoing, and it’ll only be a matter of time before the world’s No. 1 ranked pound for pound fighter catches him to end the fight.
Bottom line, we have a classic case of an orthodox fighter vs. southpaw and that adds a huge wrinkle into trying to determine who wins. Mayweather’s patented shoulder-roll isn’t very effective against lefties but his greatest weapon, the straight right hand, is.
Pacquiao may have trouble using his very effective jab to measure Mayweather like he’s done to so many previous opponents due to Floyd’s reach advantage. Also, footwork will be very vital in this bout as Mayweather has used his foot speed to create distance against so many power punchers, but against Pacquiao that edge shouldn’t be there.
Will this lead to both men standing and trading punches? I for one highly doubt it. Sure, there will be times when a firefight breaks out but for the most part it should become a chess match from start to finish.
I believe it all boils down to Pacquiao’s relentless pressure and high activity against Mayweather’s accuracy and ring generalship, along with which corner is more efficient at adjusting their game plan when they finally attempt to impose it without success.
Rest assured no matter how ready their camps may get their fighters, neither combatant has been in with an opponent this accomplished and complete.
As you can see, I am simply preparing the stage for next week’s column where I plan on releasing which man I’ll be backing at the betting window, along with how I expect them to execute.
Before I reach my conclusion I wanted to make sure those fight fans out there who have yet to make up their minds, try to tune out all of the noise and instead focus on the fundamentals of boxing. For when the bell eventually sounds, marking the start of this historical fight, as long as the judges score the bout correctly, the end result will depend on both fighters’ skills, ability to execute and their corners.
Vegas-Runner is a professional bettor/handicapper featured on CNBC, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo, CBS This Morning, The Herd, JT the Brick, & More. Follow VR on Twitter @vegasrunner, and at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at VegasRunner@GamingToday.com.