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article imageOp-Ed: 'Floyd Mayweather fears Manny Pacquiao' nonsense ends with win

By Marcus Hondro     May 3, 2015 in Sports
So many times and from so many people we've heard the refrain that Floyd Mayweather was afraid to fight Manny Pacquiao. Boxing fans and boxing 'experts' alike have trotted out that tired cliche since 2009. Afraid? Really? PLACE LOUD BUZZER SOUND HERE.
Mayweather beats Pacquiao
Mayweather's win Saturday night was a display of boxing skill that cements his reputation as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his era. It also shows the man they call Money to be a fighter who knows no fear, which he said all along. He did what he had to do and easily took what Pacquiao had to offer and countered with more than Pacquiao could handle.
When I began to write about the potential of this fight I easily had two dozen emails from fans who told me Mayweather would never take it, that he was too afraid. He was afraid of Pacquiao the fighter and also afraid of losing his unbeaten streak. Boxing analysts said as much, as did Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, repeatedly.
Once the fight was announced they had to change their tune. But they didn't back down. They began to say that Mayweather only took the fight because he was forced to. But here's this: Mayweather is about as afraid of Pacquiao as a shark is afraid of a swimmer.
Separating men from boxers
You may not like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and deplore, as do I, those domestic violence convictions. And you may love the other guy, Manny Pacquiao, a family man, politician, a devoutly religious man - which accounts, by the way, for his homophobic stance on gays - and a doer of good-deeds.
You may also believe that Mayweather must improve himself as a man - he claims to be making the effort to do so - but none of that gives validity to the notion he was afraid of Pacquiao. In Las Vegas Saturday night he stepped into the ring with confidence and the statistics from the Fight of the Century show that to be the case.
Here are some of those stats:
- It was a unanimous decision, two ringside judges scoring the fight 116-112 and the third scoring it 118-110. Boxing analysts also scored the fight for Mayweather and you'd be hard-pressed to find even one who scored the fight for Pacquiao.
- The numbers courtesy Compubox are very telling, and if you hear anyone grumble about the decision, in addition to encouraging them to see an eye doctor, pass them on: Mayweather landed 148 punches of 435 thrown, while Pacquiao landed just 81 of 429. That boils down to a 34 percent connection rate for Mayweather, a weak 19 percent connection rate for Pacquiao.
- Pac-Man landed but 18 jabs all fight, compared to Mayweather's 67. Power punches? Mayweather hit on 81, for a strong 48 percent connection rate, Pacquiao landed 63, only 27 percent of the power punches he threw. If he was supposed to be the fighter that got through Money's defence then he came up woefully short. Others have done better.
- The final number to note is 48-0. In modern day boxing an amazing stat. There are few superstars of the like of Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier or Sugar Ray Leonard to fight today but there are a bevy of quality contenders who've embraced their craft and train harder than fighters have ever trained. Mayweather has beaten all and is one fight away from tying another great, Rocky Marciano, at 49-0.
Floyd Mayweather: Confident boxer
Simply put: the fight was lop-sided. Not in a knock 'em down sense, but in the sense that Pacquiao never threatened to win it. Save for landing a hard punch in Round Four, the Filipino fighter did not impress.
Clearly Mayweather entered the ring with a ton of confidence and coupled with his masterful defence, his legendary patience, it made the result, right from round one, a foregone conclusion. The tactical game was compelling but the fight wasn't pretty or particularly exciting, but that was Pacquiao's fault for failing to mount an adequate offence.
Defence wins championships. It's the same mantra in baseball, in basketball, football, hockey and in boxing, too. Mayweather has every right to employ his exceptional defence and to exploit, as he did, as he always does, the other guy's mistakes as the fight moves along. You have to be able to solve your opponent's defence and they could have fought through the night and Pacquiao would never have managed to solve Mayweather's.
The reality is that Pacquiao is simply not a good enough fighter to beat Money and that Mayweather is not afraid of him, never has been and never will be. But if you still think Mayweather is afraid of him then, well....
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
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