We are only hours away from an event that will call upon the beliefs of all. The sheer magnitude of this occasion is greater than any other, with revenue set to north of $400M. There are only few who would dare deny its significance beyond boxing’s borders. Even the intensity of the weigh in offered opportunity for the champions to display their standing to a paying audience. There has been no need for perpetual slander the demand has prevailed against all obstacles to this battle.
It is the first time that I have witnessed the Mayweathers having very little to say. The celebrated Freddie Roach has charted the path of the outspoken coach as he rallied his charge. All are stirred by this engagement for they will be remembered for their achievement tonight.
The argument for the analysis of common opponents has led many to believe that Pacquiao has the upper hand in this duel. I will admit that his ability to disembowel the efforts of those who have challenged him left them looking far worse than when they faced Mayweather. Others will say the answer lies in the departure that is Marquez. A man Pacquiao has faced four times but who nearly ended Pacquiao’s career in recent time. Mayweather contained and dominated him. Such analysis is inadequate for it fails to account for the variances in fighter’s styles and strategies employed in facing similar opponents.
The key is strategy and how that will be imposed to maximise punishment and minimise damage taken.
The greatest Pacquiao we have seen fights going forward, ambushing his opponents with powerful flurries. He darts in and out, light to right, covering distance in timeless fashion. Creating an attack that upholds his defence. The punches come from assorted angles and their volume can be immense. Wearing down even the brave efforts of many talented fighters. He possesses the formulation to KO opponents and it is what he always sets out to do. He is never there to survive but to mame and destroy. I do not expect Pacquiao to change his approach and expect him to use volume in an attempt to force holes in Mayweather’s defence.
Pacquiao has some inclination on Mayweather’s approach tonight but he is going to struggle to contain him.
I know with less certainty how Mayweather will approach this duel, as I see him varying his strategy in the latter half of the fight. His approach will be determined by the challenge that Manny’s mounts at different phases of the fight. Mayweather will use the first round to stand his ground and assert himself. He will not shatter Pacquiao in the opening but he will attempt to land a notable punch to ensure that Pacquiao respects the power he possesses in his skilled hands. The first half of this bout is going to see skirmishes erupt at all four corners of the ring including the centre. Both combatants will attempt to rally favourable momentum in their cause. We are going to be faced with high volume of movement, punches and counter punching.
Mayweather greatest asset is his ability to adjust to any challenge mounted. He uses his brilliance to isolate and negate his opponent’s strongest assets. He will hold defensive posture in front of the windmills that Manny throws and expose openings which avail. It is his skill, to create opportunity from the slightest mistakes to punish Pacquiao for efforts and flurries.
This is not going to be an easy battle for Mayweather. Floyd will be forced to contend with the rising inferno that Manny will present. Pacquiao is going to have trouble adjusting to Mayweather and this will leave him tired and exposed. He will respond with greater energy expended, which will be a dangerous time for Mayweather. However it will suit his plan to drain Manny’s energy for the latter stages.
The latter rounds will see Mayweather assume a fitting adjustment and frustrate Pacquiao with greater frequency. Mayweather cannot be beaten by sheer power and speed, ring intellect is fundamental. I cannot see how Pacquiao will transmute to master strategist overnight. If Pacquiao’s endurance wanes then Mayweather will engage him with greater aggression seeking the elusive stoppage.
Prediction: Mayweather on Points.
Set aside all opinions delivered to you; focus on the facts presented to you in forming your own opinion. Tonight, final glory will be unveiled: Mayweather will rise to boxing’s adulation.