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Speed Magazine

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: The war is on

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: The war is on
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 After years of waiting, name-calling, and finger-pointing. After numerous PED accusations, blood-testing controversies, and money struggles. At the tail end of the two most lustrous boxing careers of our time. And reminiscent of boxing’s most epic fights—Ali vs. Frazier’s “Thrilla in Manila,” Foreman vs. Ali’s “The Rumble in the Jungle,” and Leonard vs. Hearns’ “The Showdown.” Speed finally brings you the much-anticipated, highly requested, every boxing fan’s dream match: Pacquiao vs. Mayweather’s “The Fight of the 21st Century.” – Ed.


LAS VEGAS – The fight is at the welterweight division of 147 lbs.—Floyd Mayweather’s comfort zone and now a weight category that Manny Pacquiao has normally grown into.

Mayweather is clearly stepping into the ring with an advantage in record (42-0), in size (he stands at 5’8 and is a natural welterweight), and in reach.

Pacquiao’s advantages, on the other hand, are more intangible. He is relatively faster and quicker. He can floor an opponent with one punch. But more than all these, he, after his knock-out loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, wants to win this fight more—a variable that suddenly levels the playing field.

Round 1

Mayweather tries to keep the fight in the middle of the ring—as expected. He just circles around, staying away from Pacquiao’s left hand.

Pacquiao is also very cautious but moves with a lot of shoulder and head movements. Pacquiao attempts to start a combination with a left hand lead but Mayweather steps away from it.

First round is uneventful but ends in favor of Pacquiao.


Round 2

Mayweather continues to circle Pacquiao. Mayweather leads with his right but begins throwing left hooks.

Pacquiao steps up and brings the fight to Mayweather, unleashing his first 2-1-2 combination that rocks back the WBC welterweight champion.

Mayweather continues to be cautious, catching Pacquiao’s jabs on his shoulder.  Mayweather connects with a straight right and forces Pacquiao to throw a series of punches.

Looks like Pacquiao does enough to steal the round.


Round 3

Pacquiao attacks Mayweather right off the bell. He connects to the body with a four-punch combination but fails to hit Mayweather on the chin. Mayweather continues to deflect the punches with his shoulders.

Pacquiao presses the attack beginning with feints and fakes, and forces Mayweather to engage in the corner. Pacquiao connects with left straights while Mayweather grazes Pacquiao with left hooks.

The fight is shaping up to be more exciting.

Mayweather retaliates with his own combination rather than just countering. Pacquiao moves forward and gets tagged with a shattering right.

A Mayweather round.


Round 4

Mayweather moves forward more aggressively.  He seems to want to fight much closer and not allow Pacquiao to tee off with his left hand.

Mayweather stays close and forces his body into Pacquiao’s space. Pacquiao dances away and leaves a 1-2 punch on Mayweather’s chin.

Is that a smile on Mayweather’s face?

Mayweather is seemingly unfazed. He presses on, throws more jabs, and gets away with it.

Pacquiao retreats. A left hand lead rocks Mayweather. Pacquiao follows it up with a right hook.

Mayweather is down! Mayweather is down!

He gets back on his feet, smiles once again. Pacquiao comes to try to finish it off but Mayweather dances away.


Round 5

Pacquiao looks more confident coming into this round. Mayweather was careless in the last face-off but still doesn’t look fazed as he continues to use his body against Pacquiao.

Mayweather starts with his right straights, pushing and keeping Pacquiao at bay. Pacquiao fights back with a combination of his own. Mayweather obliges, and throws body shots and hooks to the head.

What a match!

Mayweather knows he might be behind and is obviously trying to bring the fight to Pacquiao. He bullies Pacquiao in the corner, refusing to let the southpaw out.

Pacquiao fights his way around and turns Mayweather. Mayweather defends with his shoulder. Pacquiao throws 8 to 10 punches but only grazes Mayweather.

An interesting round to score.

Perhaps Pacquiao takes this one.


Round 6

Pacquiao’s speed advantage is now very evident. He has created angles for himself that even Mayweather must acknowledge to be a brilliant display of boxing skills.

Mayweather keeps Pacquiao very close to him. Pacquiao forces the fight back to the middle of the ring.


Mayweather presses the attack with his own combinations and begins to dance. He moves away but flicks several left jabs that seem to be bothering the first eight-division world champion.

Pacquiao misses with the left hand. Mayweather counters with a right of his own and clips the left side of Pacquiao’s face.

Mayweather is clearly in control of the tempo and has defined the distance. Mayweather’s jab is doing wonders for him. Pacquiao looks troubled.

End of round.  A good 3 minutes for Mayweather.


Round 7

Mayweather comes out dancing again to the boos and hisses of the crowd. This has been expected by the Pacquiao camp. Let’s see what the Orthodox fighter does.

Pacquiao tries to cut the ring and moves more aggressively forward. Mayweather flicks that jab and continues to clip Pacquiao on the head—not powerful enough to hurt Pacquiao but looks effective to set up his right hand, which is beginning to make a mark on Pacquiao’s left eye.

Pacquiao throws an overhand left and tags Mayweather. Mayweather comes back with a flurry of his own.

Pacquiao obliges. Both fighters are throwing bombs.

Mayweather disengages and continues to tag Pacquiao with his jabs. Mayweather looks to be more in control.

Round 7 goes to Mayweather.


Round 8

Mayweather comes in charging. Pacquiao has barely gotten off his chair.

Mayweather throws combinations and backs up Pacquiao. Pacman covers up well.

Body shots by Mayweather.

Pacquiao turns him. His left hand hits Mayweather flush on the nose. Mayweather backs off.

Both fighters look exhausted.

Pacquiao attacks again. Mayweather counters with a right hand lead. Pacquiao buckles.

Mayweather is moving in to finish. Pacquiao throws his own left hand. Mayweather is dazed!

End of round.  Very close one to call.


Round 9

The undefeated Mayweather, for the first time in his stellar career, is fighting with a welt under his right eye.  Mayweather is visibly using his body to lean on Pacquiao.

Both fighters are coasting.  Jabs by Mayweather. Pacquiao dances away.

Another Mayweather round?


Round 10

Both fighters cautiously walk into the center of the ring.

Mayweather taunts Pacquiao to come in. He is inviting Pacquiao to throw a punch, with his left shoulder as target.

Pacquiao attacks but is met with a right uppercut from Mayweather. Pacquiao throws a left hand lead and steps to the right. Mayweather is tagged with a 1-2 combination.

Mayweather begins to dance again. That jab has been working for him all night. Pacquiao is the aggressor and goes under Mayweather’s punches to launch a body attack. Mayweather looks hurt with that left dig to the body.

Pacquiao’s round!


Round 11

This is where all analysts expect these two fighters define who they really are.

Pacquiao comes out aggressive, taunts Mayweather with in-and-out movements coupled with feints and fakes. He throws a left hand lead and catches Mayweather advancing.

Mayweather is in trouble.

Mayweather holds. Pacquiao tries to disengage. Pacquiao presses his attack and unleashes his combinations. Five, six, seven punches in succession tag Mayweather. Mayweather comes back with a left hook and backs Pacquiao into the ropes.

Pacquiao attacks. Mayweather lets go of a straight right.

Pacquiao hits the canvas! Pacquiao is down!

Pacquiao is up at the second count and waves the referee off. He continues his attack. Mayweather defends and counters enough to stop Pacquiao in his tracks.

A Pacquiao round stolen by Mayweather.


Round 12

Last round of the fight and maybe the last round in the Filipino boxer’s career.

Mayweather starts by keeping his distance. He uses that left jab to keep the Pambansang Kamao away.

Pacman throws caution to the wind. The Pacquiao of old seems to be back. Pacquiao attacks with his 1-2 combinations and pushes Mayweather back.

Mayweather, the great defender that he is, takes Pacquiao’s punches on his shoulders and gloves. He scores with a left hook and a right straight. Pacquiao shuffles and pumps his gloves together.

Not a good sign for Mayweather.

Pacquiao clips Mayweather on the chin. Mayweather is wobbly and holds on.

Mayweather throws his own left hook and gets Pacquiao off balance. Pacquiao ends the round with a 1-2 combination.

What a round!

What a fight!


Commentary Mike Ochosa

Illustration Ara Yosef O. Valiente

First published in Speed April 2013


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