Atlas picks Mayweather to beat Pacquiao
By Dan Ambrose: ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas is picking Floyd Mayweather Jr to defeat Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd in their mega fight. Atlas says the fight is six years too late, as it should have taken place in 2009 when the two fighters first attempted to put the fight together.
Since then, Pacquiao has been knocked out cold by Juan Manuel Marquez in their last fight together in 2012. Atlas thinks that Pacquiao is still haunted by the ghosts from that knockout, and Mayweather can bring those ghosts back by nailing Pacquiao with a good enough shot to knock him out.
The Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight was made official on Friday when Mayweather announced it on his Shots account. The fight will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 2nd.
“Floyd has the bigger edge in the squared circle,” Atlas said via ESPN.com. “He’s the naturally bigger guy. He’s not learned how to lose. That confidence is so important at all times. This fight should have taken place six years ago. Since then, Pacquiao has been knocked out cold. That memory is still there someplace. It will be Floyd’s job to bring those ghosts back to the fore front, bring them back to the mind of Pacquiao. The edge goes to Mr. Mayweather, the Money man. He is the better defensive fighter, the guy that will take advantage of reckless aggression of Pacquiao.”
Atlas is correct about Mayweather being the bigger guy with the better defensive skills. Pacquiao is an inch shorter than Mayweather, but he also has a shorter reach than Mayweather. The bigger size will definitely be an asset for Mayweather, especially now that he’s fighting someone smaller than him.
In Mayweather’s last three fights, he’s faced Marcos Maidana twice and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. Both of those guys were bigger and heavier than Mayweather. On May 2nd, Mayweather will be fighting a guy smaller and lighter than him in Pacquiao, and that should give Mayweather a considerable advantage.
“The greatest strength of Mayweather is his mind, but it’s also his greatest weakness,” Atlas said. “Pacquiao needs to understand that sometimes Mayweather gets intoxicated with his defense. He starts slipping and sliding a little too much sometimes and allows you to get into him. Pacquiao can match Floyd just about with hand speed. Pacquiao is the busier fighter. Yeah, I said it. He’s a little busier than Floyd. Pacquiao will have opportunities with Floyd when is in the defensive mode a little too much. That will give Pacquiao opportunities to out-hustle him and grab parts of rounds and maybe steal rounds.”
If Mayweather stands and trades with Pacquiao, then it’s definitely possible for Pacquiao to “steal rounds” like Atlas says. Pacquiao throws a lot of punches and he’s definitely equipped to outwork Mayweather in this fight if Mayweather stands stationary like he did in his first fight against Maidana. However, the first fight with Maidana likely taught Mayweather a valuable lesson that he can’t afford to stand in one place against guys that throw a lot of punches and have a ton of power. That’s why Mayweather will likely fight Pacquiao similar to how he fought Maidana in their second fight.
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