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Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Who wins? Here is what the statistics tell us

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny PacquiaoBy Matthias Predonzan: Finally, one day, the fans will have the answer in the only way that matter to them. Probably the fight between the two best fighters of the last decade will happen at the announced end of Floyd Mayweather’s career and possibly, this will coincide also with the end of Manny Pacquiao’s ones. It will be just great, even if, from a technical point of view, it would have been a better fight if it had happened four or five years earlier.

Now it is too soon, business wise, to make the fight happen, so we still have a lot of time to speculate about the fight’s outcome. We can look at the data in our hands and guess who will be the winner.

Pacquiao is extremely good when fighting against fighters who are not very mobile and very quick. He likes to counter-punch but he is also easy to be counter-punched, if you are fast enough to do it. We saw this situation very clearly in all the fights against Marquez who is a very technical fighter, fast and an excellent counter-puncher. Manny had is troubles against Tim Bradley too, for the same reason and the ankle’s problem that affected Bradley, taking out his mobility, was a big factor in Pacquiao’s favor.

Pacquiao’s record is not very impressive looking at his last eight fights. Miguel Cotto was forced to fight him at a catch-weight of 145; he was indeed competitive, until the effort to make the weight made him to fade away. He threw 111 punches in the first 6 rounds and then only 61 in the remaining of the fight.

Joshua Clottey was in surviving mode for the whole fight that Pacquiao dominated without never really treat to stop him: if you want, a nemesis of Brandon Rios’ fight.

Shane Mosley fought Pacquiao coming out from a heavy loss against Mayweather and a draw against Sergio Mora.

On the contrary, before to fight Mayweather, Mosley had had two very convincing wins by KO and TKO, against Ricardo Mayorga and Antonio Margarito.

Not too much to add, to what already largely debated regarding the four fights against Juan Manuel Marquez. Many saw Marquez winning all of them and now, after the last KO victory, it looks like it is finally clear who of the two the best man is.

Mayweather, for his part, fought a perfect match against Marquez and the only shade we could find in his performance was the fact that he didn’t make the agreed catch weight. But his dominance was nevertheless impressive: he was also faster than Marquez, let alone a better boxer and a bigger puncher.

Oscar De La Hoya too, fought at a catch weight against Pacquiao, looking completely exhausted from the process of losing weight.

On the opposite, Mayweather went up to light middleweight class to defeat him.

The spread in performance between Pacquiao and Mayweather seams to grow bigger looking at the contenders’ level and the results of the more recent fights. Manny lost two of his last three fights and the only one he won, was against Rios, at his first fight as welterweight. Rios was coming out from a loss against Mike Alvarado, a won by TKO against the same fighter when he was down on points and a stolen victory against the Cuban Richard Abril.

Mayweather, on his last three fights, defeated Cotto at 154, dominated Robert Guerrero, – who was coming from an eight-years-long period of no losses and a big win against Andre Berto – and outclassed the rising star, undefeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, at 154.

Looking at these sequences it doesn’t look like Mayweather picked up easy fights, nor fighters no longer in their prime.

It looks like Pacquiao fought more fading contenders ( Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Margarito, De La Hoya), or weak ones, Rios, or lost against them ( Bradley, Marquez).

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