Pacquiao-Mayweather: Comparing Their Rise Through the Weight Classes

Well, another Pacquaio fight is almost upon us — he’ll be taking on Shane Mosely a week from tonight. I’ve been lying low lately but now that the fight is almost here, I’m excited to have a chance to think and write about Manny Pacquiao again. For starters –before getting to Pacquiao-Mosley I want to talk about something that I’ve been troubled by for a long time — that being the Mayweather clan’s allegations that Manny’s rise through the weight classes is, ipso facto, evidence that he’s used steroids. As my pops used to say, “horsefeathers!”. As the chart below shows, if this is evidence of steroid use, then Mayweather and Pacquiao are pretty much twins in the steroid suspicion sweepstakes.

The info that went into the charts came from a nice bit of analysis done by Jake Eman at ProBoxing, and I think him for doing to research to come up with the numbers. All I’ve done is put everything onto a graph so that you can see Manny’s history superimposed over Mayweather’s. I love what it shows. (Click on it to enlarge and see full-sized version of the chart).

The reason Mayweather gets away with making claims about Manny is generally that he started his own professional career at 130 lbs — but then he was 19, going to 20, when he did that. He fought at 108 when he was 16, just like Pacquiao did — only Mayweather was an amateur at 16 while Pacquiao was already a pro.

It’s interesting to also consider what’s happened to Manny at the highest weight classes in terms of his punching power. The last time he landed a devastating knockout was at 140 against Ricky Hatton. At 147 against De La Hoya he was devastating but didn’t even knock ODH down — he just cut him to shreds with jabs up the middle until Oscar said “no mas” and quit on his stool. Then it was Cotto — a great fight, but a 12th round TKO that came about as the result of the accumulation of Manny’s punches. Then the Clottey Turtle Show which didn’t prove anything but definitely didn’t result in a knockout, and finally Margarito. All of that is consistent with Manny being a natural 140 pounder, and fighting one to two classes above it he’s not a devastating power puncher but rather has to wear down the opponent. What will it be with Mosley?

Anyway — this is just a warmup piece. Fight week is here … can’t wait. More to come……

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