(Photo credit: Esther Lin, Showtime)
Tonight is the night boxing fans have been waiting anxiously for. It's the night when the masses will be tuning in to either cheer for one fighter or root against the other. No matter your reason for watching, the fact is that most will be watching across the globe, making this the single biggest event, and single most hyped event, since February.
We at The Shadow League have been discussing various perspections and angles surrounding the fight, and today we give you our predictions:
I'd like to think that if this fight occurred five years ago, it would have truly lived up to the hype. As is usually the case in boxing, both of these legends have passed their prime and nostalgia, mega gwop and celebrity is fueling this event.
If everything is on the up and up, this should be one of Money Mayweather’s shining moments in his legendary career. The proper icing on the cake for an undefeated champ who has reigned like a king with an iron fist since 1996.
Even with the media and seemingly every non-black Fan in boxing pulling for Congressman Pac, it won't add up to victory for the Filipino fighter. He's not more skilled. He’s not quicker and he's smaller. I know styles make fights but Pac Man has lost a bunch of times and I’ve seen him get his block knocked off. In 47 fights, Floyd has been stunned a couple of times and that's about it. I'm sure Floyd -- the boxer's boxer -- has studied all of Manny’s weaknesses, tendencies and strengths.
I'm hoping for what everyone else wants; the fight of the century. But we can't turn back the hands of time and something tells me that Pacquiao’s best years are further behind him than Floyd’s are . It's that simple . To me this is more like “celebrity” boxing . Or something you’ll find on a reality show. These guys have milked this cow the best way they know how and in my heart I believe both of these cats have made too much money to deliver us the holy war and unforgettable performance we have craved for almost a decade. People are so thirsty for this fight that a couple of flurries here and there by each boxer should suffice.
Prediction: Mayweather by brutal decision.
The fight that is five years in the making is finally here, and everybody has a opinion about it. That goes doubly so for the casual fan who wouldn’t know a good boxer if he walked up and punched them in the mouth.
The fight picks up even more energy because of the manner in which it is being framed as some showdown between “good” and “evil”. However, when we take away all of the pre-fight hyperbole and trash talk, the only thing that matters are skills and athleticism.
Yes, Manny Pacquiao is fast of foot, but not as fast as Floyd.
Yes, Manny Pacquiao is a southpaw who throws punches in bunches. But Floyd Mayweather is on another level of elusiveness the likes of which boxing might never know again.
They say Floyd specializes in running, but as was eloquently mentioned by Floyd Mayweather supporter 50 Cent on ESPN’s First Take ‘He ain’t running, they just be missing’. To that end, the more punches Pac-Man throws, the more punches Pac-Man will miss. Money Mayweather will begin dissecting Pacquiao by the 5th round with jabs from odd angles and by throwing a procession of right crosses over Pac-Man’s left hook’s to Mayweather’s midsection. The Money Team eventually reigns victorious as Floyd’s length, elusiveness and stamina begin to wear down the fighter who is clearly lesser physical specimen of the two.
Prediction: Floyd Mayweather by TKO in the 9th.
Alejandro "Ali" Danois
This is going to be a tougher fight than most Mayweather loyalists believe.
Both of these guys are among the greatest fighters of all time. I'm envisioning an action-packed, delicious and vicious display both by Manny and Floyd at various intervals. Both will have opportunities to land some heavy punches. The contrasting styles make for a boxing fan's wet dream. Manny will be depending on gaining an advantage with his flurries of power punches, while Floyd will be looking to use his amazing defensive prowess to counteract Pac Man and keep him flustered with his supreme timing and counter-punches.
My boxing education tells me to never bet against Floyd Mayweather. I've got him outpointing Manny and winning by points. I will not be surprised however if Manny wins, though I will be extremely surprised if he were to win by knockout.
Prediction: Floyd Mayweather by decision.
I've always believed that you can tell when an athlete is ready. You can see it in how they prepare and how they look. Floyd has been surprisingly quiet, the only peeps out of him we've seen is during the show documenting the journey to the fight on Showtime and mandatory press conferences. Meanwhile Freddy Roach has been talking, Manny has been in commercials and Bob Arum has been jabbing. To me, this all points to one thing.
Mayweather is ready. Period, end of story.
He's focused, he went back to the basics (wood chopping) and he looks like he's in excellent physical shape. His confidence can never be questioned and his intelligence, while many would question it for various reasons, is sharp. He know what he's doing and he knows how to do it. Watch for Mayweather to be quick and, in a surprise strategy, look for him to stay close to Pacquiao, rendering his opponent's haymakers useless. This reminds me of Rocky vs Drago in "Rocky IV", when Rocky went into seclusion for some old school training to get ready for the "fight of his life." And just like Rocky, Mayweather will take down his opponent in convincing fashion.
Prediction: Floyd Mayweather by unanimous decision.