Prime Pacquaio or prime Mayweather: who wins?
by Bob Smith: This is a topic really any boxing fan should love and I definitely look forward to reading your comments and suggestions. Of course, an article like this is purely speculative; at the same time, these speculations are worth real money, as 2-4 years ago this fight would have been worth tens of millions to each fighter.
Of course, this is article is not to say that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not in his prime, but arguably Manny Pacquiao is not in his prime at this point.
The truth is that I am not sure who would win if these two fighters fought at their primes. I did not follow the saga in depth, but I think that at least part of the reason that they did not was that Mayweather ducked him – this is understandable from a boxing and business point of view, and he is nothing if not a very successful boxer and businessman.
Here is the one thing that I am sure of: a prime Pacquaio would obtain at least one flash knockdown against a prime Mayweather. The reason is that at his best Pacquaio had speed, frightening power, unusual angles, and brilliant combinations – we have all seen the best of his highlights. I don’t think that Mayweather could have avoided mixing it up with Pacquaio in the center of the ring and getting knocked down at least once. He was rocked by Mosley and nearly went down; Pacquaio at his best had at least as much power, plus dazzling speed, brilliant angles and awesome combinations.
Having said this, the rest of the fight would depend on Floyd – his adjustments, his mental state following the knockdown, and the degree to which he was able to come back up and try to stun Pacquiao. I would not think it unrealistic that he would get knocked down twice by Pacquiao, but in the end I see him either getting knocked out, or much more likely, using his superior ring IQ to let Pacquiao punch himself out, and then get the win based on points and technique and incredible defense.
So my prediction would be about a 25% chance of a Pacquiao knockout and a 75% chance of a Mayweather victory by either unanimous decision or split decision. Having said that, I think that the fight would be disputed barring a Pacquiao knockout and I see Mayweather winning the rematch if there was one due to superior adjustments. His stamina and ring IQ are simply too great to lose twice to any fighter, even Pacquiao.