Maidana gave Mayweather a tougher fight than Pacquiao did
By Dan Ambrose: After watching Manny Pacquiao’s performance last night in losing to WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26 KOs) in their “Fight of the Century” clash in Las Vegas, I think it’s safe to say that Marcos Maidana (35-5, 31 KOs) gave a much tougher fight to Mayweather in both of their fights compared to what we saw from Pacquiao.
I think there’s no comparison. Maidana a lot stronger, more rugged, harder punching, bigger and much tougher than Pacquiao was. Besides that, Maidana looked a lot more courageous as well, as he wasn’t afraid to take shots like what we saw from Pacquiao last night.
Maidana was constantly walking Mayweather down in their two fights in 2014 in May and September, and wasn’t going to be stopped by the threat of getting hit with a right hand. If you saw Pacquiao in the early rounds last night, he slowed down his attacks after he was caught with a number of hard right hands in the 1st and 2nd rounds.
Pacquiao looked like he went into the safety mode after taking those shots from Mayweather. I don’t know if it was a case of Pacquiao still being haunted by his brutal 6th round knockout defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez three years ago in 2012 or what. But whatever the case, Pacquiao was not fighting with the intensity that we observed from Maidana in his two fights against Mayweather.
In watching Pacquiao fight in a careful manner last night, I wishing that Maidana was back in the ring with Mayweather rather than Pacquiao because at least we would have seen a good fight. Maidana is a lot heavier than Pacquiao at 165 compared to the 152 pound Pacquiao, but what made Maidana a much better fighter than Pacquiao was his willingness to keep coming forward and throw with everything he had.
Maidana was also smarter than Pacquiao with him throwing constant jabs that caught Mayweather, and nailing him with overhand shots. Maidana’s trainer Robert Garcia did a much better job preparing Maidana for the two Mayweather fights than Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. We didn’t see Pacquiao throwing a jabs last night, and we definitely didn’t see Pacquiao throwing any overhand shots.
The blue print in how to give Mayweather problems was already created by Maidana and his trainer Robert Garcia, and all Roach had to do was follow the plans by coping everything and having Pacquiao fight just like Maidana did. But that’s not what we saw last night. Pacquiao didn’t jab, didn’t throw overhand shots, and he wasn’t constantly pressuring Mayweather the way Maidana did. The end result was Pacquiao didn’t fight Mayweather as well as Maidana did. I don’t think it was even close. Maidana was a lot tougher and a lot more effective against Mayweather than Pacquiao.
In Maidana’s two fights against Mayweather, he lost by the scores 116-112, 117-111 and 114-114 in their first fight in May 2014, and then in their second fight, Maidana lost by the scores 116-111, 116-111 and 115-112. In contrast, Pacquiao lost by a 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 set of scores. The score that was most relevant for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was the 118-110. The scores that were the most relevant for the Mayweather-Maidana I fight was the 116-112 in fight one, and 115-112 in fight two. This tells me that Maidana was the better fighter compared to Pacquiao and the much better opponent.
With the way Pacquiao fought last night, I don’t think the boxing fans got their money’s worth. Compared to the grueling fights that Maidana gave Mayweather in fight one and fight two in 2014, I think the fans didn’t get their money’s worth in paying huge money to see Mayweather fight Pacquiao. Maidana clearly was more entertaining and gave Mayweather much tougher fights compared to Pacquiao. It looked like Pacquiao phoned in his performance last night.