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article imageOp-Ed: Floyd Mayweather the tactician has advantage over Manny Pacquiao

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 30, 2015 in Sports
With the superfight, The Fight of the Century, now almost a certainty, get set for the speculation to begin. Will Manny Pacquiao's speed overcome the power and tactical abilities of Floyd Mayweather? In a word: no. It won't.
Floyd Mayweather: Best pound for pound boxer
Mayweather is the smartest boxer in the game. Like his speech, his style of fighting is measured, he approaches a fight quietly, going about his business. All the time he has footwork fast enough he can sting like a bee, ala Muhammad Ali. He defends better than any other fighter today — he'll need to, Pacquiao can punch hard and fast — and Mayweather has that uncanny ability to patiently wait for the right moment to strike.
Early in his second fight with Marcos Maidana it looked like Mayweather was just there to dance around the ring. Wrong. He was sizing him up, waiting for his moments. He won easily.
He's a machine that way. Waiting. Waiting; Waiting. Striking with a powerful force. The greatest tactician in boxing and his punches carry weight. For some not the most exciting fighter but then some don't appreciate tactics. Will he throw a change-up or heat? Will Mayweather jab or go for the knockout (he's had 26 KOs to help attain that 47-0 record).
Mayweather owns the highest percentage of punches thrown and connected than any other boxer at 46 percent.
He's been criticized for taking too many punches, but you know what? Floyd Mayweather Jr. also has the highest plus/minus record in boxing, the number of punches thrown and landed on his opponents, subtracted from the amount thrown and landed on him. He's a +30.
By the way, when fighting at welterweight, Floyd Mayweather averages 20 fewer punches thrown per round (he's at 38) than the average of the weight class (58). Yet as CompuBox points out, Mayweather, incredibly, only lands on average two fewer punches per round. So it takes Mayweather 38 punches to land 18, while on average every one else takes 58 punches to land 20.
Wow — talk about efficient.
Pacquiao: number two pound for pound
Pacquiao's a great fighter, behind Mayweather as the number two pound for pound fighter in boxing (though no longer always ranked second). He is arguably more exciting, yes, though, as I've noted in this space previously, for my money watching the strategy of a Floyd Mayweather play out, much of it learned from his trainer and father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., is both compelling and exhilarating.
At 36, Manny Pacquiao has slowed down more than Mayweather has at 37. Yes, flashes of his old self showed when he beat Chris Algieri in November, but remember who he beat. A feel good story, Algieri, but his 20 wins have not been against top competition and he's not an elite boxer. Meanwhile, the Pac Man's losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley show he's no longer the fighter he once was.
Floyd Mayweather: will go out in style
Mayweather, before his brief retirement and now since, has been dominant. He stumbled in one fight against Maidana, but came back the next in September to win handily. Money has already said 2015 will be his final year as a professional boxer, for good this time, and you know the man who already has the greatest training regimes in boxing is going to redouble his effort to ensure he takes out the one fighter of stature he's yet to meet.
Expect the fight to happen on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the announcement is now almost a formality. They both want it, it will happen. And expect Mayweather to win; he may take his time about it, but he will beat Pacquiao. Then...then the talk of a rematch will start.
If it happens — he'll win that, too.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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