COMMENTARY | Among boxing's most knowledgeable people, the answer to the never-ending Mayweather-Pacquiao debate is pretty well known. Those who dominate headlines and go on the record with their analysis are usually connected to one of the fighters in some way and have a definite agenda to push.
"We already know what time of day it is. We've been there, done it," Floyd Mayweather Sr. recently told Chris Robinson of Hustleboss.com. "We already know that the Pac-man can't whup Floyd. I know it, you know it, the world knows it."
Obviously, Floyd Sr. has a personal bias in this Floyd vs. Manny debate, but he shares the feeling of many other sweet science experts. It's just hard for old school, wise, and experienced boxing people to pick against Mayweather--and that includes a bout where the Filipino icon and eight-division world champ would be on the other side of the ring.
In boxing, a good defense trumps a good offense and Mayweather has proven that to be the case for the last seventeen years. There's no reason to believe that Pacquiao would break the spell Mayweather manages to cast over opponents.
As a matter of fact, Pacquiao's awesome and dominant offense has already shown itself to be vulnerable to the whims of smarter, more mobile fighters.
Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, and Timothy Bradley weren't always successful in out-fighting Pacquiao (especially not Mosley!), but they were all able to succeed in slowing Pacquiao down and making him fight in a way uncomfortable to him. Erik Morales, on occasion, was also able to corral the explosive Pacquiao with simple, but smart footwork. Mayweather is an infinitely better and smarter tactical boxer than any of those who have been successful in shutting down parts of Manny's offensive game.
Actually, it could be said that Mayweather is the master of utilizing footwork and giving angles. His best friend is an overly aggressive opponent looking desperately to engage. His genius-level ring IQ just can't be overlooked when sizing up the two fighters. It's not at all hard to visualize a confused and clumsy-looking Pacquiao swinging at air and falling all over himself while trying to get at Mayweather, who will always be at least one full step ahead of him.
From there, Mayweather's hand speed and conditioning would take him to victory-perhaps an easier victory than anyone ever imagined.
None of this is aimed at diminishing Pacquiao as a fighter. Manny has earned his place among the very best of this generation and will be a first ballot Hall of Famer as soon as he is eligible. It's just that in boxing terms, Pacquiao beating Mayweather simply doesn't make sense. It goes against every bit of old school boxing wisdom passed along from generation to generation, practically since the sport began.
As for why this bout hasn't happened, forget the drama coming from both camps as to why the mega-bout never got made. One could make the case, though, that Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum-someone as 'old school' as they come-understood the difficulty of this match-up and worked to keep his fighter far away from a high profile bout that would be almost impossible to win.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and is the author of Notes from the Boxing Underground. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
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