PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao aren’t what they used to be. That’s nature telling them that their bodies are slowing down. With their May 2 megafight here on Saturday, from the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, the superstars are still among the best in the world. Their fight is projected to produce a larger revenue than the GDP of 29 countries, the $74-million live gate revenue will exceed the six games of the 2013 World Series ($62.2M) and last year’s Super Bowl ($60M)—and if the fight goes the distance, which many expect it will, each fighter will split $138,000 per second.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Heat Advisory In Effect As Temperatures Hit Record Highs On Saturday
Here is a look at what each does best—and what areas they are lacking.
“Money” is arguably one of the best ever in this area. He’s exceptional on his feet, and he’s far more calculating than most fans give him credit for. He has an incredibly high boxing IQ. Within two to three rounds, he has his opponent figured out and dissected. He’s 38, though still has the fastest hands in boxing. But his jab is more of a range finder. He’ll go to the body with it against the southpaw Pacquiao in an attempt to lower his arms.
Pacquiao has become a far better boxer under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. He moves in and out very well, bouncing in some ways like Roberto Duran used to on the attack. His jab is more a power punch than Mayweather’s. The big, big problem is Pacquiao likes to move forward in straight lines and has a tendency to lunge with the jab, like a swordsman in fencing. If he overcommits against Mayweather, it could leave him vulnerable to being countered.
Mayweather has respectable power, but his power comes more through attrition than it does in any one shot. He relies more on countering an opponent, and using his superior hand speed in reach the opponent before his foe can reach him. He’s also incredibly accurate with his straight right, which he’ll use to counter over Pacquiao’s straight left, and again, his penchant for over committing.
Pacquiao is the superior power puncher. He can hurt Mayweather with one punch. His hand speed, second to only Mayweather’s, is what will make this intriguing—that’s if “Pac-Man” can get to Money. That’s no easy task. Pacquiao has had trouble with movers like Tim Bradley and Chris Algieri, who can’t move anywhere like Mayweather can. The last time Pacquiao truly hurt an elite fighter—and Algieri is far from that—was six years ago, stopping Miguel Cotto in Nov. 2009.
DefenseREAD MORE: J.M. Smucker Is Recalling Some Jif Peanut Butter Products Due To Salmonella
Mayweather is one of the best defensive fighters of all-time. And yes, his defensive skills are on a par with the younger version of Muhammad Ali (we’re not saying Mayweather is Ali). His famous shoulder roll tightens his body and makes him compact and narrow, leaving a lot less body to hit. His ability to block and parry punches makes him the best in the world.
Watch for something here: Mayweather’s toughness often gets overlooked. When he was rocked by Shane Mosley in the second round of their fight in May 2010, it was an edge of Mayweather we’ve never seen. He won every second of every round after that. He took that fight to the alleyways of Grand Rapids—much like Sugar Ray Leonard went from the stylistic boxer to the stalking puncher that stopped Tommy Hearns in their first fight.
Pacquiao is better defensively, thanks to Roach. It’s even fair to say his defense is underestimated. But Pacquiao still gets hit too much, This will be one case where Pacquiao may take the Joe Frazier approach in his first fight with Ali, and that’s take two to land one, take three to land one. His footwork is his defense. He bounces in and bounces out, but there could be something to watch for here, too: Pacquiao doesn’t think Mayweather can hurt him. Pacquiao’s ability to back out of danger has improved, but there are still some things ingrained—like moving in straight lines.
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
When: May 2, 9 p.m. ET (Main event scheduled to go on at 11 PM ET)
TV: Showtime/HBO PPV
Tale of the Tape
Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada
Record: 47-0, 26 KOs
Titles: WBC, WBA and The Ring Magazine
Record in title bouts: 24-0, 10 KOs
Weight: 146.5 (based on last fight)
Rounds boxed: 363
World title fights: 24
Last loss: August 2, 1996, or in 6,847 days (which translates into 18 years, nine months, excluding the end date) to Bulgaria’s Serafim Todorov in the 1996 Olympic featherweight semifinals.
Last fight: UD 12 Marcos Maidana (Sept. 13, 2014)
Last stoppage: KO 4 Victor Ortiz, Sept. 17, 2011
Career earnings: $420 million
Residence: General Santos City, Philippines
Record: 57-5-2, 38 KOs
Record in title bouts: 14-3-2, 8 KOs
Weight: 143.75 (based on last fight)
Rounds boxed: 407
World title fights: 19
Last loss: Dec. 8, 2012, or in 875 days (which translates to 2 years, 4 months, 24 days excluding the end date) to Juan Manuel Marquez. Pacquiao was leading on all three judge’s scorecards 47-46 at the time of the knockout.
Last fight: UD 12 Chris Algieri (Nov. 23, 2014)
Last stoppage: TKO 12 Miguel Cotto, Nov. 14, 2009
Career earnings: $340 million