Thursday, March 30, 2023  |



Who punches harder and who is faster, Pacquiao or Mayweather?

Fighters Network

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Juan Manuel Marquez said the most-impressive element of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s game is his defense, which Marquez called “impeccable” and “incredible.” It’s no wonder he landed only 69 punches in their September fight.

THE RING lightweight champion even told AOL Fanhouse that Mayweather is a better fighter than former opponent Manny Pacquaio “because he has a very difficult style.”

One might be surprised, however, at Marquez’s response when he was asked to compare Mayweather with Pacquiao in two basic categories.

“Who hits harder, Pacquiao or Mayweather?” someone asked Marquez at an open workout to promote his rematch against Juan Diaz on Saturday in Las Vegas.

“I feel Pacquiao has a harder punch, a heavier punch. But Mayweather is very fast, very quick,” Marquez said through a translator.

“OK, who’s faster, Pacquiao or Mayweather?” Someone else asked.

“I believe Pacquiao, but Mayweather is fast too,” Marquez said.

That’s high praise for Pacquiao considering Mayweather is the naturally bigger man and considered one of the fastest fighters of his generation. And it might give pause to those who would make Mayweather the favorite if he can ever come to terms on a fight with Pacquiao.

Pacquiao can be hit, though, which is one reason Marquez was able to hold the Filipino to a disputed draw and controversial decision loss in two fights.

Marquez would love one more crack at Pacquiao but doesn’t expect to get it.

“Now, with his political life in the Philippines, I doubt it,” he said.

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, said recently that he doesn’t believe a third fight with Marquez would be as close as the first two because Pacquiao has improved dramatically since they fought 2¾ years ago. Marquez was asked how he feels about that.

“Talk is cheap,” he said. “He has to prove it. He can say anything. Prove it.”

Eye on history: The fact no Mexican has won titles in four divisions in spite of that nation’s rich boxing heritage is hard to believe but true. The great Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Marquez have all won belts in three weight classes.

Marquez wants to be the first to four.

“If I don’t get Pacquiao, maybe I’ll fight at 140 and become the first Mexican to win a title in a fourth weight division,” he said.

The junior welterweight division is probably the deepest in the sport. With Zab Judah moving down to 140 and Marquez possibly moving up, the division would be absolutely packed with talent.

Misstatement? Oscar De La Hoya, who made an appearance at the open workout, told an interviewer on a Spanish-language network in June that Pacquiao and Mayweather were close to a deal on a Nov. 13 fight.

His on-air statement reportedly went like this: “Up until now, it's been a very difficult negotiation process for various reasons, but right now we're very close. We're very close in finalizing the contracts that were once very complicated. The two fighters now realize that this fight must be made. It has to be made because the boxing fans want to see it happen and right now it's the biggest fight that can be made in the world. It's going to be a big, big fight. I think right now we are very, very close in finalizing the contracts. I can't talk right now in detail about the negotiations, but I will say that we are very close.”

On Monday, he said he misspoke.

“I think I said it because I get the question asked so many times,” he said. “Obviously, I was fed up and tired of it. I just said, ‘Yeah, Yeah, it’s gonna get made.’ It was a quick answer. I should’ve obviously thought about it. Obviously, negotiations weren’t going on. Nothing was going on.

“Mayweather has the key to making that fight happen.”

Leonard Ellerbe, one of Mayweather’s advisors, said last week that negotiations never happened. De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, which has a promotional interest in Mayweather, are backing Ellerbe.

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, said he negotiated with a representative of Mayweather through HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg. Greenburg said in a statement Monday that negotiations had begun on May 2.

Some good will? Golden Boy and Top Rank, Arum’s company, seem to be in the midst of a cold war. Many wonder when (if?) they’ll do business again.

De La Hoya said he has no problem working with his former promoter.

“We’re open and willing to work with anybody,” he said. “We’ve proved it over and over again. We’ve worked with Gary Shaw, all the promoters out there. If Top Rank has its own agenda, so be it, but I’m always willing to work together and make the best fights possible.”