Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather? It doesn't matter anymoreWritten by Mark Havey
In order to ascertain who is the greatest of any given era, the best must face the best at their primes. And in the case of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, that boat has already sailed.
People are quickly losing interest in a potential Pacquiao vs Mayweather superfight as the sport's wisest fans understand the probability of this bout not happening and won't be disenchanted should the fight ever happen.
Pacquiao vs Mayweather should have happened in 2010. The invincibility, aura and mystique of both fighters was still intact at that time.
But today, both men are past their best. That stated, I'm not saying that they are no longer top pound-for-pound fighters but if they fought tomorrow one will have slipped significantly more than the other. And regardless of the winner, we still wouldn't know which one was the greatest of the era - We would only know who was better at the time.
Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino fight legend, was once a fearsome, dominant force... and still is. But the days of knocking out whomever was put in front of him have passed. In fact, he hasn't scored a knock out since he destroyed Miguel Cotto in 2009.
PacMan is seemingly content with winning on points these days. His last fights didn't go to planned and some believe he should have lost to Juan Manuel Marquez. However, that argument arguably went 'out the window' when the PunchStats revealed a different story.
For Pacquiao vs Marquez III, official fight statistics from CompuBox revealed Manny Pacquiao threw and landed more punches, and connected on more powershots than his Mexican foe. According to CompuBox, Pacquiao threw more shots (578) than Marquez (435) and connected with 176 punches (30%), while Marquez landed 138 (32%).
Pacquiao also edged Marquez in power punches, connecting on 117 of 274 attempts or 43%, while Marquez connected on 100 of 254 power punches thrown or 39%. Per round, Pacquiao threw 49 punches and landed 14, while Marquez threw 36 punches and landed 11.
Conversely, when Manny Pacquiao lost to Tim Bradley in June, pandemonium erupted in the boxing world. And while Pacquiao, to most observers, appeared to be the better fighter that night - like it or not - he lost.
Two judges scored it for Bradley 115-113 while the third judge had it for Pacquiao by the same narrow margin.
It's simple, Manny Pacquiao lost against Tim Bradley because the judges said he lost... Just as the judges said Marquez lost against PacMan eight months prior.
On the plus side, Manny Pacquiao's opponents still testify to the Filipino's bone-crunching power and blinding speed.
Floyd Mayweather is surely the world's best defensive fighter and will be remembered as one of the greatest defensive fighters ever as he seldom gets hit cleanly - Even against world class opponents.
But there were mixed feelings about Floyd Mayweather following his most recent fight in May. Some assert he struggled against a shopwarn Miguel Cotto.
And yes, Floyd's great footwork and defence seemed to bedevil him at times against Miguel Cotto's onslaught. Bloodied nose and all, Cotto seemed to humble, if not hurt, the once untouchable Mayweather.
But to others, Floyd had finally proved that he could take a big shot and I certainly agree with that.
Renowned as a man of suspect heart, the hard-punching Victor Ortiz he came out strong against Floyd last September. And while Floyd Mayweather scored what some consider an unsportsmanlike knockout, his actions were well within the rules.
However, Floyd was winning with ease anyway and it was only a matter of time before he would have seemingly eventally overwhelmed his 24 year old foe. But, of course, who really knows what could have happened. Nonetheless, I only saw a Mayweather win one way or another.
Another important element to note is the deceptive record of Floyd Mayweather.
He's unbeaten on paper but not according to boxing fans who remember his first bout with José Luis Castillo. Floyd Mayweather blamed his performance on an injury and I believe him because he went on to win the rematch - But he still should have lost Mayweather vs Castillo I.
On the plus side, Mayweather's defence is still better than anyone else's and his chin is now established.
Anyone hoping for a brawl for Pacquiao vs Mayweather (if it ever happens) doesn't know Floyd Mayweather.
The fight would go one of two ways.
Floyd fights on the back foot refusing to engage. He throws single and double shots and wins on points. If Mayweather is victorious against Pacquiao that way, PacMan's fans will come forward and accuse Floyd Mayweather of being "a chicken and running all night".
Case 2: Manny Pacquiao misses loads but lands some decent shots, eventually connecting on a big punch that leaves Mayweather sprawled out on the canvas. Mayweather fans will come forward screaming of a lucky punch but there are no lucky punches in boxing.
Conversely, a boxer who doesn't engage and uses his speed and technique to outclass his opponent is still within the rules... and still the winner.
In all truth, the winner will be the best at the moment but arguably not the greatest of his day - Just the best on that day.
I prefer to look forward at the great fights that will happen in the future and not the great fights that could have happened in the past. Of course, I would still like to see the Pacquiao vs Mayweather but its relevance has passed. Boxing doesn't need Pacquiao vs Mayweather anymore.
No one is bigger than boxing.
My name is Mark Havey. I am a boxing writer from Portsmouth, England.
I have been a fan of boxing ever since i was small. The glitz and excitment of the big PPV nights pulled me in and i was hooked. I love to box myself, read about boxing, watch it and talk about it.
If anyone wants to contact me Mmhavey@hotmail.co.uk.