Friday, May 1, 2015

For whom the bell tolls

Tomorrow May 2nd, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather face off in the biggest fight in boxing. Being a fan of the sweet science, I feel the need to give some thoughts and perspectives on this fight since it’s actually a landmark fight and as mega a fight as can be.

So no dilly dallying, what are my predictions?

Mayweather win via Unanimous decision.

Is this how I want it to go? Of course not. I think the mere fact I’m human makes it impossible for me to like Floyd Mayweather. As a fan of the sport, to me he is the Boxing Kardashian and someone who needs life to throw him a couple of lemons to become a little humbler. He’s that unpleasant of a person.

He says he’s the best of all time? I can name various boxers off the top of my head who are better and more important boxers than him: Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, Joe Louis, Marvin Hagler, Ali, Rocky Marciano, Bernard Hopkins, Roy Jones Jr., Vitali Klitschko, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Jack Johnson, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Sugar Ray Leonard and the list goes on and on and on. People will say, but wait, Mayweather easily disposed of Marquez. My reply is a big “So what?” Mayweather said he’d fight in a 144 lbs. catchweight and he didn’t make weight. Marquez is by far the smaller fighter, didn’t go up in weight correctly and Mayweather imposed his size and strength in a physical mismatch. Here’s the thing, Marquez and all other people on that list didn’t back down from anyone (the clear exception being Leonard until he finally faced Hagler in a classic fight… btw, I thought Hagler won that fight, but that’s me).

Mayweather for years has made the habit to pick the biggest money fights. Kudos to him for becoming a money making machine, but don’t tell me you challenged yourself and picked the cream of the crop. I often tend to compare Floyd to the Harlem Globetrotters although his opposition has gotten better in the last couple of years. But Floyd talks like he’s a warrior and has bravado to spare. His justification on each of those ducks he’s done is that there’s no money in it. Granted, if you’re going to put your health and life on the line, might as well get the best paycheck… just don’t say you’re the best of all time and say so undisputedly.

But let’s get back to the match, here’s a question I’ve been asked, does Manny have a break?

In one word: yes.

He’s a left hander and Floyd is not fond of southpaws (look to his fights against Zab Judah and Demarcus Corley to see that he wasn’t clearly dominant in either of those wins).

He’s faster than Floyd in combinations shots. Potshots and lead right hands are Floyd’s game. But in 4+ punch combinations, Manny has the edge.

He’s faced better opposition. This is the mother of all understatements. Manny faced several fighters in their prime and made them look silly. Think Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales, he knocked both out.

He punches from odd angles. This would be one of the definite keys to victory. In his last fight, he almost knocked Chris Algieri out with a punch from an angle that doesn’t make sense… he hit Algieri with a straight left, flush on the left side of the opponent’s chin. You might not think that’s impressive until you stand in front of someone else and do the physics to understanding that connect. Manny’s weird and jittery.

Ok, so why do I still think Floyd will win?

Two reasons.

Ring Generalship. Floyd is a master of making you fight his fight, at his pace on his terms. If Manny does this and the punch output is less than 40 or even 50 punches a round, he’s screwed.

Stamina. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Floyd tired. He knows how to use energy as wise as anyone even better than Bernard Hopkins and that’s saying something. He stays cool under pressure and his eyes are as alert as any boxer you’ll ever see.

So if I were to bet, would I bet on Floyd?


I dislike Floyd to the point of betting against him to prove a point. Like Kanye West, I think he’s a poor example for young people and Black Americans in general. He may be talented, but he’s a fool and a diva. Even if he dismantles Manny, he’s still not the best boxer of all time and by various slots at that. If I need to put money up to show how much I’m clinging on to hope and begging Manny to prove me wrong, I will.

And that’s because regardless of the outcome, the better man will be Pacquiao, because in that sense, there is no contest.

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