Pacquiao or Mayweather – Who had the better career?
By Mark Eisner: Shawn Porter said recently that he felt that Manny Pacquiao has had a better professional career than Floyd Mayweather Jr. based on the respect that he got from his fans.
Although Mayweather Jr. (50-0, 27 KOs) has a superior record than Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) and has made more money than him, you can argue that the Filipino star has had a better career in terms of his quality wins.
The difference between Mayweather and Pacquiao is the fact the way the two went about selecting their opponents. While Pacquiao took a lot of risky fights against guys that had a shot at beating him, Mayweather has been more calculated in picking fighters to gain an advantage over them.
For example, Mayweather didn’t fight Pacquiao and Shane Mosley until they were older and no longer in their prime. In the case of lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, Mayweather had him move up to welterweight to fight him.
When Floyd fought Canelo Alvarez, he did at the start of his career when he Saul was only 22. On top of that, Mayweather had Canelo agree to fight him at a catchweight of 152 pounds, which some fans believe weakened the Mexican fighter.
Pacquiao captured eight-division world titles
“Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fought five years ago, but the debate still rates on today,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN.
“When asked which career he would prefer, former welterweight champ Shawn Porter said, ‘I’m going to go with Manny because he’s been in a lot of wars. He’s been in a lot of exciting fights.”
“It depends on how you ask,” said Sergio Mora in responding to the question of who had the better career, Pacquiao or Mayweather. “On the one hand, you have a five-division champion, a man that broke pay-per-view records, broke Rocky Marciano’s record, retired unblemished, pretty and undefeated at 50-0, rich, handsome, laughing all the way to the bank.
“Do you want to be that guy? A great boxer and one of the greatest lightweights ever aside from Roberto Duran, or do you want to be the humble champion? Do you want to be an eight-division world champion, the one that did it under the radar?
“He didn’t get all the adulation early, but he got it late. He’s the humble senator who is still beating fighters to this day. It all depends on personality, and it depends on what type of person you are.”
Mayweather’s 50-0 record is impressive, but he has two controversial wins against Jose Luis Castillo and Marcos Maidana that some believe he should have lost. Mayweather fought some of his opponents after they’d gotten older and had lost a step.
Mayweather had a more impressive business career
“Do you like Apollo Creed, or do you like Rocky Balboa?” said Mora. “I know everybody likes Rocky Balboa. But to me, I like Floyd Mayweather with how he finished with a perfect 50-0, laughing all the way to the bank.”
“Look, Floyd Mayweather had the more impressive business career when it came to boxing, but Manny Pacquiao had the more impressive career,” said Mannix.
“When you look at the quality wins on Pacquiao’s resume. Well before De La Hoya. I’m talking about when he was climbing the rankings with his four fights against Juan Manuel Marquez, and the fights against Erik Morales. These were knockdown, drag-out wars that were incredibly entertaining.
Both of these guys [Mayweather and Pacquiao] didn’t always fight the best after their respective wins, De La Hoya. Still, I thought Pacquiao’s resume after that was more impressive than [Mayweather’s].
“What struck me about Floyd post-Dela Hoya, there was always an element of cherry-picking to it. It was always ‘I’m going to fight Shane Mosley a little bit later. A couple of years later than when he was at his best.”
You can’t argue that Mayweather has had a better business career. He’s made a lot of money in his boxing career, and he’s living a grand life with an estimated net worth of $1 billion.
Pacquiao fought the better opposition with his fights against these fighters:
- Erik Morales
- Keith Thurman
- Marco Antonio Barrera
- Juan Manuel Marquez – in his own weight class
- Tim Bradley
Floyd stacked the deck in his favor
“I’m going to fight Marquez, but I’m going to make him come up to 147 pounds when Marquez was only a lightweight at that time,” said Mannix on Mayweather. “I’m going to fight Pacquiao, but probably five or six years after I should have fought Pacquiao.
“Floyd, after De La Hoya, he never really picked those top of the line in their prime guys, and that separates Pacquiao and him to me.”
“Man, real the ‘Art of War.’ You don’t go power vs. power and force vs. force,” said Mora in expressing agreement with the way Mayweather selected his opposition during his career.
“You find a way to win. It’s called a ‘calculated risk.’ Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the brightest and most strategic boxers in the last 20 years. He did that by maneuvering his way to the top and staying there. And he did that and barely lost a round, and he never even got dropped and never even got seriously hurt.
“He won a bronze medal in the Olympics, and he’s a five-division world champion. He won all that money without getting dropped and without getting hurt. Now, people don’t like to see that.
They like to sit on their coach and criticize from there and fault what other guys. I’m quoting Theodore Roosevelt again. But people don’t want that.”
It’s too bad Mayweather didn’t Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya and Pacquiao in their primes. They were all older fighters by the time Mayweather selected them to fight. If Mayweather fought Canelo when he was in the prime of his career, he might have lost.
Castillo got the better of Mayweather in the first fight
“They want the average man and want the blue-collar worker, the Manny Pacquiao that’s been knocked out three times,” said Mora. “But then he came back to win again and win championships, which is greatness. Eight championships in eight divisions, that’s unheard of.
“We’ll never see that again. Manny Pacquiao will go down as one of the greatest in history on the books. You ask me who I’d rather be and who had the better career.
“I think it’s Floyd Mayweather, but 100 years from now when you look back in history and the pundits, guys like you are reading. They’re like, ‘Wow, Manny Pacquiao was special.'”
“Okay, you can argue that Floyd had a better career, but you have to stop with this revisions history,” said Mannix. “He [Mayweather] almost never lost a round?’ Did you watch those Jose Luis Castillo fights? The first one, I think he lost a few rounds in that one.
“Or how about Oscar De La Hoya in that fight. It was a pretty close fight. I think he lost some rounds in that one. He [Mayweather] had some unbelievable performances earlier in his career.”
Most boxing fans would agree that Jose Luis Castillo deserved the win in his first fight against Mayweather. He got the better of Mayweather and kept him trapped against the ropes.
Floyd wasn’t untouchable
“If you are advocating for Floyd Mayweather, I will encourage everyone out there to go watch ALL of Floyd’s fights before De La Hoya,” said Mannix. “When he fought Castillo, when he had his break-out fight against Diego Corrales, when he fought Genaro Hernandez at a young age at that point for a championship fight, and when he knocked out Arturo Gatti.
“These were quality wins, but Sergio, give me a break. Let’s not act like he was untouchable like he was a ghost out there in the ring. He got hit, and some people would argue that he should have finished his career at 49-1, thanks to Castillo.”
“The Castillo fight, okay, but he did not lose. He found a way to win,” said Mora about Mayweather. “He came back and beat Castillo, so he proved people wrong. It’s not like he avoided him totally, which a lot of fighters do because it’s a calculated strategic decision.”
Castillo, Maidana, and Cotto all put hands on Mayweather and gave him a lot of trouble. Even in Mayweather’s fight against Conor McGregor, he was getting hit.
Mayweather beat Diego Corrales early in his career before he reached notoriety in his wars with Castillo. The scoring for Mayweather’s first fight with Castillo was questionable, and that made him look bad.
Mayweather was great at evading punches
“He didn’t do that. He went back and proved them wrong,” said Mora in talking about Mayweather. “I think the only fighter that had him hurt was [Demarcus] ‘Chop Chop’ Corley, but he was a good fighter, a champion, I believe. Mosley also hurt him, but it was too far in between. This guy did great evading punches more than he got clipped.
“He barely got clipped with jabs, let alone with right hands. He was special. What he did was scientific, it was strategic, it was brilliant, and it was Picasso on the canvas in the squared-circle. I personally love doing it, and I love seeing it. You’ve got to applaud that, you definitely have got to applaud that.”
“Some people would say that Castillo-Mayweather 1 was the biggest robbery since Mora-Manfredo 2,” said Mannix.
“No way, man. Stop,” said Mora. “Manfredo told you himself during your mediocre podcast that I beat him, and I’m the man. Give me credit.”
“Not the second time,” said Mannix.
Mayweather did an excellent job of evading punches, but that style of fighting came at the expensive offensive. Floyd wasn’t as aggressive as the more exciting fighters like Pacquiao, Cotto, Marquez, Castillo, and Corrales. Mayweather’s emphasis on not getting hit made him boring to watch much of the time.
Instead of throwing combinations, Mayweather would throw single shots to make sure he would minimize his opponent’s ability to him in return. Pacquiao showed more courage and was far more entertaining to watch.
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