Saturday: A fight for the ages

By: Jordan Cope, Staff Writer

On Feb. 20, Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced via social media that he had signed a contract to fight Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I think I speak for all boxing fans when I say, it is about time.
The whole saga between the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight is a complex timeline that started in 2009, when Mayweather came out of retirement.

In 2007, Mayweather walked away from boxing after a 10-round technical knockout victory over Ricky Hatton.

Just two years later, however, Mayweather came out of retirement and fought Juan Manuel Marquez in 2009.

Prior to his fight with Marquez, Mayweather had reportedly named Pacquiao as the fighter that he wanted to come out of retirement to face.

Pacquiao’s campaign had confirmed that Mayweather was interested, and it seemed as though the two would be squaring off in the ring.

However, what transpired was a bitter six-year back and forth argument between the two sides.

The argument was spurred by a crude comment made by Bob Arum about his former client, Mayweather.

Arum, a boxing promoter who used to represent Mayweather, was now representing Pacquiao.

When Arum made the comment about Mayweather, the fight was foiled.

Just one month later, the two sides looked to be on the verge of coming to an agreement on a fight, but an argument over a 60-40 or 50-50 split would derail any possible bout.

In Sept. 2009 when the two sides seemed to be on the brink of an agreement, Floyd Mayweather Sr., who was representing Mayweather Jr., claimed that Pacquiao was on steroids, which would become another hurdle for the two sides in coming to an agreement on a fight.

Just three months later, the two sides were again on the verge of coming to an agreement on a fight, but this time a discrepancy about the weight and glove size would be a barrier for the two sides.

In Jan. 2010, when it looked as though Mayweather and Pacquiao had agreed to terms on a fight, Arum declared that the fight was off between the two sides, claiming that Mayweather had rejected the terms that Pacquiao had agreed to.

On Jan. 27 at a Miami Heat game, negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao once again resumed. This time, an actual agreement came a little less than a month later.

Now, here we are. Mayweather and Pacquiao are set to square off in what is being deemed The Fight of the Century in just four days. So, what can we expect to see?

The last time Mayweather was in the ring was on Sept. 13, 2014 against Marcos Maidana.

In his last fight, Mayweather moved to 47-0 on a unanimous decision with scores of 116-111 twice and 115-112.

The last time Pacquiao was in the ring was Nov. 23, 2014 against Chris Algieri.

In his last fight, Pacquiao advanced to 57-5-2 on a unanimous decision to retain his World Boxing Organization Welterweight Championship. While Mayweather (38) is two years older than Pacquiao (36), he has a slight height (5’8” vs. 5’6”) and reach advantage (72” vs. 67”) over his opponent.

Mayweather has also fought 44 less rounds in his career than Pacquiao, which has the potential to give him an endurance advantage.

However, just how much does that mean? It has been argued by boxing critics that Mayweather has not fought a quality opponent in his 47 matches.

While it will likely be a close match, I have Pacquiao handing Mayweather his first ever career loss.

Pacquiao’s southpaw stance and 38 career knockouts has the potential to give Mayweather fits in the ring.  Although my prediction may not be accurate, this fight will certainly live up to its name, The Fight of the Century.


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