Dougie’s Mayweather-Pacquiao mailbag
THE FIGHT IS ON!
I have no high hopes for making the mailbag, as I’m sure you’ll get a million e-mails just like this, but as Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao is finally upon us, what else can I say other thanÔÇª.. FIGHT’S ON!
I don’t want to get into the particulars too much, I just want to say that it is so Gee Dee exciting to know that we’re finally going to get to see Mayweather and Pacquiao go at it. No more hypotheticals, no more excuses, we’re finally going to get to actually see with our own two eyes who the better man really is. And if there’s still some controversy about who “really” wonÔÇª. Then LET’S JUST DO IT AGAIN!
My pick is going to be Pacquiao. Guts over brains for sure, but I just feel like if Manny can stay focused and keep winging shots at Floyd no matter how many times he misses or eats a counter in return, then eventually his flurries are going to be too much for Floyd to take and he’ll either get knocked out or fall behind on points.
That’s all I have to say, hope you wind up somewhere fun to watch the fight. Stay strong, two more mailbags and you’ll never have to answer another Floyd vs Manny question again. – Sean.
I agree with your pick, but I think if Pacquiao is going to get it done he’s going to have to show some brains along with his guts, and I think if Mayweather wants to stay unbeaten he’s going to have to show some guts along with his brains.
(That’s some deep analysis, huh? Now you know why I get paid to do this.)
It’s been a while but I thought I’d give you some thoughts from the UK about the upcoming weekend.
The feeling I’m getting amongst my group of friends, who are casual boxing fans, and some social media is that people in the UK aren’t as excited about May/Pac as I thought they’d be and they’re very reluctant to stay up to 4 a.m./5 a.m. and pay for the PPV. I’m surprised and am trying to persuade them that this is the biggest fight since Lennox Lewis V Mike Tyson (and have offered breakfast if they turn up at mine for 3 a.m.) but I’m clearly not selling it well enough (or my cooking sucks). Although I have warned them it is likely to be a huge anti-climax in terms of ring action, it’s history in the making all the same. I’m going for a Mayweather unanimous decision after getting over the early to mid-rounds pressure from Pacquiao. I’d love the Pacman to pull it off but I can’t see it.
A few questions for you:
1) Has the build-up/expectation lived up to the hype you expected?
2) Would it have been bigger/better circa 2009-2011? (we all know it would have been better in boxing terms, but what about the hype/promotion?)
3) On a scale of 1 to 1,000,000 (1 being slit your wrists depressed, 1,000,000 being over the moon ecstatic) how pleased will you be if after this weekend:
- a) you never hear the 2 fighters name in the same breath again?
- b) Mayweather retires after the fight?
- c) Pacquiao retires after the fight?
- d) Pacquiao has knocked Mayweather out and taken his ‘0’?
- e) Cotto v Alvarez happens this year?
- f) Froch v Golovkin happens this year?
- g) Droeks is able to keep his next mailbag letter to 3 sentences?
Keep up the good work Dougie and thanks for your efforts in consistently getting the mailbags out each week. – CJ, UK
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, CJ. (This #MayPac mailbag was written in my hotel room at Fantasy Springs Casino, after doing a “Golden Boy Live!” broadcast and a short write up on the card. Say it with me: Hard work! Dedication!)
By the way, you have to be the coolest friend in the civilized world. You invite your pals over to watch the “super-mega-ultra-boxing event of the eon” AND you volunteer to make them breakfast. Who cares of if your cooking sucks or the fight turns out to be an uneventful dud? They should come over just because of your hospitality!
I’ll answer your questions in order:
1) No, but it’s come close. I thought the boxing world be in such a frenzy over Mayweather-Pacquiao that any event scheduled just before or after it would be totally overlooked, but that hasn’t been the case. I also thought there would be non-stop heated debate among hardcore heads over who would win or who is better, but it hasn’t been totally out of hand. (Not yet, anyway, that might happen AFTER the fight.) However, the buzz is great, especially with the general/mainstream sports media and among celebrities. Maybe the hype will hit a crescendo during today’s weigh-in and we’ll all feel it (including your casual fan friends). And who knows? Maybe we’ll get an exciting fight and total #MayPacalypse on Saturday.
2) I think the fight would have been huge in 2010, especially if it was held at Cowboys Stadium (as was talked about). That venue could have accommodated the massive fan interest (up to 90,000) and the tremendous amount of media requests. The matchup itself would have had more significance because Pacquiao was at his peak having come off two amazing consecutive years (which saw him edge Juan Manuel Marquez for the 130-pound title, break down David Diaz for a 135-pound belt, retire Oscar De La Hoya, annihilate Ricky Hatton for THE RING junior welterweight crown and stop Miguel Cotto for a welterweight strap) to clinch the BWAA’s Fighter of the Decade honor for the 2000s, but Mayweather – who “retired” as the sport’s pound-for-pound king in early 2008 – returned to the ring in September 2009 seemingly on top of his game with a one-sided unanimous decision over Marquez. At that time (2010 and 2011), both fighters had legit claims to being the fighter of the decade and pound-for-pound No. 1. Both had incredible momentum in 2010 and the first part of 2011. I think the general sports and mainstream entertainment media would’ve been just as all over the fight as it is now. The only difference is that social media wasn’t quite as prevalent then as it is now and hardcore fans weren’t as jaded about the matchup/event as they are now. By the way, I’m not sure the fight would have been better in 2010/2011. I strongly favored Pacquiao at that time. I see it as an even matchup now, and I think it’s the kind of fight where anything can happen because both guys are a little past their primes (with a lot of wear and tear).
g) 100,000 (three sentences is too short; I’d be happy if he kept ’em to three paragraphs)
FINAL THOUGHTS ON MAYPAC
The big fight is finally here and it’s been interesting reading all of the analyses and predictions. I’ve written pretty extensively about it on my website, Insidefight.com and was hoping you would weigh in on a few areas that I think will be key factors in the bout:
1) This fight will be very competitive because of the lack of “quiet spaces” Floyd normally enjoys. When we watch Mayweather against slower, methodical fighters, we see him use his foot speed to maneuver to safety before setting and countering. On Saturday, Pacquiao will likely cut the distance with his speed and prevent Floyd from fully setting. Will Floyd recognize this and stand his ground like Marquez? I don’t believe so.
2) I could be way off here, but I believe boxing hates an undefeated fighter and there will be a bias toward Pacquiao on fight night that will translate into either a draw or a narrow Pacquiao victory, regardless of what happens in the ring. It doesn’t hurt that it also makes everyone involved way more money in a rematch. As Floyd has neared retirement, his scoring dominance has dwindled.
3) While Dave Moretti and Burt Clements tend to align in the majority of their decisions, Glenn Feldman hands out draws and minority decisions like candy. I think Clements is the Mayweather lock in scoring. Moretti has shown a declining trend, scoring Floyd’s bouts closer and closer over recent years. Moretti also preferred Alvarez’s aggression in a tight match with Lara. I could absolutely see Moretti being a draw or a Pacquiao vote, and Feldman will probably certainly have Manny on top.
I am somewhat surprised that so many “experts” see a one-sided Mayweather victory. I may very well score the fight in his favor on May 2, but I see this as an extremely close contest. In looking at Pacquiao-Bradley II and Maidana-Mayweather II punch stats as recent proxies of performance we see that Pacquiao outlanded Bradley by 1.4 to 1, and Floyd outlanded Maidana by 1:3 to 1. Very comparable numbers for comparable quality opposition.
Anyway, would love your thoughts on the above topics and any other last minute feelings on the bout. Thanks. – Vincent, New York, NY
I don’t have any last minute feelings on the fight, Vincent. I just want them to get it on and give U.S. boxing fans a fight that’s worth paying $100 to watch live. However, I think you brought up some interesting points and opinions. I’ll respond to them in order:
1) I agree that Pacquiao’s speed and ability to close distance in an instant will challenge Mayweather in ways that his previous opponents could not. My guess is that Floyd will not want to stand and engage with the PacMonster, but we’ll see. I think Pacquiao will quickly take over the bout unless Mayweather can stun him early and earn some respect. (Come to think about it, this fight might just come down to whether Mayweather has the power to hurt Pacquiao and vice versa.)
2-3) Interesting theory. I’m sure Larry Holmes would agree with you. I sincerely hope that the judges are 100% neutral and that they get it right on Saturday.
As for the “experts” predicting a one-sided Mayweather victory, they’re just going with the chalk and the usual outcome to Floyd’s fights. It’s kind of a lazy approach to the matchup, but it often works out for them. Sometimes hardcore nuts like you and I overthink a matchup. However, I feel confident that we’ll get a closely contested bout tomorrow night. Those are interesting punch stats from the Maidana and Bradley fights, but I don’t need them to know that Pacquiao still has a lot of fight in him and that Mayweather isn’t untouchable (or unbeatable). By the way, I think Bradley is a higher quality opponent than Maidana.
I figured I would send you my fight prediction in case you decided to do a mid-week mailbag. I’m a long time reader and have enjoyed your work since the Maxboxing days. Even then, people were calling you a hater for ranking Mayweather #2 pound for pound when he was fighting the Henry Bruseles and Sharmba Mitchells of the world.
I’m one of the rare readers that is a fan of both Mayweather and Pacquiao. I haven’t picked a side and I don’t feel like responding with homophobic or racial slurs to anyone that disagrees with me.
Ever since the fight was announced, I’ve favored Mayweather because of his superior defense, underrated chin, stamina and ability to adjust. However, the more I watch recent fights, the more I’m leaning towards Pacquiao.
Conventional wisdom says that Floyd will dominate in the middle of the ring and Manny will have his chances when Floyd is against the ropes. I tend to disagree and I see the fight playing out differently than most. I favor Pacquiao’s combination punching over Floyd’s single shots. Both are counter punchers by nature. Floyd will have his moments, landing jabs, lead rights and will have success with the looping right over Pacquiao’s high guard. You make a good point in comparing Marquez and Mayweather’s style. Floyd will not be willing to risk getting knocked out in order to land that one hitter quitter. Marquez had success because he punched with Pacquiao. Freddie Roach has joked in the past that Marquez threw a lucky punch because his eyes were closed at the time he landed it. It wasn’t a lucky punch and I believe that Marquez was bracing himself to get KTFO in case Manny landed first.
Pacquiao is also a counter puncher, but he counters with multiple punches in combination. He varies his punches enough that opponents cannot prepare for it. For example, he’ll throw a straight left to the body and follow with a right hook to the head or he’ll throw a jab, straight left, and turn his body to throw a straight right. He does this while moving forward and occasionally mixes in an uppercut to vary the output. I don’t expect Floyd to punch with Manny. He’ll slip and block some but will also take shots to the body and head. Floyd will follow up with shots and press the action at times, but I don’t think he will throw or land enough to convincingly win rounds. People have been saying that Mayweather always figures out his opponents, but I’ve never seen a style that was similar to Pacquiao’s. I don’t know if there is a way to prepare for it and I don’t know if 2 to 3 rounds will be enough for Mayweather to adapt as some suggest.
I don’t see Manny scoring a knockout because Floyd is not as aggressive as Hatton and Manny can’t sustain the energy level he displayed against Oscar or Cotto. My prediction is a close but convincing points win for Pacquiao, maybe 8-4 or 7-5. It will start out slow with a lot of feints, blocked jabs, and holding but should pick up by round 3.
Thanks. – Dave, Detroit
Thanks for sharing your well-thought-out opinions and thanks for reading the mailbag for so many years.
I think your prediction is realistic as long as Mayweather is unable to hurt Pacquiao and the judges don’t give the unbeaten American/odds favorite credit that he doesn’t deserve.
You brought up a lot of things that I must respond to:
“Even then, people were calling you a hater for ranking Mayweather #2 pound for pound when he was fighting the Henry Bruseles and Sharmba Mitchells of the world.” – I had no idea that I was hating on poor Mayweather 10 years ago. Not recognizing him as the pound-for-pound king when he was fighting two future hall of famers like Bruseles and Mitchell is just pathetic. I’m embarrassed. I really am.
“I haven’t picked a side and I don’t feel like responding with homophobic or racial slurs to anyone that disagrees with me.” – Wow. You’re no fun at all.
“I favor Pacquiao’s combination punching over Floyd’s single shots. Both are counter punchers by nature.” – Interesting observation. I think you’re right. (So what’s up with all these “experts” calling Manny a “pressure fighter”?) And I’m thinking that Pacquiao might be able to command the center of the ring if he can get around Mayweather and attack him at angles. (Who needs ropes?)
“People have been saying that Mayweather always figures out his opponentsÔÇª” – People sure like to repeat what they hear from Al Haymon employees, celebrity morons and biased assholes, don’t they?
“ÔÇªbut I’ve never seen a style that was similar to Pacquiao’s. I don’t know if there is a way to prepare for it and I don’t know if 2 to 3 rounds will be enough for Mayweather to adapt as some suggest.” – Well, it only took Marquez 36 rounds, four training camps, and a willingness to get KTFO to beat Pacquiao. Maybe Mayweather can do it with one camp and 12 rounds without getting his face smashed in. We’ll see.
PACQUIAO EDGES IT, MAYWEATHER’S CORNER
I just watched your appearance on UCN’s 10 Count. I was surprised at some of the stuff Ken Miller was saying about Mayweather. No way Mayweather is the greatest boxer ever. Sugar Ray Robinson, son. But I digress on that matter and on to the fight on Saturday.
Over the last five years, I’ve always considered Mayweather edging out a SD. As fight night draws closer, I have Pacquiao swinging the pendulum in his favor. (No way I see a draw with one of the judges calling some crazy card.) In order for Manny to win, he needs to be extremely active without being too risky, as I can see Floyd connecting with a knockdown. I keep looking at Floyd’s fight with Zab Judah as benchmark for how a southpaw can pester Mayweather. Your thoughts on how you think Pacquiao can edge out a win?
Furthermore, my old man brings this up to me all the time: Floyd’s father being in the corner over his uncle, Roger, who is clearly the better option. I always tell my dad that at the end of the day Floyd can filter out the corner-noise and fight his fight. Thoughts?
Thanks again and hope you enjoy fight night. Hey, if there’s any consolation, at least we can see a Vasyl Lomachenko bout. – Mike, Hudson Ct., NJ
Loma is definitely a positive on the pay-per-view broadcast. Unfortunately he’s cancelled out by Leo Santa Cruz.
Roger Mayweather was a better (or more accomplished) fighter than Floyd Mayweather Sr., but Senior is a better trainer. And yeah, regardless of who’s talking in the corner – Roger, Floyd Sr., or Leonard Ellerbe – Mayweather can tune it all out if he thinks that’s what’s best.
I think Pacquiao can more than just “edge out” a win. He just needs to set the pace and land clean shots by jabbing/feinting his way in close and by punching in combination at different angles. (It will also help him if he gets out of the way of Floyd’s counters. Duh! Aren’t these keys to victory mind-opening? I bet you never heard any of this from anyone!)
I don’t think Mayweather’s fight with Judah is as good a comparison fight as most think it is. The only things Pacquiao and Judah have in common is their southpaw stance and hand speed. Otherwise, their styles are very different. Judah doesn’t move in and out the way Pacquiao does. He plants his feet more and he often waits on his opponent. That’s not Manny. And Mayweather is an older, bigger, stronger fighter than he was in 2006.
The 10 Count on #MayPac was a lot fun. Miller’s Mayweather stance made the show in my opinion. I respect Ken’s opinions. And the fact is that he was voicing what a lot people believe. I’ve been a hardcore fans since the late 1980s, so I’ve seen this phenomenon a few times. Whenever you have an elite fighter who commands big money, dominates his division(s) and remains unbeaten for a long period of time, you’re gonna have a legion of fans/media who want to say he’s the GOAT – it was this way with Mikey Tyson, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Roy Jones Jr. (even though he had a DQ loss) and now Mayweather is supposedly TBE. No big deal, really. If Mayweather loses tomorrow or at some point before hanging up the gloves, folks will eventually anoint a new TBE. Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin or Terence Crawford are prime candidates if they continue to win and dominate (Chocolatito will get dissed even if goes to 70-0 because he’s too small for the masses).
FIVE AND HALF YEARS IN THE MAKING
What’s up Dougie?
I hope you are having a good “fight week” mate! Well, it’s just around the corner now my friend. I’ve pre purchased the May 2nd PPV extravaganza (it’s only $30 USD here in Singapore… happy days!) and come Sunday morning my time, I’ll be glued to my flat screen!
Still, it feels like I’m one of the many boxing enthusiasts who has taken a while to get excited about the final chapter of the Never Ending Story. I’m not sure why? It’s weird. It feels almost surreal that this saga is finally going to end. I really hope that the fight can somehow live up to the hype that the last 5 plus years has created. Honestly Dougie, do you think this is possible? Am I delusional to be hoping for a barn burner? How much risk will either man be willing to take given that they are both going to clear a number with 8 zero’s in it just for turning up!
In my opinion, Mayweather looks the more focused of the two fighters. He seems to be in his comfort zone although, the fact that he’s changed up his standard training regime (enter Alex Ariza, a funky looking freezer recovery tank and some wood chopping) makes me think he’s sweating this fight…. just a little bit. To me, Pacquiao seems to have been going through the motions a bit. Skipping sparring sessions? What’s up with that? Lastly, I’ve loved every minute of Roach’s trash talk. The guy is a genius! I guess he thinks that any edge he can get his fighter, even if it only amounts to a 1% advantage in Pacquiao’s favour, is worth it.
Well Dougie, I hope that whatever the result, that you enjoy the fight. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your perspectives on Mayweather and Pacquiao since the idea of them fighting was first floated more than 5 years ago and I’m sure, like me, you are looking forward to a new chapter in boxing post-May 2nd. One that is no longer dominated by the Never Ending Story. Cheers. – Craig Brewer, Singapore
Amen to that, Craig. Bring on Canelo-Kirkland, the GGG/Chocolatito doubleheader, and Khan-Algieri (just kidding).
Roach can talk some s__t, can’t he? He’s almost an honorary Mayweather.
I think Pacquiao has been going through the motions since the second half of 2011 (except for maybe the fourth Marquez bout). My guess is that he’s been “dialed in” for this fight. But if he did skip a few sparring sessions, so what? The dude has been a pro from 20 years. TWENTY YEARS! He’s got 64 pro bouts. He knows how to fight (as does Mayweather). He knows what he has to do to win (as does Mayweather). He doesn’t need a ton of sparring rounds (and neither does Mayweather). He just needs to be in condition to go hard for 12 rounds (the way Floyd usually is).
I’m sure Mayweather is extremely focused for this fight. However, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s not quite himself for this fight, either, and that Pacquiao is in his head.
“Am I delusional to be hoping for a barn burner?” – Um, yes. Mayweather is involved. However, good news: Pacquiao is involved, so the fight will at least be compelling/competitive.
FIGHTERS THAT COULD HAVE BEAT MAYWEATHER
Hi Doug. May-Pac is right around the corner and I wonder what you think about my theory. I always thought that a fighter who would beat Floyd has to have certain style and physical characteristics and I don’t think that’s Manny. (Although I want Manny to win the fight.) Manny’s foot speed and in-out style from southpaw stance will be effective against him because Floyd has not faced any fighter like that.
However Manny lacks in size (height) and that will not make Floyd uncomfortable. I think what makes him really uncomfortable are three things. Height, smart pressure with JABS and punching power with ability to put punches together.
I always thought that the fighter would have been Tommy Hearns. Why? Tommy had it all. I really think that it would have played out like his first fight with Leonard but only difference would have been Tommy dominated the fight. Ray had balls to be aggressor when his boxing didn’t work in the first half of the fight and that was the reason he was able to stop him but I don’t think Floyd would have done the same. I can’t see him taking chances like that.
Well, Tommy was in different era so I picked few fighters who was active in recent era and would have beat (or at least troubled) Floyd. I want to know what you think of my pick.
- Late Vernon Forrest. Vernon had height, great fundamental boxing skills and decent power. The version dominated Shane would have done more than enough to beat Floyd.
- Paul Williams. Not just height but southpaw. That combination alone might have enough to trouble Floyd.
- Prime De la Hoya. Yes. I know he got beat already but the version who fought his heart out against Shane at the Staple center could have beat him. He had much more speed, power and consistency. Yes, he tend to fade in later rounds but against Shane, he showed his grit as you know.
What do you think? – Naoki, Las Vegas, NV
It goes without saying the Hearns would beat Mayweather. He would have iced Floyd, and Manny, and Tim Bradley, and JMM, and Kell Brook, and Keith Thurman, and everyone else in the 147-pound top 10. And everyone in in the 154-pound top 10. And probably everyone in the 160- and 168-pound top 10. He’s the f___in’ Hitman, dude!
The late Vernon Forrest would have been a very difficult matchup for Mayweather due to the Viper’s extensive amateur background, long reach, world-class jab and hard right cross. However, Forrest wouldn’t have nailed Mayweather as easily as he zeroed in on Mosley (in their first bout). I can see Mayweather counter punching Forrest and using lateral movement to make it harder for the taller, rangier man to land his power shots. I can also envision a tit-for-tat chess match that is so uneventful it would have made the second Forrest-Mosley bout look like Leonard-Hearns I.
I agree P-Will would have been too much for Mayweather, but not because of his height and lefty stance. I think Williams’ swarming pressure and volume punching (and reliable chin at 147 pounds) would be his keys to victory.
And it only makes sense that if the 2007 version of De La Hoya could compete with Mayweather that the 1997-2000 version would have had a chance to beat him.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer, and on Instagram.