Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Why Pacquiao is Better
With the long-awaited boxing match of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on it's way in about a month at the MGM Grand, people around the world seem to be polarized when it comes to the two boxers and who they'll be rooting for. Many view this fight as a battle of Good versus Evil with Mayweather playing the overconfident villain and Pacquiao playing the underdog hero.
The reason for this is mainly because Mayweather, an American, is currently undefeated and has a reputation for bragging about his success and money on camera and sometimes even putting others down for not having the same financial success in life.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, seems to take a more humbled approach to things and is viewed as a main source of pride in his home country of the Philippines where people's feelings for him are similar to those for Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States. The Philippines is a poor country compared to the United States and Manny Pacquiao just seems to have a stronger likeability factor so all of this adds up to "Good vs. Evil" or "David and Goliath" to many people even outside of the Philippines.
But this isn't fair to Floyd as we don't know his whole life story and some of the things he does or says may be misunderstood. For all we know, Manny could have some skeletons in his closet that we just don't know about. Regardless of who people actually want to win, all that matters at this point is who actually will win.
So rather than trying to debate which of these two boxers is the better person and letting emotions play a role in our better judgment, let's compare the boxers' actual abilities and skills to determine who is more likely to win. In my opinion, based on the stats and information we have so far for both of these boxers, Pacquiao is the more likely victor and I'll explain exactly how I came to this conclusion.
There's no doubt that Mayweather has the more wins as he's currently undefeated. Pacquiao has 64 total fights under his belt and 57 of those were wins. Mayweather has 47 fights total and has never lost once. At first glance this may tell people that Floyd is clearly the better fighter, but there's a lot of factors involved when it comes to statistics like this.
Some argue that Mayweather chooses his fighers and has purposely avoided Pacquiao up until now because this is someone who actually poses a threat to that undefeated record. There's no proof that Mayweather chooses his fights carefully, but that is always a possibility so you can't discount it and automatically assume that Floyd is the better fighter. The more times you do something, the more you increase the odds of something bad happening.
With 47 wins, Floyd may seem invincible but people forget the lessons taught by history when it comes to boxing. He's definitely not the first boxer to have an undefeated record at 47 wins. Some may recall Larry Holmes who had an undefeated record of 48 wins before losing twice in a row to Michael Spinks and before suffering 4 more losses after that. Pacquiao could very well be Mayweather's Michael Spinks for all we know. Take a look at Julio Cesar Chavez who was undefeated with 87 wins before his first draw with Pernell Whitaker and his first loss just four months later to Frankie Randall. He suffered 5 losses after that one and one draw. Even Mike Tyson was undefeated from 1985 to 1990 with 37 wins before he was knocked out by Buster Douglas in Tokyo. As a sidenote, it was Tyson who ruined Spinks' perfect record of 31 wins before knocking him out and sending him into retirement. There's many examples like this throughout boxing history.
Pacquiao may have met his Michael Spinks and his Frankie Randall long before Mayweather did. Overall, Manny has 10 more wins than Mayweather and has fought in 17 more fights, so who's to say Mayweather wouldn't lose any of the next 17 fights he's in (assuming he doesn't retire before he gets the opportunity to fight them)?
Who Punches Harder?
With Mayweather's 47 total wins he's had 26 wins by knockout, which means that 55% of his wins were knockouts. Pacquiao's 57 wins included 38 that were due to knockouts, so that equals about 66% of wins that are due to knockouts. The difference between the two isn't much but still worth noting. Bottom line: Mayweather at 55% has less of a knockout percentage than Pacquiao at 66% if you're just looking at overall wins.
If we're looking at overall fights, Manny has had a much higher percentage of knockouts. Since 2000, he's fought in 35 fights and 7 of those resulted in wins due to knockout. Mayweather has fought in 25 fights during that same period with only 1 win due to knockout. So 20% of Pacquiao's fights resulted in knockout wins while only 4% of Mayweather's have. Bottom line: Pacquiao is clearly the harder hitter.
Punching Speed and Accuracy
It's hard to gauge which boxer is able to throw more punches simply because it could come down to a matter of choice. Pacquiao is well-known for throwing multiple punches as part of his signature offensive style, but who's to say whether Mayweather could do the same if he chose to adopt the same style? Just because Floyd doesn't throw multiple punches in each round the way Manny does, doesn't mean he couldn't do this if he wanted to. His style is a more defensive style where he tries to avoid getting hit and seems to throw punches more conservatively and sparingly. This may be because he uses this to his advantage to save energy and to only throw punches when he's absolutely sure they're going to land somewhere.
But if we were to look at which puncher throws more punches, it's clearly going to be Pacquiao who wins that debate. He throws an average of about 66 punches per round while Mayweather averages about 39. So Pacquiao is throwing about 27 more punches with each round than Floyd.
As far as accuracy of these punches, Mayweather has more accuracy in punches that actually connect to the opponent. He connects about 18 punches per round while Manny connects around 22. So it all comes down to preference here if you think about it because some people may feel that it's better to throw less punches and connect more like Floyd does while others may feel that you should get as many hits on an opponent as you can regardless of how many you're missing on. Those 4 extra connected hits that Pacquiao is averaging over Mayweather each round could be the hits that weaken him enough to defeat him. However, the flip side of that coin is that Manny is using up more energy by throwing 27 more punches in each round which could tire him and allow Floyd to get the advantage overall.
Arm length isn't everything because it all depends on how your offense or defense is because you can use short arms to your advantage in some situations. But in general, most people would agree that it's better to have longer arms when boxing so you have a wider reach. Mayweather has a slight advantage of Pacquiao when it comes to this as his arm length is 72 inches while Pacquiao's is 67 inches. When you look at the style of both of these fighters, something like that can definitely be an advantage for Floyd who likes to keep his opponents at a distance and against Manny who likes to keep a fighter close to him.
Fighter of the Year Stats
When it comes to basketball one of the main argumetns you'll hear from people as to why Michael Jordan is better than Kobe Bryant is because he's been voted MVP many more times than Kobe. Well when it comes to boxing the closest thing there is to an MVP is the "Fighter of the Year" Award that The Ring magazine awards one person each year. If you were to compare these awards, Pacquiao has won 3 of these awards and Mayweather has won 2.
Fighter of the Decade Award
Pacquaio also won the "Fighter of the Decade" award given to him by the World Boxing Council (WBC) which Mayweather has never won.
If those awards weren't eneough, this one should be interesting to hear as Pacquiao actually broke a world record. Pacquiao is the first and only boxer in history to hold 8 world titles. Mayweather has won 5 of these.
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