Saturday, March 25, 2023  |



Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight picks: Round 3

Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images

Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty Images

Ahead of this Saturday’s eagerly anticipated Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight, presents Round 3 of our Fight Picks.

Here is what the experts had to say:

Norm Frauenheim, THE RING Magazine/

Floyd Mayweather UD 12 Manny Pacquiao: Worldwide sentiment is with Pacquiao, a nice guy and a People’s Champ even in a fight so expensive it has excluded most of the people. But popularity won’t win this one. Punches, precise and timed, will. Mayweather has most of those, which figure to land over the later rounds when some of Pacquiao’s risky habits re-emerge.

Jeffrey Freeman, KODigest.TV

Manny Pacquiao SD 12 Floyd Mayweather: Here’s the inside scoop, so remember where you heard it first. The “smart money” in Las Vegas is on the draw result but I’m picking a winner here and KO Digest says that’s going to be Manny Pacquiao. How will he do it where nobody else has been able to pull it off? By being all over Floyd Mayweather from the opening bell and by forcing “Money May” into a perpetual state of discomfort on the ropes and in the corners. This should still be a close and competitive struggle for legacy but an off-balance knockdown scored by Pacquiao against Mayweather will make the critical difference on the judge’s scorecards. If either fighter is to get stopped or knocked out, it will be Mayweather, but Floyd has a great chin and Manny wins more on speedy volume and angles now than on power-punching and pure killer instinct. The win goes to the fighter who most wants to be in the ring on May 2 and that is demonstrably Pacquiao. The Ghost of Rocky Marciano strikes again. Will there be a rematch? You better believe it.

Gennady Golovkin, WBA middleweight titleholder

Pacquiao’s on a roll right now, since that knockout against (Juan Manuel) Marquez. I think he has a great chance because he has quicker hands. I think it’s a 50-50.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Andreas Hale,

Floyd Mayweather UD 12 Manny Pacquiao: Manny Pacquiao isn’t the same fighter he was five years ago. But even then, it wouldn’t have mattered. Floyd Mayweather is the most accurate counterpuncher in boxing due to his impeccable reflexes and ability to think ahead of his opponent. If Juan Manuel Marquez — who is slower and smaller than Floyd Mayweather — could give Pacquiao all that he could handle for four consecutive fights, what is there to think that a bigger, stronger and faster Mayweather won’t be able to give the Pacman fits for 12 rounds? More importantly, with Pacquiao no longer being the typhoon of punches that he once was, this will allow Mayweather to operate at a distance and pick off Pacquiao’s jab and straight left while utilizing his straight right to thwart his advances. The size and reach advantage is also important as Mayweather can utilize a long jab to keep Pacquiao thinking while also muscling him away whenever his back is to the ropes. Simply put, there are too many ways for Mayweather to win and not enough for Pacquiao. It’s not inconceivable that Pacquiao can win this fight, but a lot of things have to go right and Mayweather has to do a few things wrong such as being uncharacteristically aggressive. Chances are, Mayweather fights at his usual deliberate pace, takes away Pacquiao’s best weapons by Round 3, weathers a couple of offensive outbursts, performs open boxer surgery and wins a 116-112 decision.

Daniel Jacobs, middleweight contender

Floyd Mayweather PTS 12 Manny Pacquiao: When you go against Floyd Mayweather, you’re going to be wrong. Even though Pacquiao might be the only one who has the ingredients to beat Floyd, I don’t know if he can do it. When you go to the stats, even though people say he doesn’t do well against southpaws and he hasn’t always looked the best, I do think he’ll be able to tame Pacquiao. I’m a huge fan of both fighters but I do see Mayweather being the victor by decision. However, you might get some controversy from the judging. You might get Pacquiao by decision and then we’ll have a second fight. I don’t want to see Mayweather retire so maybe we can get some type of controversy to extend his career.

Harry Pratt,

Manny Pacquiao SD 12 Floyd Mayweather Jr.: For the past five years of waiting I always felt Floyd Mayweather Jr. would beat Manny Pacquiao in a thriller. Typical then that now, as we finally approach the sport’s most anticipated date of destiny on decades, I should suddenly find myself leaning toward the latter fighter. It’s only a hunch, but I cannot help but wonder if Manny, having been through a relatively massive dip only to re-emerge seemingly somewhere close to where he was before, does not give him the slenderest of psychological advantages. And, to support that side of the argument raging in my mind at this point, I also feel the still undefeated, untarnished Mayweather Jr. has not been at his most scintillating during the latter half of this same stretch. What difference that might actually make nobody could know.

But before any final prediction one must also weigh in the ‘Money’ having so much more to lose with regard to a boxing great’s all-important legacy. If Pacquiao goes down at the MGM one cannot imagine it will be overly damaging to his overall standing in the history books. It will not dent his immediate popularity too much. People will, rightly or wrongly, assume that this career fight just happened a little too late in the day for the Filipino superstar. If he wins, of course, that logic all goes out the window. He will be hailed a miracle man with extraordinary powers of recovery. Mayweather, on the other hand, risks everything on May 2. If he crashes to defeat, everyone will say he was never as good as all presumed and certainly not as good as he proclaimed. If he wins, however, it may merely confirm what we all knew: that he is the best of the current crop (and, of course, that he sidestepped facing Manny in his prime). In many ways, the hugely divisive American can’t win in Las Vegas – beyond the result – though he can sure lose.

As for the fight itself, if Pacquiao starts fast and can win maybe four of the first five rounds, then he really can go all the way, surviving an inevitable comeback to take a no-doubt controversial decision. But it is imperative that he is all over Mayweather Jr. early on to create a wide points margin by the halfway stage. This is my take on what will actually happen. Probably. Or, at least, maybe. For should the reverse unravel and Pacquiao fails to seize such an initiative, allowing Mayweather Jr. to find his dazzling stride and evasive rhythm before the end of the fourth, then the outcome is certain to be very different and a whole lot more painful for the Pacquiao supporters. In that instance, Mayweather Jr. will storm to a lopsided UD.

Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank

Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank

Scott Quigg, junior featherweight contender

Floyd Mayweather PTS 12 Manny Pacquiao: I see Mayweather winning by points. I think its going to be tricky in the opening rounds but if Mayweather gets past the early rounds, which I expect him to do, then I see him finding a way to beat Manny on points. But the real winners will be the fans, who have had to wait so long for this fight.

John J. Raspanti, Boxing Show

Floyd Mayweather W 12 Manny Pacquiao: I’ve been saying for five years that if Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao ever laced up the gloves, Mayweather would win.

I still feel the same, even though it would have been easier for Mayweather a few years ago. The key is Mayweather’s boxing IQ. It’s huge. He’s great at adapting.

Pacquiao will likely try and overwhelm Mayweather with activity. He’ll probably do quite well in the opening rounds. He’s quick and his shots come from odd angles. Mayweather will start picking away at Pacquiao with-what else? The lead right hand.

His check hook could also be a factor. I see Mayweather rallying to win a close 12-round split decision.

Ala Villamor, ALA gym trainer

Manny Pacquiao to beat Floyd Mayweather: I choose Paquiao by decision or by KO but he needs to be careful. If he makes a mistake the same as when he fought the last Marquez fight he’s in big trouble.

If [Pacquiao] fights the way he fought Oscar De La Hoya or Miguel Cotto I’m sure he will win by decision or by KO.

Ulli Wegner, trainer (who will be ringside and co-commentate Mayweather-Pacquiao for German television)

Floyd Mayweather to beat Manny Pacquiao: Mayweather has two big advantages over Pacquaio – he is better at ring generalship and has better footwork. Pacquiao will play the bull, but Mayweather will parry him like a torero and deliver the coup de grace in the championship rounds.

Round 3: Mayweather is favored 63 over Pacquiao, with one undecided. Mayweather leads 245 with 1 undecided overall.

Round 1

Round 2

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at