Mathematics Holds Solution to Pacquiao's Chances Against Mayweather
By Winchell Campos
11 Mar 2015
LOS ANGELES--Manny Pacquiao should expect Floyd Mayweather to be running all night and not engage him in a phone-booth type of a fight, according to mathematical analysis and available data from CompuBox.
Algorithm gives a direction as to Mayweather's mindset in most of his fights: Box his opponents to the point of deathly boredom and avoid that one big blow that will risk him losing a match especially against big punchers.
Mayweather has used his bicycle against Mexican slugger Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto and the numbers did not lie. On the average, Mayweather threw one power punch in every 23.22 seconds against Alvarez. Mayweather employed his speed and cunning in trying to avoid getting hit by Alvarez, who could not match Mayweather's foot speed as both fighters got booed through most of the fight.
Against Cotto, the current pound-for-pound king dished out, on the average, one power punch in every 17 seconds, and likewise avoided fighting toe-to-toe. When he did slug it out, Mayweather got tagged by Cotto's counter.
Ranged against the same Cotto whom Pacquiao earlier demolished in 11 brutal rounds to win his seventh world title at welterweight, the Fighting Filipino Congressman from Sarangani province averaged one power punch in every 7.37 seconds, more than double that of Mayweather's output.
Interestingly, Pacquiao did not bore us all against Cotto, with him raining down 276 power punches in a mesmerizing 49% punch rate. Against Cotto, Mayweather could only land 128 punches in all of 12 rounds, failing to knock Cotto out.
Pacquiao was a freak of nature when he invaded the super welterweight division despite his five-foot-seven frame. He faced the biggest puncher of his career, the Avoided One, Antonio Margarito, and connected 474 punches in a 12-round beatdown. 411 of those were power punches even as Margarito, who stood at 5'11" tall, was leveled by the diminutive Pacquiao.
Pacquiao has always been the Mr. Excitement of boxing and his 34.25 power punches connected in a round against Margarito (one power punch in every 5.25 seconds!!) has endeared him to all of boxing even when Mayweather was accorded the best "pound-for-pound" title for years now. Pacquiao would also become the best pound-for-pound boxer at one time in his career, but he prefers to be called the "People's Champion," promising a spectacle every time he steps inside the ring, win or lose.
The Filipino spitfire has endeared himself to every boxing fan including Mayweather, who used to watch him slug it out against Erik Morales in 2005, when he was still fighting as a super featherweight (126 pounds). Pacquiao started to fight below the 112 pounds flyweight limit where he also became champion. Mayweather would be seen at ringside cheering Pacquiao on and rooting for the Filipino.
Jealousy and amazement may have driven Mayweather and Co. to finally spread baseless rumors that Pacquiao was using performance-enhancing drugs (PED) and that resulted in Pacquiao suing for defamation of character, among others in 2009. That was also the time when Mayweather and Pacquiao were playing mind games in several botched attempts to make the fight happen. Mayweather even had the temerity to bid for a $40-million payout for Pacquiao, without any pay-per-view shares, a proposition that was easily dead even before it started.
Through a judge, the PEDs matter was settled out of court in 2012 and Pacquiao exonerated himself from all the baseless accusations, having been a consummate fighter employing Spartan-like training methods.
His status as the only eight-division champion in all of boxing has been the source of envy to many especially when he defeated Margarito in an ironic show of mercy-boxing to win the WBC super-welterweight title. Pacquiao, at times, had to stop punching against a severely battered opponent to also win his eighth world title in 2010.
Ranged against another common opponent whom Pacquiao has faced when he was still a featherweight, Mayweather averaged almost nine power punches connected per round against the dangerous counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez. That is an average of one punch delivered in every 20.57 seconds, taking Mayweather's predictability and work rate. Notably, Mayweather threw 316 jabs and connected 185 for a high 59 percent rate, one of his highest ever.
Pacquiao, admittedly, had a hard time beating Marquez in all four meetings, the last was an accidental sixth round knockout loss, when he has already bloodied Marquez and was just waiting for the kill. Still, Pacquiao delivered Mayweather-like statistics, averaging 9.75 power punches in the third match and 11.33 punches in the fourth battle.
Mayweather should and would be able to take some notes from his father, Floyd Sr., who assured everyone that his ward, then International Boxing Organization super lightweight champion Ricky Hatton of England, would kick Pacquiao's butt. Floyd Sr. was seen abandoning Hatton after Pacquiao knocked him cold at the 2:59 mark of Round Two.
Mayweather, who needed 10 rounds to knock out Hatton, averaged connecting 13 punches per round and delivered 10 power punches per round.
Against Pacquiao, Hatton, under Floyd Sr.'s tutelage, absorbed the worst beating of his career and never recovered until he retired a fight later in an attempted comeback. Pacquiao was all over the place, tattooing Hatton with an average of one punch in every 3 seconds, dealing 32.5 punches a round.
Pacquiao would like Mayweather to come to him in a bar-room slugfest. The 36-year-old Filipino was even ecstatic when he heard news that Mayweather knocked down a sparring partner with a body punch only recently.
"That is good news. That means Floyd will try to slug it out with me and will not bore the fans," said a beaming Pacquiao, when he heard of news that Mayweather was aggressive in his sparring. "I hope he doesn't run."
A congressman from the Philippines, Rufus Rodriguez, even tried to stop Pacquiao from fighting the legendary Oscar De La Hoya, boxing's torch bearer, citing a mismatch in the works, back in 2008. Pacquiao then just stepped out of the super-featherweight ranks and just knocked out David Diaz to win the WBC lightweight title, his fifth world title in a different weight division.
Fighting at a catchweight of 145 pounds, Pacquiao could only balloon at 142 pounds, enough for him to win one of his most memorable fights over his idol in a non-title fight. Against De La Hoya, Pacquiao was a tsunami, dishing out 24.42 power punches per round or one power punch rearranging De La Hoya's pretty face in every 8.3 seconds.
Mayweather could only win by split decision over De La Hoya. He connected a total of 207 punches all night, 138 of which were power punches. Floyd connected an average of 11.5 punches per round or one in every 15.65 seconds, again almost half of Pacquiao's prolific punching prowess.
Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao's long-time friend and assistant trainer, also expects Mayweather to employ his run-and-gun tactics once he feels Pacquiao's power. "We are already expecting that, too, and we are preparing for that game plan," said Fernandez.
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