Sav's View-Mayweather and Pacquiao vs The Greats Part 1

By Jamie Savin: I have been a boxing fan ever since I was a little kid some of my earliest memories are watching the fab four with my father and the Benn/Eubank fights in the early 90's. I was hooked and got to see so many great fighters in my own generation the two best arguably being Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, we have all being wishing they would fight as it is a true clash of styles the offensive southpaw versus the orthodox defensive genius.

There has been so many theories how this fight would go down but we are not going there we are going to see how Mayweather and Pacquiao would fare against greats from previous generations, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each fighter and giving a reason as to who and why they would win. The first part is all about Floyd Mayweather and the 3 fighters he would be up against are Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Mayweather vs Duran would be such a clash of styles could Mayweather keep his distance and keep boxing for 12 rounds, having watched Sugar Ray Leonard vs Duran at Welterweight it is safe to say it wouldn't be an easy fight for Money Mayweather. Duran was relentless always coming forward with digging body shots and pure aggression, in that fight he really took it to Leonard who looked shocked with Duran winning some rounds on aggression alone. Mayweather is last couple of fights against Marquez and Mosley seems to be using single counter shots a lot more and this would serve him well against Duran. As Duran comes in a couple of quick jabs before a quick get away and repeat, Duran would pinch a few rounds mainly at the start of the fight as Mayweather gets his timing going and after that he pulls away, he has done this against pressure fighters such as Hatton and Castillo before. I could never see Mayweather knocking Duran out as Mayweather would not be fighting on the front foot against Duran but instead use his excellent reflexes and defensive nous to get him out of trouble and land counters. The one question mark though is if Duran was to land like Mosley did in the second round of there fight would Duran let him slip, so I'd see the Pretty Boy being rocked and possibly dropped but going on to win a points decision.

Mayweather vs Hearns, The Hitman was freakishly tall for a Welterweight at 6' 1" and a hell of a reach to go with it 78", at his peak he was a wrecking machine whatever he hit felt it for sure. Hearns would have a massive 6" reach advantage and with his punching power this would have been such a dangerous fight for Mayweather, his defence would have to have been perfect even for him. His fight plan would have to be followed to perfection as well, trying to slip that long jab of Hearns watching out for cutting hooks and landing quick combinations inside like we used to see at lightweight. Having played this fight out over and over in my head I can keep on seeing only two outcomes, Mayweather on points albeit a very close decision or Hearns by knockout in the mid to late rounds. I keep on referring myself to Hearns vs Leonard at Welterweight where Leonard couldn't get past the reach of Hearns often enough and was losing the fight before scoring a TKO in the 14th. The fight was competitive and a hell of a fight at that, Mayweather doesn't have the aggression of a Leonard so my head tells me that Hearns wins by KO, but if Mayweather starts going to to the body early slowing Hearns down so he can time his punches a close points decision would have been possible.

Mayweather vs Leonard, if there was ever a dream match up for the boxing purist this would have to be one of them if not the one. Two slick fighters with fantastic boxing brains, Leonard being the slightly taller and naturally more aggressive of the two would be the betting favourite but it would be a pure chess match of a fight. How would Money Mayweather deal with what is essentially a more aggressive version of himself, would Leonard push the pace with that sublime skill using that extra reach advantage to stay out of trouble. To me this fight would have been what Mosley vs Mayweather should have been if Mayweather fought Mosley in his prime (blame whoever you want for that), slick sharp reflexes with superb punching power and sublime footwork to give a great defensive strategy. Whichever way you look at this fight you can see both men having moments where they are out boxing each other with the fight dependent on who can steal the most rounds. Going back to the Mosley fight, if Leonard got Mayweather in trouble I could see him closing the show in spectacular style, but Mayweather knowing the all round skills of Leonard would have been more careful then ever and be planning pretty much every move he makes in the ring for that fight. This fight might even bring out a more aggressive version of Mayweather like we saw at lightweight knowing that he would have to change his game plan as Leonard's reflexes were as quick if not quicker than his so he couldn't rely just on counter punching but on aggression as that would have been the factor in so many close rounds. In the end I see Leonard just being too much and winning a point decision it would have been close and maybe even a split decision.

That is how I see those 3 fantasy match ups happening Mayweather beats Duran, but loses to Hearns and Leonard. This is what is great about boxing there are so many fights like this and so many takes on them, I have tried to be as neutral as I can and I will be preparing Pacquiao vs the same 3 opponents but in the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts on the article. How do you think these fights would have played out do you see them differently to me, is there something I missed is there another fighter you would like me to compare too. Or is there another rivalry you would like compared to a different generation. Please comment but if you want to contact me my email address is

Article posted on 22.04.2011

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