Following his controversial loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 251 this past weekend, Max Holloway’s career sits at a crossroads.
The most anticipated fight of the generation is getting a lot of headlines lately. Will they? Won’t they?
Every time talk of ‘the fight’ arises, Mayweather has other fights coming up and Pacquiao has something else to promote – what a coincidence.
As great as they are, both fighters are on the decline and most likely can’t live up to the hype.
Pacquiao hasn’t shown his famed power since he fought Miguel Cotto in 2009, and even then there were signs of him softening, looking to the ref to stop it rather than finish it early.
Mayweather, excluding the Ortiz fiasco, hasn’t really shown much power since 2005, although a lot of fighters still comment that he is more powerful than expected.
Although Floyd has is a fantastic technician able to adapt early and control the fight to a victory (e.g. Maidana, Cotto and Hatton) and Manny appearing practically his equal, both fighters have moved to less entertaining styles, as all fighters do when they age.
Pacquiao has only shown some promise lately against an underdeveloped Algieri. Unfortunately his most exciting fight recently was being on the receiving end of a KO from Marquez.
If this fight happened six years, it would be a different story. But right now, we will probably see an early rush from Pacquiao to assert himself, Floyd adapting in the middle rounds and the fight will cruise to a mixed decision with one of the judges’ cards being an absolutely ludicrous score.
No doubt the ref will be Kenny Bayless who will eat up seconds by splitting the fighters every time a clinch looks like happening, restricting Pacquiao from getting on the inside effectively.
Don’t get me wrong, both fighters still have great speed, albeit not that of six years ago but they are still considered the guys to beat. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean it will be the war everyone wants.
Mayweather will work the ring and show text-book defence and countering. Manny will use angles like Floyd hasn’t seen since he fought Emanual Augustus, throwing power shots from an almost back-hand position.
This fight will be the biggest event in boxing history. It will attract millions of new and casual fans that don’t care for a fighters ring generalship, foot speed, or defensive abilities. Add in a ref getting between the fighters every 30 seconds and a lot of people are going to be disappointed.
If Mayweather versus Pacquiao doesn’t happen it may be a blemish on both of their reputations, but if the fight does happen, it could do more damage than good for the sport of boxing.
Sometimes ‘what if’ is better than the real thing.