Calling the Shots: Mayweather v. Pacquiao will live up to hype

Eric Fishbin, Sports Writer

Generally, people who make a living by getting hit in the face are not the brightest individuals.  Some might say that boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is flat-out dumb, but others might see the bigger picture.  By being successful in his sport, Mayweather has taken opportunity after opportunity to maximize profit.  Rightfully earning the nickname “Money,” Mayweather is set to make over $300 million in the highly anticipated Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight.  Essentially the president of his own brand, Mayweather will profit off ticket prices, pay-per-view fees, merchandise, and match earnings.

However, Mayweather will not be the only one who who profits from the fight. Pacquiao is also set to make over $200 million.

Avid gamblers will also exchange millions of dollars during this event.  It will take place in the gambling empire of Las Vegas. Mayweather is listed as the favorite with -210 odds.  Of course, as with the Super Bowl, prop bets will play a large role.  How long will the fight take?  How many rounds?  Will there be a knockout?

It is fair to say that most people do not follow boxing or know the rules, and cannot name more than 5 boxers.

However, this fight is the fight of the century.  It is our Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield.  And although we do not expect anyone to gnaw off any body parts, it is still the best of the best going head-to-head in a 16 x 25 foot ring.

When the fight passes and years go by, the expectation is that we will be looking back at it as our modern-day sporting spectacular.

Although he is the  47-0 undefeated boxing champion right now, Mayweather will have his hands full with Manny Pacquiao.  The stealthy 5’7” 144 pound Filipino will bring everything he has to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.

Mayweather looks to defend his title and brand as he squares up against Pacquiao.  As the richest athlete on the planet, topping LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and everyone else, Mayweather will fight only once more after the Pacquiao fight.

Celebrities have taken a large role in preparing the fight.

Justin Bieber was originally set to sing the national anthem, but will no longer being doing so because of his connections to Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather’s entourage.

All celebrity fanfare aside, let us briefly break down the fighters’ styles.  Mayweather has a traditional orthodox stance, which puts his left foot in front of his right.  This puts his weaker side closer to Pacquiao.  Mike Tyson and Sugar Ray Robinson are other notable boxers that have perfected this stance.

Pacquiao, a left-hand-dominant boxer, uses the southpaw stance.  This puts his right hand and foot forward, and he will generally lead with right jabs followed by strong left crosses.  Fighting this way gives boxers something called the “southpaw advantage.”  This advantage allows the southpaw boxer to throw something new to their opponent.  Because this stance is rare, and few boxers have experience fighting it, opponents expose many possible angles and openings to their rival.

To prepare for Pacquiao, Mayweather has been sparring with left-handed fighters.  Having defeated opponents like Zab Judah and DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley, two lefties, Mayweather should not be caught off guard by Pacquiao’s style.

However, boxing fanatics see Pacquiao as a truly unique fighter, and say that Mayweather has never faced anyone of his caliber.

Generally, Mayweather is dominant against any opponent.  In fact, he has only been banged up a couple of times.  But two of the three times he has been visibly hurt in the ring have come in matches against southpaws.

One was against Corley in 2003, and the second against Judah in 2006.

Scouts have touted Mayweather as one of the greatest defensive boxers of all time.

However, he appears to be weaker when he is on the attack.  Pacquiao, on the other hand, is rather aggressive and will look to exploit Mayweather.

In an all-access interview with ESPN, Pacquiao said, “I believe that he [Mayweather] is good on defense, but how can you win if you are always on defense?  In boxing you have to hit, you have to throw a lot of punches.”

As his trainer, Freddie Roach takes pride in Pacquiao’s ability to not get tired.  He stays motivated and hungry throughout the entire fight.  For Pacquiao to win, he must wear down Mayweather and outlast him.

This takes nothing away from what Mayweather has accomplished.  As the world’s best fighter in the welterweight (147 lbs) and super welterweight (154 lbs) categories for so long, every opponent has been bringing everything they have against him and failing.  He has stymied all opponents with relative ease.  At this point, a defeat would not obliterate his reputation.

If you can, gather a group of friends and chip in to buy the $99.95 pay-per-view. At the fight in Las Vegas, the worst seats in the house cost upwards of $5,000.

As for my prediction, I see no upset here.  “Money” Mayweather will be able to hold off the “Pac-Man” and win in decision form.

There will be no exciting knockout, although most of us will hope for it.

However, this should be one of the more memorable sporting events of the 21st century, and either way the fighters will both bring home some serious cash.