Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao - who wins?

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As the self proclaimed 'fight of the century' nears ever closer so to do the predictions of all anticipating viewers around the world.

The sweet science has unfortunately not been able to achieve global publicity for quite some time but now as the two top pound for pound fighters get in the ring this Saturday there is huge demand worldwide for all sports fans to witness the fight.

Come May 2nd there will be a who's who of celebrity names at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with the estimated gate revenue set to be an outstanding $74 million. The fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is one that has taken five years to deliver, in those years there have been massive stumbling blocks that caused fans to become frustrated and lose interest towards the number one and two world rated welterweights coming together as each year the bout appeared less likely to materialise.

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The sport of boxing (now with all the different governing bodies and promoters that won't work with each other as well as television rights) started to lose its appeal as a best fights best business which decades ago had the likes of Muhammed Ali fighting Joe Fraizer and Sugar Ray Leonard taking on Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler.

This Saturday though will at last bring boxing to the pinnacle it once was with viewers set to be tuning in all over the world. The significance of this fight brings huge reward with the victor claiming the right to be named not only the best pound for pound fighter in the world but the best fighter of their era.

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We look at both fighter's claims and make a prediction for this eagerly-anticipated bout.

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather is renowned as a defensive genius, a fighter from the same mould of Pernell Whittaker and James Toney, the current WBC welterweight champ has adopted the latter's shoulder roll and mastered it to perfection throughout his career.

The timing and counter punching of Mayweather is unparalleled to any current active boxer fighting at elite level and this style has seen 'Money' remain undefeated in 47 contests.

Always one to receive critics for his high spending profile and supposed arrogance the Grand Rapids man has at times endured backlash for some of his performances due to fights being uneventful.

A list of world class opponents are on Mayweather's resume and the majority he has pretty much defeated with ease and made it look like (as he enjoys saying) 'easy work'. The 1996 Olympian has rarely been forced to step up a gear in his 47 fight career.

A controversial win over Jose Luis Castillo was redeemed in better fashion in the return bout, Oscar De la Hoya started well but lost a close fight and both Shane Mosley and Marcos Maidana rocked Floyd in their fights although he was able to show fantastic recuperating skills to come out on top.

When there have been occasions the media believed there has been a slip in form or a possible decline in Floyd's career, the five-weight world champion has then always come back to the ring better than ever to inform the world he remains at the top.

An example of this is when Mayweather fought Miguel Cotto in 2012 winning the fight but appearing to take more punishment than expected and critics noted the performance as one that could start a downward spiral.

But Mayweather (who didn't work with his father and trainer for the Cotto fight) reunited with Mayweather Senior and signed a six fight television deal with Showtime believed to be in the region of $200 million.

The next two title bouts against Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez were arguably the most one sided victories in the career of Mayweather, as he displayed his superiority once again.

Whether you like him or not you can't deny that Mayweather is a master of the ring, very few fighters can stay undefeated for such a long time but it takes a special fighter to make the majority of his fights look relatively one sided allowing him to dictate at his own pace.

There are many who believe speed can work as a factor in breaking the 'Mayvinchi code' but that remains to be seen. When you look at the unmarked face of Floyd Mayweather and take into his account that he has only been dropped once - in 2001 - then it's hard to argue that the normality of winning will change.

A fighter so used to the grand stage (having fought every bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas since 2007) it's hard to imagine anything other than the best prepared Mayweather this Saturday.

Manny Pacquiao

If Mayweather is regarded as flashy and arrogant then you couldn't have more of an opposite in Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao. A humble proud countryman from the Philippines, the eight-weight world champion is the ultimate nice guy, always respectful in victory and gracious in defeat.

Pacquiao's story is incredible: from living on the streets selling doughnuts to try and earn enough money to live to becoming a pay per view boxing sensation and multi weight world champion.

The mental strength and character of Manny just shows how much of an inspiration he is considering his poor beginnings. Always smiling 'Pacman' has the Philippines behind him and, as their national hero, he is looking to make another date in history for his beloved country by defeating the only man above him in the world boxing rankings.

The General City Santos resident always looks calm and collected, the sport of boxing was his escape from poverty to riches despite there being pressure on him from his nation, Manny is able to handle it like no one else.

A southpaw with electric speed, Manny can make the viewing public feel dizzy with his explosive in and out style of movement and different angles. The 36-year-old looks fresher than ever coming off impressive victories over Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri.

The three victories all came after Manny suffered a severe knock out loss in his fourth meeting with Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez. At that time many thought Pacman may retire and venture into a new political career as he has a seat in congress for the Philippines, but the current WBO welterweight champion made the decision to continue his highly decorated career and notch up three wins in a row on the path to this mega fight.

The southpaw stance may be a plus for Manny considering it has taken longer for Mayweather in fights to figure out these opponents than usual and under the guidance of long time trainer Freddie Roach, (who came close to defeating Floyd when working with De La Hoya) it appears Pacquiao may have already won the battle of the best corner man.

It is important however that Roach doesn't get too emotionally involved in between rounds as there is an obvious dislike towards Floyd and trainer Floyd Sr. The game plan will be meticulously thought out by Roach and, whether he is looking for a similar De La Hoya beginning or a completely new approach, it will be interesting to see the best boxing trainer in the world displaying his revised fighter's study to beat Mayweather.

Manny Pacquiao is regarded as the peoples' champion, so much so that even promoter Bob Arum has suggested that the American public will get behind his fighter more so than Floyd.

The different personalities and fighting styles make it a mouth-watering bout. We as fans are fortunate that both fighters are still at the top of the tree and, although it may be five years in the making, the fight serves up the exact same importance. We should be grateful that its finally here.

Who Wins?

There are so many different talking points that people can dissect and favour towards Manny or Floyd, the fact is this is a 50/50 fight. The Grand Rapids man will come in as the favourite with the undefeated record and Pacquiao having the five losses on his career (three by knock-out) although to some degree you can throw their resumes out of the window for this fight.

The animosity and wait period to finally get this blockbuster on will (hopefully) spur both men to produce the finest displays of their careers. They have both profiled their training regime on social media with Floyd appearing to have gone old school chopping up logs and training in a more unique way.

Manny has posted videos on-line of his explosive speed and pad work with Freddie Roach. 'Pacman' may arguably have the better trainer in his corner but Floyd and his dad have grown up on boxing together so both relationships are strong.

In terms of who wants it more, in my opinion there is no doubt that this is a fight Floyd has always wanted, even more so as the years have passed. Critics have taunted Mayweather by accusing the 38-year-old of avoiding Pacquiao. Suggestions like this would undoubtedly have bruised Money's' ego especially considering the calibre of elite fighters he has fought.

For one reason or another i.e. drug testing, pay per view numbers, financial disagreement etc the fight wasn't made earlier and Floyd has appeared to take the blame for this more so than Manny.

As for Pacman you have to question his refusal for the blood and urine testing back when negotiations first started but it is understandable that fighters do not like to undergo testing so close to a fight as it can make them feel weaker.

Since then however Manny has always said he would like the fight and has agreed to the test terms but, with the WBO champion already the hero of his nation, the legacy of Pacquiao does not need this victory as much as the legacy of Mayweather.

We can talk about past opponents, punch resistance, Manny's power, constant movement and speed or Mayweather's ability to avoid punches, footwork and timing of his own power to keep opponents away.

We can discuss Manny's fairly open defence and the possibility of him being caught flush a few times or Floyd's possible slowing down and whether he will be able to keep away from an ever advancing Pacman.

But no one knows until the bright lights shine down on the MGM Grand, we can just hope both fighters bring there A-game. I personally am going for a Mayweather points victory but win, lose or draw there is one definite - boxing is back in business.

Who do you think will win this epic match-up? Let us know below!

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Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao

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