Mayweather vs Pacquiao According to Those They Fought
It's April 29, 2015 and in just three more days Manny Pacquiao is going to box Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in what has been billed as the greatest fight of the century. Both fighters are top of their game so it will be interesting to see who ends up going home with the $1 million emerald green WBC belt that the winner is promised.
But despite how close this fight is probably going to be, there's other boxers who have boxed both of these men and who feel that one is more likely to win than the other based on what they've personally witnessed.
There's basically 5 common opponents that both Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought and those are Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, and Juan Manuel Marquez. All five of them have stated their opinions on both fighters in various interviews so let's take a look at who they feel is more skilled in which specific areas.
Oscar De La Hoya
De La Hoya was undefeated from 1992 to 1999 with 31 wins under his belt before his first loss. By the time he had fought Mayweather (2007) and Pacquiao (2008) he was already well past his prime and a bit aged (he's about 4 to 6 years older than both fighters). After his fight with Pacquiao he decided to retire and hasn't fought since.
Pacquiao beat De La Hoya with a TKO in the eighth round as De La Hoya's camp decided he was too badly hurt to continue the fight.
Mayweather beat De La Hoya with a split decision after the 12th round.
De La Hoya has done a few interviews over the years and most recently spoke in a few video interviews on how these two boxers compare and who he thinks is going to win the May 2nd fight. Most of his comments are indecisive as he seems to view both boxers as being equivalent in many aspects or is unable to elaborate on who he really thinks is the better fighter.
De La Hoya's Opinion on Both Fighters
On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how hard each boxer hits, Oscar De La Hoya rated Mayweather and Pacquiao as equal but stated that "the only difference is that Pacquiao has the ability to knock you out, but has to land that perfect punch and he doesn't have the good timing that Floyd has and it's more of an accumulation with Pacquiao."
As for speed, De La Hoya said "Mayweather is a guy who times you and won't throw a combination of punches like Pacquiao who will throw multiple punches at you fast." He rated both guys as rating the same overall but also stated that both have slowed down a bit.
Oscar stated that he feels Pacquiao is going into the fight thinking things like legacy, history, my performance inside the ring, wanting to win and impress and Mayweather is thinking business and numbers. He said that for this reason, he thinks Pacquiao has a real shot at winning but it's up to him. He said "my head goes with Floyd because of his boxing ability " but stated that Pacquiao definitely has the ability to win and one advantage he has that Floyd doesn't is that he's hungrier than Floyd to win.
Ricky Hatton had an undefeated record of 43 wins before his first professional loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2007. After that fight he fought Manny Pacquiao just two years later which resulted in the second loss of his career. He lost to Mayweather with a TKO in the tenth round and lost to Pacquiao with a KO in the second round. In two recent video interviews Hatton sat down and expressed his views on the two fighters.
Hatton's Opinion on Both Fighters
Hatton stated that Floyd is definitely the better defensive boxer but that Manny was the quicker boxer overall.
Defense and Offense:
When comparing their defense and offense to each other, Hatton seems impressed with Mayweather and indecisive about Pacquiao when he said "I shared 11 rounds with Mayweather and so I had 11 rounds to experience just how good he is and he's real good defensively and just in a different class. I don't know how good Manny is because the fight was over before it even got started."
Hatton stated "The shoulder roll and style that Floyd has got is better when people are coming at you. With Manny's style he's so fast Floyd won't get the chance to do the shoulder roll and Pacquiao has a chance to beat him if he uses the same speed and footwork that he used in the De La Hoya fight."
Hatton then clarified who he thinks is more likely to win when he said "If you're asking me where to put my last pound I think I'd put it on Floyd. I think he might be slowing a little bit and the only person who can beat Mayweather is someone with speed and movement which Manny has so I think Floyd will win but just by the narrowest of margins. Since the Marquez fight Manny has gotten better and better."
Shane Mosley fought both Mayweather (May 2010) and Pacquiao (May 2011) and lost by unanimous decision in both fights. Both of these fights lasted a total of 12 rounds as well. Mayweather lost only one round which was round 2. Pacquiao won every round with the exception of round 10 which was a draw. So just based on the scorecards Pacquiao had the slight advantage over Mayweather if you compare both fights since they both won an equal amount of rounds but Mayweather lost one round while Pacquiao tied.
Mosley's Opinion on Both Fighters
Mosley stated in a video interview that he felt Mayweather was faster than Pacquiao. He stated Pacquiao threw more multiple punches but that each punch thrown by Mayweather was faster than each punch thrown by Pacquiao.
Mosley stated in one interview that Pacquiao has some real power behind his punches and that it's an unconventional type of power that he compared to the 1-inch punch in Chinese martial arts that is often associated with Bruce Lee. He stated that when Pacquiao hits you and actually lands a hit it can easily cause you to lose balance and it's a completely different type of power than the type you see with large guys that are hard hitters.
He stated Floyd's power is underrated because he's more of a defensive boxer but when he does go in for some offense his punches hit harder than people think they do. So based on the sound of it, it sounds like he's undecided as to which one hits harder because they both have different types of power behind their punches.
Defense and Offense:
Mosley stated in another video interview that he feels Pacquiao is "too small" to get to Mayweather because when he himself was fighting Pacquiao he was injured but was still able to keep his distance and get away from Pacquiao's offense. Based on this observation, Mosley feels that Floyd will win over Pacquiao.
Mosley stated in a video interview some time ago that if a fight were to ever happen between Pacquiao and Mayweather he feels that Mayweather will win because "he's maybe a little sharper, but anything is possible in a boxing match".
Juan Manuel Marquez
Juan Manuel Marquez has fought Pacquiao four times and Mayweather once. In the four matches with Pacquiao, the first was a draw (2004), the second (2008) and third (2011) matches were losses for Marquez but the fourth fight (2012) was a win for Marquez when he knocked Pacquiao at the end of the 6th round. Many will remember this as being the first time Pacquiao was knocked out by an opponent in almost 13 years and the knockout itself was an extraordinary one. In his fight with Mayweather (2009), Marquez lost due to UD after 12 rounds. Marquez has been very vocal about the upcoming fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather and has expressed his opinions on both fighters in various interviews as well.
Marquez's Opinion on Both Fighters
Marquez said in two interviews that although Mayweather is very quick, he feels Pacquiao is definitely quicker.
Marquez also stated he feels that Pacquiao is a much harder hitter than Mayweather because his punch "is just heavier".
Marquez stated in an ESPN First Take interview that he believes Mayweather will win a fight between the two because Pacquiao will be looking aggressively to fight all night and Floyd will be using his defense to avoid this and that he's "the best fighter in the defense".
He also stated in other interviews that Mayweather isn't used to fighting with southpaws and so Pacquiao can use that to this advantage and try to control the fight by keeping Floyd close, using his right hook in combinations, and by not allowing Mayweather to use his shoulder roll technique and arm reach to keep his distance.
Marquez feels that Floyd isn't going to risk his 47 wins by taking risks and so he will stick to what he's comfortable with which will be keeping his distance even if it makes for a boring fight and that Pacquiao will have to improve on his defense.
From 2001 to 2008 Miguel Cotto was undefeated with 32 wins under his belt before his first loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008. His second loss was to Pacquiao (2009) and his third loss was to Mayweather (2012). Many Pacquiao fans remember this fight specifically because of how badly Cotto's face was bruised after the fight. Pacquiao won by TKO in the 12th round and Maywaether won by UD after the 12th round. Since then Cotto has done many interviews and spoke on both fighters and who he feels is the more skilled out of the two.
Cotto's Opinion on Both Fighters
Cotto was asked about whether Pacquiao is faster than Mayweather in a recent ESPN interview in which he commented on Pacquiao's speed by stating "He can move from here to there in less than a few secondS". Cotto didn't say a word about Floyd's speed after that which would lead one to believe that he feels Pacquiao is much faster.
When asked if Mayweather is a hard hitter who can knock larger guys out Cotto stated "He can hit hard but he will usually win a fight in the easiest way" which is a sort of vague response again but sounds as if Cotto doesn't believe he's that hard of a hitter to really make a point of it or to where it's a non-issue because even if he has power he won't normally use it as much as another fighter would.
Defense and Offense:
Cotto has not compared the defense or offense of the two fighters to each other but based on what he said regarding their hitting power and their speed it's pretty clear that he feels Pacquiao's offense is stronger than Floyd's defense overall.
Cotto stated in the same ESPN interview that he believes Pacquiao will win the fight for a number of reasons but one of the main reasons is because he's quicker and that Mayweather will not be able to sustain in the fight due to this.
Cotto's main reason for stating these things, he stated, was that Pacquiao is working with world-famous trainer Freddie Roach and that this will help Pacquiao have an advantage over Floyd because it will allow him to captailize on Mayweather's mistakes. So it sounds as if Cotto feels that Roach is training Pacquiao to look for these types of slip-ups or mistakes and to use a strong offense coupled with quickness to benefit from them.
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