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> The Numbers Don't Lie, Examining Pacquiao's Meteoric Rise
MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 04:40 PM
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Manny Pacquiao transcends the sport of boxing. He’s the boxing world’s biggest star, an international phenomenon, the likes of which have not been seen since the days of Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.

There are those however, who would question the way this rise to stardom happened; that there may be something sinister lurking in history’s forgotten cellars. Where does the threshold between the possibilities of human endeavor and superhuman abilities really lie? Those who claim that Manny Pacquiao has had help of the wrong kind as he has risen through the boxing ranks are generally vilified and called intolerable naysayers and conspiracy theorists.

I for years have remained impartial in this debate.

For the first time, I will attempt to mathematically and logically discern clues as to where the truth may really lie.

I’ve decided to take a look at Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather’s rise through weight classes over the years, specifically focusing on super-featherweight and above. I have used boxrec.com’s records of their weigh-in weights for fights taking place at these weights over the years.


This post has been edited by MaxPayne: Nov 4 2011, 04:49 PM
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MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 04:41 PM
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Let’s begin with Pacquiao.

On March 15th, 2008, Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez, weighing in at 130 lbs. This was their second fight and ended in a majority decision victory for Pacquiao.

3 months later, on June 28th, 2008, Pacquiao fought David Diaz, weighing in at 134.5 lbs. Pacquiao stopped Diaz in 9 rounds.

The only time Diaz had been stopped or even beaten before this, was in 2005 against Kendall Holt, a fight which occurred at 140 lbs. For the next 3 years, he would fight at lightweight, winning all of his matches.

Taking a step back, this is an instance of a man (Diaz), who had fought exclusively at lightweight and light-welterweight, being stopped by a man (Pacquiao), who had never weighed in above 130 lbs. in his career before then, and who had gained that weight in a period of 3 months.

Less than 6 months later, on December 12th, 2008, Pacquiao fought Oscar De La Hoya, weighing in at 142 lbs. De La Hoya was stopped in 8 rounds.

Let’s recap 2008 for Manny Pacquiao: he went from fighting at 130 lbs. in March 2008 to fighting at 142 lbs. by December 2008. In effect, he jumped nearly 3 weight classes in less than 9 months and along the way, stopped 2 naturally bigger men who had been fighting at those weights or higher for years. He was 29-30 years old at the time.

From 2009 onwards, Pacquiao fought at between 138 lbs. and 145.75 lbs , continuing on his journey and emphatically stopping larger men (Hatton, Cotto), or brutalizing them over 12 rounds (Margarito). The only ones to come out unscathed (Clottey, Mosley) had done so by refusing to engage him for large parts of their contests.



This post has been edited by MaxPayne: Nov 4 2011, 04:50 PM
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MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 04:43 PM
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Now, let’s switch to Floyd Mayweather.

On November 10th, 2001, Mayweather fought Jesus Chavez, weighing in at 129.5 lbs. Chavez was stopped in 9 rounds.

On April 20th, 2002, Mayweather fought Jose Luis Castillo, weighing in at 134.5 lbs. Mayweather won a decision.

From April 2002 to November 2003, Mayweather fought a total of 4 bouts at 135 lbs. and achieved 3 decisions and one stoppage, a KO against Philip N’dou.

6 months later, on May 22nd, 2004, Mayweather fought DeMarcus Corley at 140 lbs. and won a decision.

From May 2004 to June 2005, Mayweather would fight a total of 3 bouts at 140 lbs, achieving 2 stoppages and one decision.

On November 19th, 2005, Mayweather fought Sharmba Mitchell, weighing in at 147 lbs, stopping him in 6 rounds.

To recap: Floyd Mayweather went from fighting at 130 lbs to 147 lbs, 3 weight classes, over the course of 4 years, from November 2001 to November 2005. In this time, he fought 8 bouts and achieved 4 stoppages. He went from age 24 to age 28 during this time.

Manny Pacquiao achieved the same feat in 9 months
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MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 04:45 PM
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Naturally, one must look beyond weight gain and delve deeper. Let’s analyze the stoppages that both men have attained on either side of fighting at super featherweight (Note: I’ve counted KO’s, TKO’s and RTD’s, as boxrec.com has classified them). The idea here is to get a sense of the general stopping power/propensity of both men.

At Super Feathweight and below, Manny Pacquiao fought 51 total bouts. He stopped 36 of his opponents, which represents a 71% stoppage rate.

At Super Featherweight and below, Floyd Mayweather fought 27 total bouts. He stopped 20 of his opponents, which represents a 74% stoppage rate.

At or below Super Featherweight Mayweather’s stoppage % is actually slightly higher than that of Manny Pacquiao.

What is fascinating is that Floyd Mayweather has rarely been a volume puncher, even at lower weights, preferring to methodically break his opponents down. Fighting a more conservative style than Pacquiao, against opponents who some would argue have better overall defensive skills, Floyd Mayweather was still able to exhibit a greater stoppage rate than Manny Pacquiao.

To delve one level deeper, of those stoppages, let us analyze the number of rounds taken to stop the opponents for each fighter.

It took Manny Pacquiao an average of 4.1 rounds to stop an opponent, at or below Super Featherweight.

It took Floyd Mayweather an average of 5 rounds to stop an opponent, at or below Super Featherweight.

These numbers favor Pacquiao, and from a statistical viewpoint, one can conclude that both men exhibit a very similar stopping power at weights at or below Super Featherweight.
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MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 04:47 PM
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Now, let us turn our attention to the post Super Featherweight careers of both men.

To date, Manny Pacquiao has fought 7 bouts above the 130 lbs. In these bouts, he has achieved 4 stoppages (Diaz, De La Hoya, Hatton and Cotto), for a stoppage rate of 57%.

One could argue that the Antonio Margarito unanimous decision victory should also be added to this list, given the grievous facial injuries that Margarito suffered. However, for the purposes of consistency, we shall not include this instance in the analysis.

To date, Floyd Mayweather has fought 15 times above 130 lbs. In these bouts, he has achieved 6 stoppages (N’dou, Bruseles, Gatti, Mitchell, Hatton and Ortiz), for a stoppage rate of 40%.

For bouts above Super Featherweight, Manny Pacquiao has shown significantly higher stopping power than Floyd Mayweather. The spread between the percentages is 17%.

Furthermore, if one were to factor in Margarito (majority agree that the fight could easily have been stopped in the 10th or 11th round) and Ortiz (Mayweather knocked him out when he was seemingly distracted), the spread increases to a 33% difference in stoppage % at higher weight classes between Pacquiao and Mayweather, in the former’s favor.

Hatton, who Mayweather broke down and knocked out in 10 rounds, was viciously knocked out in 2 rounds by Pacquiao.

De La Hoya, who Mayweather was not even able to hurt, was destroyed in 8 rounds by Pacquiao (weight drain on De La Hoya’s end was also a factor here).

Mosley, who Mayweather similarly was never able to hurt, was on the run from Pacquiao for the entirety of the fight, and even dropped in the early rounds.
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MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 04:48 PM
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In conclusion, 3 key points:

Manny Pacquiao jumped 3 weight classes in 9 months, a total gain that took Floyd Mayweather 4 years.

Following the path from Super Featherweight to Light Middleweight, Manny Pacquiao has seen little drop off in his overall stopping power (factoring in the Margarito instance). Floyd Mayweather has seen a significant drop in stopping power of more than 30% when fighting above Super Featherweight. Consider once again that in the lower weights, we have shown that the men exhibited almost equal power.

Examining bouts with common opponents, Pacquiao emphatically stopped or dominated opponents who Floyd laboriously broke down or did not hurt during his bouts with them.

In the movie “New Jack City”, Nino Brown famously states, “Money talks, bullshit runs a marathon.”

The masses pour adulation upon a man who transcends a sport, but beyond the beams of light emanating from the living legend’s meteoric rise, there may be patches of darkness that only the discerning eye can perceive.

What Nino Brown meant to say, is that the numbers never lie.

(All data has been sourced from www.boxrec.com.)
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caneman
post Nov 4 2011, 04:55 PM
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LOLZ! When he fought JMM the night of the fight he was 139 and Diaz he was 142 and now is normally under 147. But you win, Pacman is snoring and shooting roids! And smoking them the 2nd Saturday of every month! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)

This post has been edited by caneman: Nov 4 2011, 05:49 PM
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sduck
post Nov 4 2011, 05:45 PM
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How significant would things change if you include their weights on fight night?
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MaxPayne
post Nov 4 2011, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (sduck @ Nov 4 2011, 06:45 PM) *
How significant would things change if you include their weights on fight night?


I thought about that for some time. However, what I really wanted to look into, was the amount of muscle mass that Pacquiao and Mayweather put on over the years as they moved up. Comparisons of weigh-in weight are reflective of how much sheer muscle mass is carried on a frame.

In Pacquiao's case, one can conclude that the 9 month jump to 12 lbs of effective muscle mass in weight is fascinating.
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HazConvictedFelo...
post Nov 4 2011, 06:08 PM
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Very informative. Certain people would call this a biased thread, but it's cool. You can't please all, at all times. It's very informative none the less. It's good research for those who aren't in the know.
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