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Would Pacquiao beat Mayweather today?

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny Pacquiaoby Larry Nalzaro: There’s a strong possibility that Manny Pacquiao would beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. today. Pacquiao’s performance against WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley on April 12th is incessantly used as a barometer by everyone, proclaiming Pacquiao is no longer what he used to be. Which is true: the man has gotten older, and with it some of his power and reflexes have slowed down a bit. Everyone is therefore saying that if he were to step into the ring today with Mayweather the former would pound Pacquiao to submission.

That may be true seven years ago but probably not anymore today: Mayweather has also aged and is in fact 2 years older than the Filipino. What are the chances that Mayweather’s slickness has also faded a little bit?

You see, Mayweather has aged too. It’s not like he has remained at 30 while everyone else has moved on. Pacquiao has aged, yes, no argument there. He has slowed down a little bit, yes, no argument there. But how are things with Mayweather in the age department? Surely he has aged too, right? One could make an argument that he remains strong and slick because he never engages in the same type of wars that Pacquiao went through is therefore as fresh as he was four, five years ago. But that argument is precisely the same reason that would get him into trouble if he were to engage in a brutal war with Pacquiao today. Pacquiao is battle-tested; he engages in war-of-attrition type of battles that Mayweather almost never had.

When was the last time Mayweather knocked someone out? If we discount Victor Ortiz (he was busy hugging Mayweather and got sucker-punched in return for his troubles), we’d have to look all the way back to 2007 when he knocked out Carlos Baldomir. That’s been a while, right? Almost the same with Pacquiao; his last TKO victory was against Cotto in 2009. It’s therefore fair to say that both men has never had a knockout victory for quite sometime. But why is Pacquiao the only one getting skewered for not knocking out anyone anymore? What about Mayweather? Why is no one dismissing him with “he’s not the same fighter anymore” observation?

A ton of ink has been spilled on Mayweather’s superlative defense. No argument there. The man clearly knows how to dodge Alzheimer’s Disease-inducing punches. But why is he celebrated for that skill and not Guillermo Rigondeaux? The latter has been blasted left and right for his “snoozy” performance in the ring. He’s routinely accused of being “boring” by everyone. Is Mayweather’s skill boring?

THE TRUTH OF the matter is we will probably never find out the answer to the question. There are just too many obstacles standing in the way. And it’s probably too late for both fighters anyway at this stage in their life. So let’s celebrate the two for their unique talent and skill. Instead of denigrating one over the other; let’s appreciate both for the joy and excitement they bring to our hearts.

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