“Pacman” and “Money May” – a statistical comparison

11.05.09 - By Michael Montero - Hardcore and mainstream boxing fans alike are buzzing about a possible super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather (provided he gets past Juan Manuel Marquez this July). Now that “Money May” is back in the picture, many are arguing just who the real pound for pound king of the sport is, Mayweather or Pacquiao. I decided to do a head to head comparison of their resumes and accomplishments...

years fought = 1995-2009 (15 years)
pro fights = 54
weight range over career = 36 pounds (106-142), spanning 11 divisions
record of opposition = 1,344-247-58 (81.5% win percentage)
KO % = 37 KOs in 49 wins (75.5%)
linear world championships = FOUR; flyweight (112), featherweight (126), junior lightweight (130), junior welterweight (140)
world titles = ELEVEN; 112 (WBC), 122 (IBF, WBO), 126 (RING, WBA, IBF), 130 (RING, WBC), 135 (WBC), 140 (RING, IBO)
record against current/former titlists = 11-2-2
hall of fame "lock" opponents = FOUR; Marco Antonio Barrera (x2), Juan Manuel Marquez (x2), Erik Morales (x3), Oscar De La Hoya

FLOYD MAYWEATHER (all stats include upcoming Marquez bout)
years fought = 1996-2007, 2009 (13 years)
pro fights = 40
weight range over career = 20 pounds (130-150), spanning 5 divisions
record of opposition = 1,037-176-36 (83% win percentage)
KO % = 25 KOs in 39 wins (64.1%)
linear world championships = THREE; junior lightweight (130), lightweight (135), welterweight (147)
world titles = NINE; 130 (WBC), 135 (RING, WBC), 140 (WBC), 147 (RING, WBC, IBF, IBO), 154 (WBC)
record against current/former titlists = 12-0 (13-0 if he beats Marquez)
hall of fame "lock" opponents = TWO; Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez

Advantage = Pacquiao

Yes he was only 16 years of age when he started his career at 106 pounds, but he was fighting against grown men. In total, Manny has moved up 36 pounds over his career to Floyd’s 20; and has continued to beat top opponents as he’s moved up, not to mention maintain his speed and power. In fact Pacquiao’s KO percentage is higher than Mayweather’s, although he’s constantly moved up in weight throughout his career...

Pacman has laid claim to four linear championships (spanning 28 pounds) to Money’s three (spanning 17 pounds); while capturing 11 title belts to Money’s 9. He’s defeated four lock-solid first ballot hall of fame fighters, while Mayweather is set to face his second this summer. It should be noted that Mayweather has faced more borderline hall of famers though (Castillo, Corrales, etc)…

Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton are the only like opponents both men have faced (Marquez will be the third of course), and Pacquiao has fared better against them to date. Floyd jumped up one division to face The Golden Boy at junior middleweight for a super fight in which he won a close decision. A year and a half later, Pacquiao jumped two weight classes (having already leaped from 130 to 135 in his previous bout against lightweight titlist David Diaz) to annihilate Oscar in a one-sided beat down. In his last bout to date, Mayweather made 140 pound kingpin Ricky Hatton move up to face him in a competitive bout that he ultimately won via tenth round TKO. Again, about a year and a half later, Manny fought Hatton at his natural weight and pulverized him in two rounds. However, Floyd does have a chance to narrow the gap on July 18th if he can dominate Juan Manuel Marquez; the man that has given Pacquiao the most trouble in his career…

The two areas where Money has a clear advantage are that he is undefeated and has a decorated amateur career, two things Pacman can’t claim. Floyd has also faced more alphabet titlists, and has been more consistent overall as a professional. But in fairness, Manny has had to “learn on the job” as a pro; not having the benefits of a true amateur career to learn the tools of the trade. It’s scary to think he is still learning and improving under the schooling of trainer Freddie Roach.

Comparing the two resumes, one can make a case for either man being the true pound for pound king; but this writer believes that distinction should clearly go to Manny Pacquiao. Boxing’s pound for pound crown goes through the Pacman – if Mayweather wants to claim it, he’s going to have to fight and beat Manny in the ring.


Chad Dawson is no doubt a very talented fighter who deserves his ranking as #1 at light heavyweight, but it almost feels there is something missing. The killer instinct just isn’t there and he seems to wear down late in fights. He’s not going to get Hopkins and he refuses to rematch Johnson, so now what? Can he lure Jermain Taylor into moving up to 175? Andre Ward? Roy (gulp) Jones? Or does he go to Europe and easily dominate the paper champs?

Speaking of paper champs, can we all just agree to not rank Felix Sturm as a titlist anymore? His list of “title defenses” is just plain pathetic. And while we’re at it, let’s add Zsolt Erdei into that mix. I can’t think of two bigger false “champions” in the sport at the moment.

And speaking of pathetic, I can’t decide which makes me sicker – the WBC naming Oleg Maskaev their heavyweight mandatory, or the WBA naming John Ruiz as theirs…. again! And folks wonder why the heavyweight division is in so much trouble? I’d rather see young blood like Cristobal Arreola, Alexander Dimitrenko, Eddie Chambers and even Kevin Johnson rated as mandatories than the same old fossils who’ve failed over and over.

Speaking of the heavyweights, people seem divided on David Haye’s infamous T-shirts and trash talk leading up to his bout with heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko. The bottom line is that whether you like it or not, we’re all talking about it. Mission accomplished David. Now please, please, please – back up the talk in June and make Wladimir actually have to fight for a change!

It won’t be long before we see Mikkel Kessler on the back of a milk carton. Kessler hasn’t faced a live body since losing a competitive fight to Joe Calzaghe in 2007. Over that time, guys like Carl Froch, Lucian Bute, Librado Andrade and even Allan Green have all done more. Should Kessler still be ranked as the top super middleweight in the world? Froch’s win over Taylor – in America – is a bigger victory than any on Kessler’s resume. Something to think about…

And finally, speaking of missing persons – where is Floyd Mayweather Sr, the self proclaimed “greatest trainer in boxing”, hiding these days? It’s pretty obvious that Mayweather and Hatton spent 12 weeks in training camp focusing on Manny Pacquiao’s straight left hand and not much else. Did Floyd Sr bother to watch ANY recent film on Pacquiao? Had he done so, he would have noticed that Manny has developed into a two fisted fighter and it just may have behooved the Hatton camp to work on timing/slipping that very dangerous right hook of his. Floyd Sr not only underestimated his opponent’s size, strength and talent, but his opponent’s trainer’s game plan as well. After the first round of that lopsided bout, Mayweather’s only advice to Hatton was to “move his head” and “keep his hands up”. How about, “hey Ricky, he’s timing you for the right hand”? Best trainer in boxing? How about, the most overpaid trainer in boxing. Yeah, that’s a better fit.

Questions, comments, hate mail? You know what to do…

Article posted on 12.05.2009

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