Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Who’s the Best of the Era?

BY Kelsey McCarson ON October 21, 2013
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Pacquiao Rios GreatWall 130729 002a 37d44Al Bernstein knows more about boxing than me. To be totally fair to him, it’s probably safe to say the recently inducted Hall of Famer has actually forgotten more about boxing at this point in his storied career than I know in total.

Bernstein has done it all as a boxing media member, and he’s done it well. He started as a newspaperman in the 1970s. Soon, he was contributing to Boxing Illustrated and RING Magazine. From 1980 to 1998, he was analyst and host of ESPN’s Top Rank Boxing show. In fact, from 1980 to 2003, Bernstein was the primary voice of boxing for ESPN. And, as you well know, since 2003 Bernstein has been lead boxing analyst for Showtime. He’s also the primary face and leader of our sister site, Boxing Channel.

Like I said, he’s done it all.

One of his signature shows over at ESPN was the Big Fights Boxing Hour. He wrote and hosted 26 episodes of the program, which chronicled some of the biggest fights in boxing history. Honestly, my first encounter with many of the finer points of boxing history came through watching these shows, where old-time masters like Sugar Ray Robinson and Jack Dempsey came to life again through the magic of film.

So when I chatted with Bernstein recently, I couldn’t help but ask him to compare legacies between the two preeminent fighters of this era, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Who is the greatest of this era, as of today? If I’m honest with myself, I was probably hoping Bernstein would validate my opinion on the matter: Mayweather is an all-time great, but Pacquiao is an all-time greater.

Look, I’m not saying Pacquiao (seen running stairs in Beijing with Brandon Rios, in Chris Farina-Top Rank snap) would’ve beaten Mayweather at welterweight back when the fight should’ve happened around 2009-10. (I’m not not saying it either). But I submit to you, dear reader, that Pacquiao’s wins, both the men he fought and when he fought them, measure slightly better than Mayweather’s grand accomplishment of staying undefeated.

Sure, it’s close. But Pacquiao’s three best wins before he moved up to welterweight (Barrera, Morales and Marquez) are better than any one win Mayweather has enjoyed over his entire career. Right?

And his losses? Give me the fighter who tests himself over the one that doesn’t. I want to see a fighter go beyond his limits, and when he reaches them and gets knocked to the ground, I want to see if he can get back up again.

But what does Bernstein say on the matter? First, I asked him about the fight that never got made. What would a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Superfight have looked like back in 2009?

That would’ve been fun,” Bernstein said. “I always thought that version of Manny Pacquiao had a chance to do rather well against Mayweather. I mean, I may have been wrong based on what has transpired since, but I always thought that the fight would have been really interesting during that time period because of the speed and activity of Pacquiao. That was an A level fighter in Manny Pacquiao who had confidence that was skyrocketing and all the rest of it.”

So Pacquiao is on the same level as Mayweather at welterweight? Among the greatest of the greats?

“Now at those weight divisions, [Pacquiao] is not a Ray Leonard or a Tommy Hearns or a Roberto Duran. Down at featherweight, around those areas, to me he is one of the biggest superstars of all-time along with Barrera, Marquez and Morales. He’s not [quite at that level] at the higher weights, but still terrific.”

Bernstein doesn’t consider Pacquiao an all-time great welterweight, but gives high praise to the Pacquiao of lower divisions.

“Pacquiao had two different careers. The first one was with all those great fighters when they created what I consider to be a mini-version of the 1980s thing of the Four Kings [Hearns, Hagler, Duran and Leonard]. He ended up having the best record of that whole crew, so you have to give him his props. At the end of the day, he was the best of that group probably by a narrow margin.”

Still, Bernstein doesn’t seem quite ready to jump on the Pacquiao train, so I push the issue. Don’t you have to judge Pacquiao’s career a bit differently? I mean, head-to-head is one thing, but don’t you have to judge Pacquiao’s legacy at the lighter weights and Mayweather’s at the heavier? And doesn’t what Pacquiao accomplished later in his career bolster his case of being best of the era?

“When he moved up in weight, he had some amazing performances. But with Mayweather, because he’s still winning and winning convincingly…you have to take the whole body of work. Mayweather’s had these long layoffs and all the rest, so he’s managed his body better in a lot of ways…but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. Mayweather’s beaten everybody. Now, were there times when you’d have liked to see him fight Fighter A instead of Fighter B? Definitely. And were there a couple of people that he used what I like to call the Angelo Dundee theory of management of trying to get everyone at exactly the right time? Yes. He did all that. But at the end of the day, he’s going to have glittery names on his resume. Isn’t he?”

It’s true. Mayweather does have a bevy of big names on his unblemished record. De La Hoya, Hatton, Marquez, Mosley, and Cotto are nothing to scoff at. Moreover, he’s just about dominated every single one of them. His wins might not carry watchers to the peak of excitement the way a fighter like Pacquiao does, but Mayweather is the sweetest scientist of his day. In fact, Bernstein argues that Mayweather is so good at what he does, he fools the audience into thinking he’s not standing right in front of his opponents for most of the fight.

“When you dissect a Mayweather fight, when you go back and look at it, he spends a lot of time in the pocket. It’s not as if he’s dancing the whole time. He will move strategically when he wants to, and what he does, if you look at it, his plan is always the same: He might give a round or two early…and then he wins all those rounds in the middle. He does it not by moving, but by landing punches, by slipping, by doing all the things he does and letting the guy know: ‘look, you’re in here, but you’re not going to hit me as much as you want.’ Then, in the later rounds, he’ll employ a little more movement. It’s not running, but employing more movement. Because now…he’s banked a lot of rounds and he now feels like he can peck away and win the rounds he needs to win at the end. So it gives the illusion of how he ran when in reality he didn’t. That’s the part that fascinates me.”

Bernstein said part of the problem is that Mayweather, 36, has never had to face a truly great fighter in his prime. So the entertainment value of a Mayweather fight is reduced to simply witnessing how much better he is than the person standing in front of him. And while Pacquiao had great rivals in the prime of his career, men who tested his limits, fans have missed out on seeing how Mayweather would react facing the same thing.

Bernstein has a point. In 2012, when Miguel Cotto had the audacity to bloody Mayweather’s nose with a steady and stiff jab, for fans it was as if Gatti-Ward was unfolding right in front of their eyes. The excitement was downright palpable, despite the fight being a clear and wide UD win for Mayweather. Why? Because Mayweather so seldom looks as if he’s actually in a fight.

“That’s why, to be honest, sometimes he’s doing great but also it’s the level of opposition. We don’t have a superstar in this era [for him to fight]. We have a lot of terrific fighters, Canelo among them. They’re very good at their craft and fun to watch. We don’t have another A-plus level fighter in those weight divisions. If we had an Andre Ward down there, or someone like that, then it would probably be a great matchup. If we had a Tommy Hearns and a Sugar Ray Leonard or a Roberto Duran or an Aaron Pryor – if we had some of those people, we’d have a better chance of seeing the match we want to have with Mayweather.”

Last month, we were hoping Canelo Alvarez would help give us exactly that. Yet, while the 23-year-old appeared to have all the tools necessary to give Mayweather a stern test, the 12-round bout devolved into that of just about any other Mayweather fight: absolute dominance.

“I thought Canelo squandered his moment in time by fighting the wrong tactical fight,” Bernstein said. “I don’t know if he’d have done any better, but why he did that, I have no idea.”

Still, Bernstein said the stage for the fight, which he called from ringside for Showtime, was up there with any big fight in boxing history.

“That one was right up there with any of them. The level of excitement leading up to it, that weigh-in scene where they open up the entire arena and I couldn’t hear a word Brian Kenny was saying and I had to read his lips because of the noise…it was pretty extraordinary. And because the mainstream sports media covered it, it added another dimension to it, too. The whole event was as exciting as the great fights in the 80s I worked on featuring Hearns, Hagler, Leonard and Duran. Now, that was a different time. There was no social media and the immediacy of coverage, but still those were huge events and spectacular...this one was right at the top of the list.”

It seems Bernstein can’t say enough good things about Mayweather.

“He’s remarkable. He’s 36 years old, pushing 37, and you could never imagine somebody fighting this precisely, this well and this athletically at that age.”

Still, though, all this talk about the Four Kings…these guys were all great, and they all fought each other to prove both to themselves and to the world, which man was the greatest of the era. Isn’t this whole issue, the legacies of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, something that could’ve and should’ve been settled in the ring back when it might have been the biggest fight in boxing history? Didn’t Pacquiao, the version that butchered Ricky Hatton and tossed Miguel Cotto around the ring like a ragdoll…didn’t he stand the best chance of knocking Mayweather off his throne?

“We would have liked to find out,” said Bernstein, and in the end, it appears we at least agree on that.

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Comment on this article

Hop says:

I submit to you, dear reader, that Pacquiao’s wins, both the men he fought and when he fought them, measure slightly better than Mayweather’s grand accomplishment of staying undefeated. And his losses? Give me the fighter who tests himself over the one that doesn’t.


So completely agree.

Mayweather’s beaten everybody. Now, were there times when you’d have liked to see him fight Fighter A instead of Fighter B? Definitely. And were there a couple of people that he used what I like to call the Angelo Dundee theory of management of trying to get everyone at exactly the right time? Yes. He did all that. But at the end of the day, he’s going to have glittery names on his resume. Isn’t he?”


Examine those packages of glitter, though. In virtually every case that glitter was past its expiration date. Hatton's an exception, (if you feel he qualifies as "glittery"). but other than that we're dealing with pretty old glitter, whose sparkle was noticeable faded.

His (Mayweather's) wins might not carry watchers to the peak of excitement the way a fighter like Pacquiao does, but Mayweather is the sweetest scientist of his day.


Gold.

Bernstein argues that Mayweather is so good at what he does, he fools the audience into thinking he’s not standing right in front of his opponents for most of the fight.
“When you dissect a Mayweather fight, when you go back and look at it, he spends a lot of time in the pocket. It’s not as if he’s dancing the whole time. He will move strategically when he wants to, and what he does, if you look at it, his plan is always the same: He might give a round or two early…and then he wins all those rounds in the middle. He does it not by moving, but by landing punches, by slipping, by doing all the things he does and letting the guy know: ‘look, you’re in here, but you’re not going to hit me as much as you want.’ Then, in the later rounds, he’ll employ a little more movement. It’s not running, but employing more movement. Because now…he’s banked a lot of rounds and he now feels like he can peck away and win the rounds he needs to win at the end. So it gives the illusion of how he ran when in reality he didn’t.


Mayweather's fight plan, accurately summarized for once. Let this be a corrective to all the ignorance spouted forth. The only thing I would add is that during those latter 'movement rounds' I do think Floyd is often looking for the knockout -- but in a very measured, non-risky way. He's not just pecking away for points. He's doing that, yes, but I think it kind of bugs Floyd that since he began taking on top-level competition, he seldom gets a KO (again Hatton is the exception, and I guess Ortiz, if you count that -- I don't), so he tries to pot-shot for one. He won't go into the jungle for it, though, it's just not in his his make-up.

Bernstein said part of the problem is that Mayweather has never had to face a truly great fighter in his prime. So the entertainment value of a Mayweather fight is reduced to simply witnessing how much better he is than the person standing in front of him. And while Pacquiao had great rivals in the prime of his career, men who tested his limits, fans have missed out on seeing how Mayweather would react facing the same thing. "That’s why, to be honest, sometimes he’s doing great but also it’s the level of opposition. We don’t have a superstar in this era [for him to fight]. We have a lot of terrific fighters, Canelo among them. They’re very good at their craft and fun to watch. We don’t have another A-plus level fighter in those weight divisions. If we had an Andre Ward down there, or someone like that, then it would probably be a great matchup. If we had a Tommy Hearns and a Sugar Ray Leonard or a Roberto Duran or an Aaron Pryor – if we had some of those people, we’d have a better chance of seeing the match we want to have with Mayweather.”


I think we all know this, but ... exactly. Well-stated, Al.

Good article.

kidcanvas says:

totally accurate , in a nut shell Pacquiao fought better opposition when they were still at there best , we all know floyd didnt .. if he did the fight would of happened 4 yrs ago. now it dosent matter ,its worthless and proves nothing ... forever floyd will be known for what he didnt do ,fight the best at their best , simple as that ,his shills with go on shilling ,who cares.......

Radam G says:

In time, this generation of fans will forget and won't care that Money May didn't fight the best. Just as the Baby Boomers and the After-World-War-I Generation apparently forgot about the notorious ducking and not-fighting-the-best Sugar Ray Robinson.

Life is full of illusions and double standards. Holla!

amayseng says:

Floyd is a great boxer, Pac is a great fighter.

I buy manny Pacs ppv's, I do not buy Floyd's ppv's.

Floyd has proved to not fight a few of the best in their prime, it is what it is. Oh well.


AS good as Floyd is I disagree with Hop, Floyd is NOT going for the knockout in the later rounds. He does not put himself into a vulnerable position when having such a lead. He pedals away with pot shot pecks to the end. It is ok, he is happy to finish fights with an easy decision, he does not go for knockouts nor does he have the hands to truly sit down on his punches.

he just tells his fans that he is going for the knockout to continue to sell ppv's, he always says hes going for the ko and that he wants to entertain the fans but his evidence is lacking when he bicycles to an easy decision the last few rounds pot shotting. it is what it is.


i love both fighters they both have something fantastic to offer, Pac is just more exciting.

Hop says:

Floyd is a great boxer, Pac is a great fighter.


Well-put.

He does not put himself into a vulnerable position when having such a lead. He pedals away with pot shot pecks.


... he seldom gets a KO, so he tries to pot-shot for one. He won't go into the jungle for it, though, it's just not in his his make-up.

Spinach Chin says:

Floyd can punch, but pulls his punches because he has a history of hand problems. He cried after the Carlos Hernandez fight, showing the camera his swollen mitt. If he breaks his hand going for a KO he risks a loss.

amayseng says:

Floyd can punch, but pulls his punches because he has a history of hand problems. He cried after the Carlos Hernandez fight, showing the camera his swollen mitt. If he breaks his hand going for a KO he risks a loss.


exactly, therefore I do not fault him for coasting to decisions. however, it results in less excitement.

Radam G says:

No way that he pulls his punches. He just punches less when his mitts are aching.

Pulling punches are in the movies, not in the reality of the squared jungle.

GOAT Ali had bad mitts, and so did Sugar Ray Leonard and nowadays "The Filipino Flash" Donaire is in that group. And tons more of pugilists, who choose not to tell their business, have the pain-in-da-mitts syndrome. But none of them pull punches.

Money May coasts because he doesn't want to be KAYOED surprised, as his Uncle Roger May was twice back in da day. And his Pops Joy May once back in da day. And Da Manny last year by full-of-dat-syet, one-shot-artist-at-40-years-old Marquez in the form of Hulkquez.

Hopefully YouTube or Daily Motion will let somebody and his sidekick put the footage on of PJM's "TKO" surprised by Tyrone Phelps.

It is a lot of boxing footage of yesteryears out there that hopefully will be a coming. Holla!

Radam G says:

To Money May, the world is a ghetto. So he fights with ghetto behavior -- talk jive, kick arse the easiest way and live to do it the next day.

To Da Manny, the world is a jungle -- survival of the fittest with finest and an extreme violence. And thanks God, count your blessings. And know that there will be more prey to chop and chew up.

We are all monsters of our creation and informative-years environment.

I'm not ashamed of constantly being a SPOILSPORT. Because as a ship does, the truth eventually steams into port. But myths are always "sitting at the dock of the bay watching the time roll away," and ready to drown the truth.

Most pirates were [and are] near at the dock of the bay, not out on the high seas. Holla!

The Shadow says:

Editor Mike, you sound like you been dippin' and sippin' on that A-Side Meth.

Listen, it doesn't make a damn difference. Assuming there are A+ fighters around for him to face (which there are), them being dominated would just result in people minimizing the victory by regarding said fighter as less than A+.

Boxing dominance isn't endearing to the masses. Coming back from defeat is. If someone dominates another A+++ fighter, there will just be excuses aplenty to discredit the victories.

Young Cassius Clay beating Liston twice was shrouded in controversy until he came back old and beat Le Boogeyman Du Jour George Foreman.

They called both fights fixed.

They said the '60s sucked.

Keep in mind, Liston was regarded by many as the best heavyweight of all time when he met the Louisville Lip.

Ali didn't start getting credit until he was humbled and showed he was human.

With Mayweather, it's clever matchmaking, guys who had weaknesses -- although prior to fights, they're all regarded as THE guy who will finally dethrone the loudmouth -- size, mental advantages, penile girth, zodiac signs, breakfast meals, toothaches and what have you.

If Ward was a 154-pounder and Mayweather would beat him, people would just say he wasn't an A+ fighter.

Fact is they don't just hand out championships to everybody. And stop with the lunacy. Mayweather -- or Pacquiao for that matter -- didn't just begin taking on top-level opposition lately.

They've both been fighting at the world championship level since '98. No matter how much you matchmake, at that level, there's only so much you can do.

I think it's time people stop comparing the two. It's unfair to either. Their legacies are much different.

Just give both credit for being great.

Radam G says:

Tim Bradley is saying that the only fighter left for Money May to fight is him. And that he -- BRADLEY -- would beat him too.

Money May, the prizefighter, cannot get pass people wanting him to be a pridefighter. Give me a BREAK!

Big Foot Bradley outta be committed for a check up. Holla!

amayseng says:

Radam The Russian Rocky must hit harder than we ever thought because whatever dimension he sent Bradley to, Tim is yet to return.

The dude is living in a dream world.

amayseng says:

I would not buy the ppv, but I would love to watch Floyd shut Tim out 12-0. Easy money for Floyd

amayseng says:

I would not buy the ppv, but I would love to watch Floyd shut Tim out 12-0. Easy money for Floyd

donputo69 says:

What kind of a question is that?.....Manny never DUCKED anyone.....Kenducky Floyd Chicken ducked Wiliams, Mosley in his prime, De La Hoya in his prime, Pacquiao, Cotto in his prime, Forrest (RIP), and Margarito in his prime....So I say pacquiao was the best in this era....Holla Back!!!

Hop says:

Assuming there are A+ fighters around for him to face (which there are), [COLOR="#0000FF">A+? Who? them being dominated would just result in people minimizing the victory by regarding said fighter as less than A+. [COLOR="#0000FF">This is parroted a lot by Floyd's followers (and especially by Floyd himself), but - respectfully - I think it's bunk. Sure there will always be irrational haters (the kind that use idiotic words like "Gayweather" and "Pactard"), but I think this knock on Floyd is substantially legit, and people would have given him credit for fighting/beating a younger Mosley (not FM's fault, IMO), a younger Cotto, Paul Williams, etc. and especially, of course, Manny Pacquiao (blame on both sides). Most recently people largely gave him much credit for fighting Alvarez (though the catchweight rightfully nicked this a bit).

Boxing dominance isn't endearing to the masses. [COLOR="#0000FF">Yes it is. Coming back from defeat is. [COLOR="#0000FF">That also is. It's not either/or. If someone dominates another A+++ fighter, there will just be excuses aplenty to discredit the victories. [COLOR="#0000FF">From yahoos, yeah.

Young Cassius Clay beating Liston twice was shrouded in controversy until he came back old and beat Le Boogeyman Du Jour George Foreman. [COLOR="#0000FF"> Well, those two fights were kind of weird, but Ali was idolized like no other LONG before the Rumble in the Jungle. I was in the thick of that time and he was beloved by myriads upon myriads.


Ali didn't start getting credit until he was humbled and showed he was human. [COLOR="#0000FF">From who? I heard Marciano praise him quite highly.

So Mayweather didn't have a quartet of equally matched artists? He's undefeated! JMM lightweight, Mosley [COLOR="#0000FF">very old, De La Hoya [COLOR="#0000FF">past his prime & it was a razor-thin affair, Pacquiao and Floyd. There's a quintet for ya.

I bet ya RIGHT NOW, if Floyd went to 168 pounds and got blitzed in nine rounds by Carl Froch, he would probably get more love from the masses for showing such courage (stupidity) and "willingness to test himself!" [COLOR="#0000FF">That's an extreme example, but they'd be right in applauding his new-found willingness to test himself to such an extent.

Fact is they don't just hand out championships to everybody. They've both been fighting at the world championship level since '98. [COLOR="#0000FF">That doesn't = "A+". No matter how much you matchmake, at that level, there's only so much you can do.

I think it's time people stop comparing the two. It's unfair to either. Their legacies are much different. [COLOR="#0000FF">If done rightly I don't see the wrong in it.



These are just some counter thoughts offered in response, Shadow. Nothing personal, and I'll listen to whatever you have to say.

The Shadow says:

What kind of a question is that?.....Manny never DUCKED anyone.....Kenducky Floyd Chicken ducked Wiliams, Mosley in his prime, De La Hoya in his prime, Pacquiao, Cotto in his prime, Forrest (RIP), and Margarito in his prime....So I say pacquiao was the best in this era....Holla Back!!!


Puto, when did he duck Williams, Margarito and Mosley? Please give me a time frame. And when did he have a chance to fight Oscar the cash cow that he ducked?

You do realize he called Oscar out from 2002, Mosley from 1999 and tried to fight Cotto in 2004, right?

Please give me a time when that happened and I will present you with some cold, hard facts.

The Shadow says:

These are just some counter thoughts offered in response, Shadow. Nothing personal, and I'll listen to whatever you have to say.


No worries, iHop, I take few things personally... It's hard to respond to a message-within-a-message but I will give it a shot. I see eight points, give or take. So pardon me in advance -- it's going to be a bit long.

1) JMM is widely considered a masterful, all-time great. Many rate him the Mexico GOAT. Mosley and Oscar were top P4P when they fought and former #1 P4P. But this matter is subjective and a matter of opinion. If you disagree and have a different take, that's cool.

However, I do think that this it is pretty darn obvious that subjective greatness is embellished by obvious adversity that comes with it. And no offense, but I don't think you can disregard my point as something Mayweather "fanboys say." That's bogus.

If you go look at what people, fans, media and experts say before and after fights, you will see a clear trend:

People consider whoever he's fighting as THE guy that will test him. After, the guy had no chance, he was a bum. Just go look at the media predictions.

Respected guys like Dan Rafael, Emanuel Steward and many others said Shane Mosley would be a 50-50 fight. They said Ghost would be a 50-50 fight (the same Ghost would got spanked by Orlando Salido -- yeah, that guy).

As far as that goes, that's not opinion. That's just fact.

As for him fighting Williams and Cotto, what people fail to realize is that he tried to fight Cotto and Oscar while he was WITH Top Rank. However, once he left, Arum started using guys as bait to resign when he was trying get away.

When was he supposed to fight Margarito? When he fought Baldomir? He was getting criticized for fighting Judah instead of the undisputed welterweight champion Baldomir. Arum said he offered some $8m figure to fight Margarito (and get tied back up with Top Rank) who was pretty much unknown at the time.

So he fought the legitimate, lineal, undisputed champion for $11m instead with Dan Goosen serving as lead promoter. That led to the payday with Oscar, which led to the amazing business relationship he has with GBP today.

Was he supposed to jump in the ring with Margarito then? That's just silly. To wrap up first point, fighter quality is a matter of subjectivity. He has fought plenty of great fighters, starting with Genaro Hernandez. There are even tales of him spanking up on Frankie Randall and Pernell Whitaker as a 17-year-old amateur in sparring!

He's just on another level on his competition in terms of preparation and work ethic.

2) Perhaps I was being unclear. When I said dominance, I meant of the kind that Floyd exhibits. People want to see him lose. Should he lose and/or get beat up, people will love him more. I think that's a damn shame.

3) Of course Ali was loved prior to RITJ. He was loved throughout the '60s but he was also hated. Once he regained the championship, it propelled him into that stratosphere where he was the most famous man in the world and the most universally loved man in the world. He was up there with the Pope.

I wasn't alive at the time but I've studied this man's life since I was about 10. The commentary on his bouts, which are now widely available on Youtube, confirm the gradual shift in the public's perception of him as it is happening.

(I find it interesting that the most famous men of the past 50 years are all Black men. Ali, Michael Jackson and now Barack Obama.)

4) As for Marciano, I really didn't mean any one man. I meant the public perception, which I referenced above. I also heard Marciano discredit him mightily (also on Youtube). In fact, according to Angelo Dundee, Marciano didn't like him.

If we break it down pragmatically, he was not getting any credit while he was at his absolute best. Those bastards at The Ring didn't even consider him a Top 10 heavyweight all-time by 1971. But once he was shot, ohhh, they change their tone, they award him bogus FOTY awards for subpar fights. Come on.

He should've gotten crapped on in the '70s, if anything, when he wasn't training right and was undedicated to the sport. In the '60s, he trained like a beast and fought like a superhero.

Again, those are just facts. It's out there.

5) JMM as a lightweight. Yeah, so? Pacquiao was a lightweight when he fought De La Hoya. And JMM has since proved to be excellent at that weight. Keep in mind, Floyd walks around the same weight as the average lightweight, so the size difference on fight night between JMM and Money was similar to when JMM fought mike Katsidis.

FUN FACT #1: There was only a THREE and FOUR pound difference, respectively, between the Katsidis that fought JMM and the Floyd that fought Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya.

FUN FACT #2: JMM walks around at the same weight as Mayweather.

FUN FACT #3: JMM weight on fight night vs. Katsidis was only TWO pounds lighter than when Mayweather fought Cotto.

Read those three factual tidbits again.

Don't believe the hype that weight pays the bills. JMM is a masterful boxer and one of my favorites. Skills paid the bills that night -- or any night.

MAN, this is getting long! What are you getting me into?? You better read this! LOL

As for Mosley? Well, he was coming off his biggest win in years. He was still fast and powerful. With the weights they fought at plus the commercial availability of the two, there were only three times they could've fought before they did:

In 1999, when Mosley was the lightweight Sonny Liston and Floyd was the 130 black Willie Pep (as Harold Lederman called him). Mosley declined. He was fixin' to move to 147 and 154.

In 2006, when Mosley KO'd Fernando Vargas. He was asked outright about it since Floyd had called him out for two years. Shane's response? "My tooth hurts."

I'm not making this up.

Finally, in 2009. That's where the optical illusion/myth of Sugar ducking came along (plus Arum slandering Floyd to anyone who listen). He elected to fight Marquez first as a tune-up and THEN he fought Mosley at the first available date after the Pacquiao fight fell through.

I think we agree here, though.

I disagree that Oscar was past his best when he fought Floyd. I think it was one of his best efforts in years. And if you really, really watch that fight, you'll see that it wasn't close at all. At all. It was 9-3, easy. 8-4 AT WORST.

But again, scoring is subjective. He fought him the very second he had the chance to.

6) Yeah, it's an extreme example. That was kind of, you know, my point?

7) Hop's point: "World level doesn't = A+." Where in the blue heck did I say it did? I never even suggested that to support that it did.

You said that he only began taking on top opposition recently. Fighting at a championship level since '98 sorta disproves that. But if you don't consider world champions top opposition, well, then I'd like to see your definition of "top opposition."

In fact, many experts argue Money took on his toughest opponents before he became a PPV attraction.

Like I said, you can matchmake all you want but you have to be pretty darn good to matchmaker to matchfake your way through almost 30 championship fights without slipping even once.

8) OK. If that's what you think. I think their legacies are strong enough to stand alone instead of having the shadows of each other cast over their careers.

brownsugar says:

Science Fiction is by far my favorite Genre. I've read over 300 Sci-Fi books over the last 35 Years.

I've read stories written by Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, Egan, Heinlien, and a host of other Sci-Fi legends.
And I have to admit that McCarsons article has produced one of the greatest Sci-Fi debates on the TSS. (and I say this with all due respect)

Some of these arguments Remind of the famous Time Travel Paradox where a man travels back in time and through a series of events becomes his own Father, Son and Grandfather when he returns to his own timeline.

How else could we get an argument that proposes the healthy 165 lbs and 4 year younger Oscar Del La Hoya whom Floyd fought was worse or even equal to the older depleted version Manny fought at 145lbs with a hydration clause.

And judging from the grudging resistance Oscar put up in that fight.... I have serious doubts Manny could have even gone the distance with the version of Oscar who fought Floyd.

Takes nothing away from Manny as a whole... Who is great in his own way...But it puts things in perspective.

The same holds true for Hatton, Mosely, and Juan Manuel Marquez....who were all considerably younger and coming off signature wins during a time win they were each thought to be unbeatable.

This is compounded by the fact that a 40 year old, blown up Marquez goes and spoils things by lowering the boom on Pac during the twilight or his dimming career.

Cotto is the lone standout... I won't even regurgitate the catch weight since PAC won so convincingly. But the Bobfather won't let Pac anywhere near new reconditioned 154 version of Cotto.

So yes ....it is amusing when the time paradox arguments begin to emerge.

However when you talk about Pac's transparency as a person, Pac's transendance of the sport, Pac being one of the most beloved sports figure of this generation...then its quite clear he wins the popularity contest easily.

On the other hand nobody likes an enigmatic fighter who starves the fans of some of their favorite matchups and has a history of disrespectful behavior.

I barely like him myself even though Floyd has more in common with the common man than we would like to admit.

But compared subjectively, Free of the convoluted time paradox conundrums. And considering what Floyd is capable of in the Ring... Floyd wins hands down..

And Pac will stand beside him when its all said an done in the HOF.

Radam G says:

Once again, size does not matter. Da Manny woulda beatdown a cross-dressing Big Money Oscar of any size. BMO and Cotto fought Da Manny for check size, not arse size.

Both BMO and Cotto believed that they would win. So they agreed because of greed to go down in size for the pay and public relations. They did what boxer always do. The late, great "Unforgivable Blackness" did it to get a shot. Bad Chad Dawson did to get a shot. Canelo did it to get a shot. And back in the day Terry Norris and Donnie Lalonde (may be the wrong name who fought SRR for two different division belts in one night) did it to get that money shot.

Call it science fiction or tricks of the trade. But all is fair in love and war. The drain excuse is lame. Being drain has brought a ton of fighters big money and big fame. It is all apart the prizefighting game.

Pride fighters ought to have deep shame. Holla!

amayseng says:

styles make fights and therefore no one will ever know who would win between floyd and pac since they never got into the ring.

for all we know 10/10 times floyd could be easily counterpunching pac 9/10 rounds winning on the cards and get caught ONE time with a straight left that dazes him and gets him put out of there.

Or it could have been the opposite, pac could be 10/10 times just beating floyd on swarming activity alone and win on the cards.

unlike srl being out boxed by the fighter Hearns who had to comeback being down on the cards to take him out for the victory, we just will NEVER know and that is the shame of it all.

we didn't get to see it and the fighters don't get the legendary respect for having it

teaser says:

at welter both Floyd and Manny fought the guys who were once the best ...but who were past there best days ...the Oscar that fought Trinadad was faster than the one who fought floyd and especially Manny ....but Manny gets more credit because of the size difference and it looked like a man against a boy ....and there is no way you can say cotto or Mosley even if ranked in p4p at the time were any where near the fighters they once were ..but they were credible opponents ...yeah the real shame is not seeing Pac and Floyd in the ring 4 yrs ago ...imagine ,in 50 yrs time you won't be able to mention one with out talking about the other and they were never in the ring together ...yup a shame

The Shadow says:

styles make fights and therefore no one will ever know who would win between floyd and pac since they never got into the ring.

for all we know 10/10 times floyd could be easily counterpunching pac 9/10 rounds winning on the cards and get caught ONE time with a straight left that dazes him and gets him put out of there.

Or it could have been the opposite, pac could be 10/10 times just beating floyd on swarming activity alone and win on the cards.

unlike srl being out boxed by the fighter Hearns who had to comeback being down on the cards to take him out for the victory, we just will NEVER know and that is the shame of it all.

we didn't get to see it and the fighters don't get the legendary respect for having it


Exactly, it's all speculation until you actually see it. History has shown that over and over.

The Shadow says:

at welter both Floyd and Manny fought the guys who were once the best ...but who were past there best days ...the Oscar that fought Trinadad was faster than the one who fought floyd and especially Manny ....but Manny gets more credit because of the size difference and it looked like a man against a boy ....and there is no way you can say cotto or Mosley even if ranked in p4p at the time were any where near the fighters they once were ..but they were credible opponents ...yeah the real shame is not seeing Pac and Floyd in the ring 4 yrs ago ...imagine ,in 50 yrs time you won't be able to mention one with out talking about the other and they were never in the ring together ...yup a shame


You think so? I don't think so. People will forget.

You don't hear anyone talking about George Foreman and Mike Tyson although that fight was teased for almost 10 years and would've been the richest fight in history.

No one mentions Sugar Ray Leonard avoiding certain guys they were clamoring for back then.

People will talk about Pacquiao being beloved all over, winning belts in a hundred weight classes and his memorable battles with Marquez. Especially if they fight for a fifth time.

Mayweather's legacy will be money and altering the landscape of earning power for fighters, the priority of defense, drug testing second and being the first black fighter to stay as rich after retirement.

Carmine Cas says:

All great posts, both Mayweather and Pacquiao fought great opposition however due to ignorance the public perception is that Floyd ducks outside of the ring and runs in the ring, which if you read between the lines it's not the case. And IMHO Pacquiao didn't fight anyone legitimate at 147, except Bradley and Marquez Teddy Atlas will agree. As B-Sug points out:


"How else could we get an argument that proposes the healthy 165 lbs and 4 year younger Oscar Del La Hoya whom Floyd fought was worse or even equal to the older depleted version Manny fought at 145lbs with a hydration clause." To be fair Oscar was a little bit over a year older but had not fought at 147 in several years

"And judging from the grudging resistance Oscar put up in that fight.... I have serious doubts Manny could have even gone the distance with the version of Oscar who fought Floyd." I don't know about that but definitely would have been a different fight

Takes nothing away from Manny as a whole... Who is great in his own way...But it puts things in perspective.

The same holds true for Hatton, Mosely, and Juan Manuel Marquez....who were all considerably younger and coming off signature wins during a time when they were each thought to be unbeatable. Before they were handed a lopsided L by Mayweather.

This is compounded by the fact that a 40 year old, blown up Marquez goes and spoils things by lowering the boom on Pac during the twilight or his dimming career.

Cotto is the lone standout... I won't even regurgitate the catch weight since PAC won so convincingly. But the Bobfather won't let Pac anywhere near new reconditioned 154 version of Cotto.

So yes ....it is amusing when the time paradox arguments begin to emerge."

With Cotto it was the wrong time, wrong corner, and yea the WEIGHT. Fighters do make the decision to cut the weight to make the money but the other fighters do hold more of the bargaining chips in some cases; SRL vs Lalonde. I'm sure Leonard had a huge influence on that catchweight, a catchweight for two belts is bogus, and SRL is one of my favs. Chad Dawson vs Andre Ward, Dawson called out Ward at 168, it wasn't even a catchweight years ago before the birth of the super middleweight division it would have been but he elected to move down and fight him. Andre Ward did not stipulate that "Bad" Chad Dawson move down in weight.

I agree that size doesn't mean anything in the square circle, but when a fighter is depleting himself coming down in weight, the homeostasis of his body is disrupted. Especially for fighters such as Cotto and De La Hoya who always were bigger and had stamina issues. It's not a question of size it's a question of being healthy coming into the fight, not compromised. And the rehydration stipulations are just plain bs and cowardly. The same ignorant fans criticize Mayweather for ducking and running say Pacquiao fought legitimate opponents in Oscar, Cotto, Margacheato, and Shane. Fighting at a weight you're not used to fighting at and not being able to rehydrate completely definitely prevents one from fighting at their best.

It's not about size it's about your body being at homeostasis uncompromised. But if size doesn't matter then why do we have these ridiculous catch weights and rehydrations stipulations?

The Shadow says:


It's not about size it's about your body being at homeostasis uncompromised. But if size doesn't matter then why do we have these ridiculous catch weights and rehydrations stipulations?


Good point. But then it's not a matter of size and weight, it's a matter of health.

Assuming both guys are healthy in the ring, size doesn't mean much, like you said. For Mike Tyson, for instance, his smaller size was an advantage for him.

David Haye is much lighter than all his opponents and he just blasts through 90% of them -- literally. Manny Pacquiao also.

Skills pay the bills.

As far as weights, as we all know, weight classes nowadays are manipulated weights that people have come up with to gain a size advantage by fighting supposedly smaller guys. They are no reflection of their weights in the ring.

Carmine Cas says:

Good point. But then it's not a matter of size and weight, it's a matter of health.

Assuming both guys are healthy in the ring, size doesn't mean much, like you said. For Mike Tyson, for instance, his smaller size was an advantage for him.

David Haye is much lighter than all his opponents and he just blasts through 90% of them -- literally. Manny Pacquiao also.

Skills pay the bills.

As far as weights, as we all know, weight classes nowadays are manipulated weights that people have come up with to gain a size advantage by fighting supposedly smaller guys. They are no reflection of their weights in the ring.


Exactly skills do pay the bills so there is no need for these 2-4 lb catchweights with rehydration clauses on top of it. Manny hasn't had a knockout since 09, although he looked like he was on the verge of one in his last fight.

All in all, Mayweather is the best of this era

Radam G says:

Catch weights are for psychological advantages. Getting up in a bytch head. Everything for an edge is used and to get maximum beatdown and BIG pay.

The game is prizefighting, not pride fighting. Nobody ever gave a darn about size when the money was peanuts in the below-the-heavyweight divisions. Everybody and dey momma went up to the heaviest that he or she could get to for the maximum PAY.

It is a new day. Catchweights are for the fanfaronades and fools, not for the skill kickarsers. A person can refuse a catchweight and give up extra pay, as Money May did. A person can take that extra money, as Marquez did.

Holla at the the "Sluggin with Sam Langford" piece on "Boxing dot com." Ain't no real boksinero ever given a holy muthasucking bytch about size. Canadian Sammy was going to kick "Big Smoke['s]" arse. But "Unforgivable Blackness" wasn't having it. He drew the color line.

Skills and courage always conquer size. Cowards worry about the size of da dawg insteadl of the bite of da darn mutt. I don't care how big your arse is. When you lose the upper hand, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." And you can take that to the BANK! Holla!

The Shadow says:

Hop, you better bring your a** to my my godforsaken, novel post and address each every single letter!

Radam G says:

OKAY! NEWS FLASH:

It is definitely about SIZE! SIZE indeed matters. I thought about it for a bit, and realize that I've been harsh. So I have to give it up. The _____ ____ ______, who are so obsessed with size and cowed down by it. You have been RIGHT.

THE D@MN SIZE of that purse matters BIG TIME, babeeee!

A BIG-SIZE paycheck all DAY and NIGHT, WEEK and MONTH, YEAR and DECADE. A BIG-SIZE @ss does not go for peanuts. Big arses knows it. They want the money, so they will catch-weight fight to hell and back, because it is about prizefighting of pugilism, not pride fighting of admiration of fanfaronades and groupies. They pay and watch, not hit and get hit. So as long as they pay, they can talk and post the dumbsyet.

BTW, many of them are like ostriches to begin with. Always putting their pencil-neck -- with limited brains in their craniums -- heads down in dark-@$$ holes and believing that nobody sees their big, ole arses sticking out to be kicked because they cannot from. OMFG! Hehehe!

Cowards with their heads in holes in the ground cannot see or know the light of anything. Holla!

Hop says:

Hop, you better bring your A-game to my novel post and address each every single letter!


Hahaha! I'm laughing, Shadow. Sorry. I just read this post and didn't even know what you were referring to. Then I thought (mental gears turning slowly), "Oh, maybe he responded to an earlier to a post of mine.". Boy, did you ever! Sorry I'd missed it. Looks good, and I'll try to find time to "address" it. I well know what it's like to put some thought into a post and get nothing but CRICKETS in return! Wouldn't intentionally do that to you, Shadow. I'd say 3/4 of the threads I start -- which I'd hoped would be interesting to people -- get almost no response. Maybe I should hang 'em up.

Carmine Cas says:

Well Radam holla at my two posts and you'll see I say size doesn't matter, skills pay the bills. Catchweights and size are two different subjects that intertwine when there is a conflict. Sh*t the 188 lb Rocky Marciano is a perfect example, beating up the bigger heavyweights. Don't blow things out of proportion

The Shadow says:

Hahaha! I'm laughing, Shadow. Sorry. I just read this post and didn't even know what you were referring to. Then I thought (mental gears turning slowly), "Oh, maybe he responded to an earlier to a post of mine.". Boy, did you ever! Sorry I'd missed it. Looks good, and I'll try to find time to "address" it. I well know what it's like to put some thought into a post and get nothing but CRICKETS in return! Wouldn't intentionally do that to you, Shadow. I'd say 3/4 of the threads I start -- which I'd hoped would be interesting to people -- get almost no response. Maybe I should hang 'em up.


No, maybe you shouldn't! People have different tastes. I know how you feel. I've put some stuff out that I was supposed to run in "real life" and no one really paid attention. You never know what starts a hefty debate.

Although Mayweather-Pacquiao is the go-to move and we all fall for it every.....single....time! (Yes, I'm looking at YOU, EM!!)

Sorry if it was too long, though...Maybe we should start a thread for each point? LOL it may get tedious for the rest. Appreciate taking the time to digest and respond in kind. I'm happy you're laughing. Nothing better than spreading joy!

Radam G says:

Catchweights and size are indeed the same, or at least cousins of twins. Somebody is paranoid. Ninety of the time, a bigger fighter in size come down to fight smaller one for a bigger prize, not bigger pride.

Three g wants to come down in weight to get whupped by Money May for the BIG prize, not the pride. Canelo came down for the prize, not the prize. Holla!

Carmine Cas says:

Lol nobody is paranoid, I'm just stating the truth."Canelo came down for the prize, not the prize" Somebody is getting sloppy

amayseng says:

Catchweights and size are indeed the same, or at least cousins of twins. Somebody is paranoid. Ninety of the time, a bigger fighter in size come down to fight smaller one for a bigger prize, not bigger pride.

Three g wants to come down in weight to get whupped by Money May for the BIG prize, not the pride. Canelo came down for the prize, not the prize. Holla!



The question would be if 154 is healthy or not for GGG to get a floyd fight....

if he can make it healthy, no way floyd can pot shot and run away to a UD against GGG.

a healthy GGG is an active, stalking, punching, controlling and scoring GGG.

that would be hard to beat for a 37 year old ww floyd mayweather who usually coasts to easy decisions, where this would NOT be the case.

Radam G says:

I think that Money May can B-Hop 3g, and make him look like a novice. If money were there, Money May would whup him at middleweight. I'm not convinced that 3g could walk through Money May and have his way and say. Holla!

amayseng says:

I think that Money May can B-Hop 3g, and make him look like a novice. If money were there, Money May would whup him at middleweight. I'm not convinced that 3g could walk through Money May and have his way and say. Holla!


we could be on this debate for five years. haha

realistically then RG, what is floyds next move?

it seriously can not be khan.

The Good Doctor says:

we could be on this debate for five years. haha

realistically then RG, what is floyds next move?

it seriously can not be khan.



It will be Khan. Out of the people that fit a profile for Floyd to fight, he fits the bill the best. I think you feel he doesn't deserve it, and I agree. However, of Garcia, GGG, Bradley and some other possibilities, Khan is almost the runaway choice. When I say this, I am taking into account that he and Pac probably don't fight.

I will venture out and say that I always thought Khan had the raw tools to beat Floyd. He has very good speed, decent feet, and is long. However the skill is not there, the stamina is not there, and his chin is extremely suspect.

Carmine Cas says:

The question would be if 154 is healthy or not for GGG to get a floyd fight....

if he can make it healthy, no way floyd can pot shot and run away to a UD against GGG.

a healthy GGG is an active, stalking, punching, controlling and scoring GGG.

that would be hard to beat for a 37 year old ww floyd mayweather who usually coasts to easy decisions, where this would NOT be the case.


And that's exactly what I am talking about, making the weight healthy and being able to rehydrate. I'd like to see that fight but it needs time to marinate.

amayseng says:

It will be Khan. Out of the people that fit a profile for Floyd to fight, he fits the bill the best. I think you feel he doesn't deserve it, and I agree. However, of Garcia, GGG, Bradley and some other possibilities, Khan is almost the runaway choice. When I say this, I am taking into account that he and Pac probably don't fight.

I will venture out and say that I always thought Khan had the raw tools to beat Floyd. He has very good speed, decent feet, and is long. However the skill is not there, the stamina is not there, and his chin is extremely suspect.


I think Garcia deserves it, he just keeps on winning and his dad can carry the ppv hype pretty well.

khan has phenomenal speed, a good jab and length, however he is chinny and even though he has some tools he cant apply them correctly to beat floyd.


floyd will never face pac

Radam G says:

Money May's next move is mo' money, mo' money, money mo!' And that mo' money will likely be Amir Khan or a nobody dance in Abu Dhabi. Holla!

The Shadow says:

Money May's next move is mo' money, mo' money, money mo!' And that mo' money will likely be Amir Khan or a nobody dance in Abu Dhabi. Holla!


Of course, RG. We established that over a month ago. But no one is listening!

TotoyBato says:

Define that Era. Either of them can. A definitive win against each other will clearly define it as Mayweather Era or Pacquiao Era.

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