By Charlie Knoxville
The super fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather may never happen because of Floyd’s unwillingness to face the Filipino boxing icon, but of the two superstars only one of them is taking on the more challenging opponent in their upcoming fight.
Like usual, it’s Manny Pacquiao who is taking on the more difficult foe when he faces unbeaten WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri on November 22. Mayweather is opting to rematch Marcos Maidana and he won’t even let him wear his punchers Everlast MX gloves to squash all excuses that came after the first bout, which Mayweather won by split decision.
The reason why Pacquiao vs. Algieri is more intriguing match up than Mayweather vs. Maidana is the stylistic match up. Algieri is a tall boxer who can stick and move, he also keeps his range and circles constantly making it hard to catch him in the ring. Maidana comes at you with slow yet powerful punches and he is flat footed making him a tailor made opponent for a defensive pot shotter like Mayweather.
Manny has fought Timothy Bradley twice and lost a controversial decision the first time around but was able to get a fair shake in the rematch. Bradley was able to outbox Juan Manuel Marquez and used slick and crafty movements agaisnt the Mexican legend, Mayweather hasn’t fought someone like Bradley, he mainly sticks to guys who plod forward and are predictable with their punches.
On paper Pacquiao is clearly taking on a tougher challenge since Algieri’s slick moving style presents major problems for the Filipino southpaw, while Maidana plays into the counter punching style of Mayweather. Algieri was able to win a points decision against the hard hitting Ruslan Provodnikov, his eye was shut in the first round but the New York native overcame two knockdowns and showed heart and determination outboxing Ruslan for the WBO junior welterweight belt.
The one style that Pacquiao has trouble with the most are boxers who counter punch while moving backwards, they exploit his flaw of lunging forward. When Manny fights guys who back up is when he makes the majority of his mistakes, when fighters come forward, he shows brilliance and top level offensive combination punching, but he gets wild and impatient when he fights guys like Marquez who constantly retreat and this is how Marquez was able to knock him out by capitalizing on Pacquiao’s flaw of lunging in.
Mayweather also has difficulty when guys move backward or dance on their feet. When he fought Miguel Cotto he had trouble timing Cotto’s rhythm and got hit countless times with a left hand jab. Floyd had his best work when he was able to bait Cotto on the ropes and slip and counter him. Floyd rarely strings together impressive accurate combinations the way Pacquiao does, this is why he rarely throws them because if he threw more combos it would mean he would be leaving himself open to be hit more. The more offensive a fighter is, the more likely he will get hit in return. Floyd’s accuracy is from carefully placing single shots, and 1-2’s. When he tried to mix it up with Cotto he was hit more than usual, and his accuracy was lowered from missing a lot of his combos. In the Maidana fight he was missing shots on a slower stationary target, and it was not something you would expect from a man who calls himself TBE (The Best Ever).
We must commend Manny Pacquiao for giving a fresh face and risky challenge like Algieri a shot, it would be nice if Floyd Mayweather would do the same by giving these worthy young fighters like Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman a chance.
In all fairness, I don’t believe either bout is Pay-Per-View worthy. These two bouts are more suited for a regular HBO or Showtime broadcast. Pay-Per-View should only be used when both fighters involved are big enough names to sell or the fight draws enough interest. The Mayweather-Maidana PPV numbers were never released and rumors swirling around say they were less than anticipated. The fight was close and that is what Showtime is banking on to sell the rematch. In this day and age, boxing promoters will rarely put their cash cow on a non Pay-Per-View broadcast, it’s not good for business because it takes away from the promoters profits, but its also unlikely since the superstar boxer will not take a lesser payday as long as they can still draw in buyers.