SAN DIEGO, May 1, 2015 – In boxing, there is no shortage of strong opinions. Leading up to Saturday’s megafight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, no one has been shy about taking a stand. It’s all part of the fun.
Those of us who cover boxing have been asked many times: Who’ve you got on Saturday?
Until the end of the fight on Saturday, we all have it right.
Who is on Team Pacquiao? Who is on Team Mayweather? We can’t list them all, but here are where the major players come down.
Team Pacquiao: Boxers Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman, Miguel Cotto, MMA champion Ronda Rousey, trainer Nacho Berastain (Juan Manuel Marquez), boxing analyst Teddy Atlas.
Team Mayweather: Boxers Andrej Fonfara, Kell Brook, Sugar Shane Mosley, Carl Froch, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, Chris Algieri, Gerry Gooney, Larry Holmes, Amir Khan, Mikey Garcia, Laila Ali, Wladimir Klitschko, Canelo Alvarez, Paulie Malignaggi, Keith Thurman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray Mancini, Ricky Hatton, Andre Ward, Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, trainer Abel Sanchez (Gennady Golovkin), boxing media Kevin Iole, Dan Rafael, Joe Tessitore, and Bernard Osuna.
Assuming both fighters bring their best game into the ring, it is impossible to bet against Mayweather. Pacquiao will unleash a blaze of speed and misdirection from a southpaw who has faced every kind of fighting style on the planet. He will try to move in, do damage, and then get out of Mayweather’s way. Most fighters end up looking slow in the ring compared to “PacMan.”
Ringside Seat’s Prediction
Pacquiao says he wants a knockout. The fans would love one. But he doesn’t need one to win. He simply needs to smother Floyd Mayweather, stay much busier, score and show off the skills that made him a star.
Mayweather won’t get a knockout either. He scored just one KO as a welterweight, the surprise shot against an unguarded Victor Ortiz.
This fight will go the distance. There won’t be a knockout no matter what the fighters say. These two aren’t KO kings like Gennady Golovkin or Sergey Kovalev.
If heart and faith made fights, back Manny Pacquiao without hesitation. There is much to be admired about him and it would be quite the story if he pulled off a win. He is the beloved “People’s Champion” with good reason. But it would be an upset.
No one who’s watched boxing the past 20 years could bet against Floyd Mayweather. He’s won 47 fights and never lost with good reason. To win on the judges’ scorecards against a champion, you must win decisively. Pacquiao will fight well, and fight hard. He is likely to attack and swarm Mayweather in the early rounds, and this is where he has the greatest chance.
Mayweather will respond as he has time after time. He has an unusual ability to dispassionately observe and assess right in the midst of a fight. He considers the input and he adjusts his approach mid-fight. No other boxer can do this like Mayweather. He changes tactics if needed once he gets a handle on his opponent, and uses his skills to take away rounds through the end of the fight.
Mayweather’s face might show some effect from Pacquiao’s efforts in the early rounds. But he will learn and use his defensive skills to shut Pacquiao’s output down, then notch round after round on the judges’ scorecards. At the end of the night, Mayweather will remain undefeated. Mayweather will win this fight by unanimous decision, eight rounds to four rounds, 116-112 on the scorecards.
Like Oscar De La Hoya said and as many fans agree, while my head says Money, my heart is with Manny. May the best fighter win in controversy free and fan friendly fashion.
Communities Digital News will bring you all the action tonight in Live Online Chat starting with the televised undercard fights at 9 p.m. ET. We provide blow-by-blow live commentary and real-time photos and invite you to share your reaction to all the action. See you ringside.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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