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Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao: Who would win? [Poll]

September 19, 2011 |  7:00 am

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao: It's the fight everybody wants, but who knows if the planets will ever align just right and we will actually get to see it?

If the main event to end all main events ever happens, who would win, Pacquiao or Mayweather?

Writers from around Tribune Co. will discuss the topic. Check back throughout the day for their opinions.

And we want your opinion too -- weigh in by voting in the poll and leaving a comment.

[Updated at 9:57 a.m.:

Shawn Courchesne, Hartford Courant

There’s a reason Floyd Mayweather Jr. won’t budge in his desire to attach unusual blood testing requirements for performance-enhancing drugs to a fight vs. Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather knows this is the fight everyone wants. But Mayweather also knows this is the fight that could tarnish his legacy. So he demands unusual restrictions in testing, uncommon across the board in boxing, to make sure he has a built-in excuse for why the fight everybody wants won’t happen.

At this stage in his career, at 35, Mayweather is more concerned with taking an undefeated record into the Boxing Hall of Fame than satisfying the desires of fans who want to see two of the best in the world step into the ring.

Mayweather knows the odds are likely that Pacquiao, 33, will destroy him, and then what? It wouldn’t be like losing at 26 and never getting the chance to let that bruise on the record heal. It would be the one that would stick forever.

No, it will never happen. And one wonders why boxing dies a slow death while the fan base for big-time mixed martial arts events grows exponentially by the year. Here’s one good reason: The best fights should happen and fighters shouldn’t be involved in deciding if they happen or not.]

[Updated at 1:15 p.m.:

Stephen Gross, Allentown Morning Call

Floyd Mayweather Jr. grabbed the WBC welterweight title last weekend, but if he agrees to a match with Manny Pacquiao, his unblemished record would be no more.

Despite Mayweather's 42-0 record, Pacquiao, as fellow boxer James Toney has said, looks to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game. It doesn't matter if opponents have a size advantage. Just ask Antonio Margarito, who was 4 inches taller and nearly 20 pounds heavier than Pacquiao when "Pacman" whipped him last year.

Another telling factor is how Mayweather and Pacquiao fared against Ricky Hatton. Pacquiao knocked out Hatton in two rounds, while Mayweather needed 10 for the KO.

It would be a war, but Pacquiao, the only eight-division titleholder in boxing history, would take "Pretty Boy" 12 rounds and earn a split decision. 

Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times

We saw Saturday that Floyd Mayweather remains incredibly skilled in the face of southpaw power -- in what could be a final warm-up before Pacquiao. Against Victor Ortiz, Mayweather merely hid his face behind his left shoulder and continually penetrated Ortiz's defense, dominating the first three rounds by scoring and backing from Ortiz's offensive efforts.

Mayweather's vast amount of institutional knowledge about the ring then won him the fight, as he probably stepped over the line of good sportsmanship but stood right on the boundary of what the rules allow in producing the fourth-round KO.

But Pacquiao is a different animal -- a faster, stalking, more disciplined fighter who would be better positioned to both out-point Mayweather or knock him out.

Pacquiao is younger, he's fought more frequently and he's directed by a wiser trainer, Freddie Roach. Pacquiao's gifts should propel him to an easy victory over Juan Manuel Marquez Nov. 12. The world has seen enough of alternative opponents. Now these two need to get in the ring and settle the argument once and for all.]


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Photos: Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao. Credits: Isaac Brekken / Associated Press; Julie Jacobson / Associated Press