Fight of the Century?

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Finally Pacquiao is facing Mayweather. The 10 time champion vs. the unbeaten beast. It is going to be one of the biggest boxing events in history and certainly the biggest in terms of revenue collected. After around five years of dilly-dallying and problems with Olympic-style drug testing (which Pacquiao has been against), the two have agreed to face-off in May in Las Vegas. So what’s the hue and cry all about and is the fight really worth it?

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Maybe not. Five years back, when both Mayweather and Pacquiao were a lot quicker, this could have been one hell of a match. Today, it stands as possibly just a mellowed down version with both the boxers well past their prime. Mayweather may still not have lost a match but seeing his opponents as of late, last night before going to sleep, he somehow does not exude that kind of an aura anymore. As for the match itself, I believe Mayweather would probably go one up, purely because of their boxing techniques. Pacquiao likes to make side-to-side movements to create space and time for his subsequent offence which could be his biggest weakness with Mayweather whose straight punches are devastating. A flurry of those trademark punches and Pacquiao could be out. However, one cannot sign off this match purely because of Pacquiao’s resilience and credentials. Let’s look forward to a great one!

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Floyd Mayweather (Right)

However, the match I would actually like to see is the one between newly crowned WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and the heavyweight supremo Wladimir Klitchsko. For those of you who may not know about the pugilists’ titles, there are quite a few. So, we have the WBC title, which Wilder won from the Haitan-born boxer Stiverne earlier in the year. And then we have the WBO, IBF, IBO, lineal, The Ring and Transnational Boxing Rankings Board World Heavyweight championships, all of which are with Wladimir Klitschko.  Klitschko is the longest reigning IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO heavyweight champion in history with the most title defenses for the IBF, WBO & IBO titles. Overall, he is the second longest reigning Heavyweight Champion of all time with the second most successful career grand total title defenses with 22 (including his “super” title recognition).

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Deontay Wilder 

So, why do I think that Wilder could possibly defeat this giant who has reigned supreme over most of boxing for quite a few years now? Well, the Bronze Bomber (as Wilder is known, since he won a bronze in the Olympics in 2008) is a KO-freak. Basically, he has won 32 of his 33 wins by knocking out his opponents. For one, Wilder’s impressive punching power and long reach could cause problems for Klitschko. However, Wilder’s win over Stiverne showed that he can do much more than land a flurry of punches and knock his opponent out. He actually boxed his way to the WBC title, with a result of 120-107, 119-108 and 119-108. But Stiverne was not a proven champion, and it would be premature to think that Wilder’s WBC title win answers all the questions surrounding him.

For one, boxers are often applauded for their record’s raw numbers and not the level of opposition it’s made up of. Stiverne, for one, was not knocked out by Wilder. Some say that Wilder injured his right hand sometime in the fourth or fifth round but that still does not answer the question as to why he did not use his punches on Stiverne more often and with an appreciable fraction of the intensity the celebrated Wilder KO punches are supposed to have. Also, Wilder has a distinct aversion to go for the body of his opponent with his attack, as seen in the Wilder-Stiverne fight. As of today, Klitschko would probably outbox and maybe even knock out Wilder but given the right amount of exposure (with more well-known and established boxers than Stiverne) and experience, Wilder’s ferocity and trademark punches could get the better of Klitschko’s jabs and the weak chin. We may finally see the unification of the heavyweight titles and the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox in the early 2000s (it well may be that Klitschko gets it). And that could happen as early as 2016!

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