Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Manny Pacquiao. Money v Pac-Man. Twelve rounds to decide it all, at least until there’s an unsatisfactory conclusion and everyone demands a rematch. If it feels like the world has been waiting for this moment then that’s because we have been.
The MGM Grand – which has hosted every one of Mayweather’s fights since he beat Oscar De La Hoya to claim the WBC Welterweight title almost exactly eight years ago – will be the place to be seen this weekend.
Hordes of celebrities, athletes and hangers on will cram into the Las Vegas venue for the richest sporting spectacle ever witnessed. Tickets have been trading hands for tens of thousands of dollars, figures which are still tiny compared to the purse on offer to the two fighters.
It is a purse which is split 60-40 in favour of Money, and it is the money that Money is receiving which could prove to be the key to all of this.
Defending a 47-0 record which means even more to him than posting his huge betting slips on Twitter or posing next to Justin Bieber, Mayweather simply will not have countenanced losing this fight.
Pacquiao – who has recovered from back-to-back 2012 losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez to win his last three – is certainly the fighter with less to lose, and you get the impression that Mayweather and his camp have been waiting for the perfect time to tackle the Filipino phenomenon. This is that time.
Those expecting a spectacular bout might be in for disappointment, though.
Neither of these two – for all of their excellence – are renowned for knocking opponents out, and although Pacquiao could very well start the stronger and even pick up the first round or two, it would be no surprise to see the genius that is Mayweather quickly figure him out and nullify him in the manner he did against Marcos Maidana in his two fights last year.
The second of those ended in a unanimous decision for the unbeaten champ, and that looks to be the way that this one will go for the hometown fighter.
Pacquiao’s only chance would seem to involve him sitting back and looking to pick off his opponent, and not rush towards his seemingly impenetrable and remarkably unique style in the manner that we’ve seen from so many of his vanquished foes in the past.
If he does that then Pac-Man might make things interesting, perhaps bringing the both the split and majority decisions to Mayweather into play. Money won against Saul Alvarez and in his first bout with Maidana via MDs, and it could be worth a small stake on that being the outcome here.
Ultimately, it is a Mayweather victory which should be dominating the global sporting headlines when everyone wakes up bleary-eyed on Sunday morning having purchased the fight on pay-per-view and failed to stay up to watch it.
The possibility of rematch is a very real one, too, and so don’t think that this is the last you’ll see of the ‘fight of the century.’
There’s always more money for Money to make, after all.
The 5 Best Bets For Mayweather v Pacquiao
Floyd Mayweather to win – 1.47
No knockdowns – 1.67
Mayweather to win on points – 1.73
Mayweather to win by Unanimous Decision – 2.10
A rematch within a year – 2.65
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