Sidelines:The fight of the century and race for the Triple Crown

By Matt Barrett ‘17 and Mike Keating ‘17

Collaborative Writers

The fight of the century will take place tomorrow night between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Will Pacquiao be the first to spoil Mayweather’s undefeated record? 

M.B: Tomorrow night, two of boxing’s biggest faces will square of in the ring for the first time in their careers. With both contrasting lifestyles and fighting styles, this fight could be the spark that returns boxing’s popularity to what it once was.

This fight is a flip of a coin. With Mayweather being arguably one of the best defensive fighters of all time and Pacquiao being one of the fastest modern day punchers, the match is even.

Each having wins over Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya and Juan Manuel Márquez, their resumes are about equal. Both Mayweather and Pacquiao will be their opponent’s greatest competitor.

One thing that sets Mayweather apart is that he has never lost a fight. At a perfect 47-0 Mayweather appears unbeatable—until now.

Normally, I would agree that defense wins championships, but boxing is as offensive as it is defensive. To win, you have to be aggressive and land punches, and Pacquiao can do just that. Mayweather has never seen an opponent as fast as Pacquiao, so defending his speed will be a challenge.

Another advantage for Pacquiao is that he is the fan favorite. I think this will ultimately fuel him in the later rounds. Pacquiao has the support of an entire country [Philippines] and most of America. With contrasting lives, Mayweather is pretentious and not afraid to show it. Flaunting his expensive cars and lifestyle publicly, the country is praying to see his arrogance be dethroned. Pacquiao, a modest man that represents hope for many after escaping a poverty stricken childhood, will use this public support to his advantage.

Despite his size disadvantage, Pacquiao’s speed will be able to break Mayweather’s guard and ultimately tire him in the later rounds. The fight will end in a unanimous decision with Pacquiao as the victor.

M.K: Amidst the Kentucky Derby, and NBA and NHL playoffs, no event is greater than the one that caps off the night. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will be fighting in a welterweight bout that is already being called the “Fight of the Century” and has the potential to be the greatest fight of all time.

Pacquiao comes into the fight with a record of 57-5-2. Having beat big time boxers like Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya, Pacquiao has definitely built a strong resume over his boxing career. The Filipino congressman is known for his southpaw fighting style. He will certainly throw more punches than Mayweather, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he will land more than him.

Mayweather comes into the bout with an undefeated record. He has also beaten Cotto and De La Hoya, as well as Shane Moseley and Victor Ortiz. Mayweather is known for his defense, however. Opponents usually have trouble landing impact punches on him due to his conservative boxing approach.

I’m picking Floyd Mayweather to win the fight and retain the welterweight title for two reasons. The first is that Mayweather is just simply the better fighter. There’s a reason as to why no one has ever beaten him before. The second is that Mayweather has swag. There’s the saying, “Put your money where your mouth is,” and that’s what Mayweather is doing. He will be wearing a $25,000 mouth guard fill with hundred dollar bills and lined with gold. Floyd “Money” Mayweather will certainly be flashing his worth in the boxing ring on Saturday.

In addition to picking Mayweather to win the fight, I am also going to predict that he will win by K.O. I can see Pacquiao being fatigued in the later rounds and Mayweather capitalizing by delivering a final blow and finishing the fight.

Saturday evening, after an exciting and tiring day of sports, Floyd Mayweather will top everything and knockout Manny Pacquiao.

Overlooked by the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Which horse will win the first leg of the Triple Crown tomorrow?

 M.B: If all that mattered were the name of the horse, than Ocho Ocho Ocho would win by a landslide. But at 50-1 odds, there is a zero percent chance that Ocho Ocho Ocho brings home the victory.

But at 3-1 odds, Dortmund will win the Kentucky Derby tomorrow over favorite American Pharaoh. Dortmund enters the derby having one its last four races. With each of the last four races just over a mile long, Dortmund has showcased its speed and proved to win on short tracks.

Unlike Dortmund, favorite American Pharaoh has not beaten a real derby contender in its past three races. Beating Mr. Z (50-1) and Far Right (30-1), American Pharaoh might struggle against he heightened competition in Louisville. Dortmund has beaten contender Firing Line (12-1) twice this past winter.

And with a Hall of Fame trainer in Bob Baffert, having won three derbies in a five-year span, Dortmund should have an advantage over the other horses. Also, jockey Martin Garcia boasts additional experience, having won the Preakness in 2010.

But what sets Dortmund apart from the rest of the field is his lineage. A descendant of Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion that sought the elusive Triple Crown, Dortmund is programmed to be a winner.

The race will come down to the final straightaway, but I like Dortmund to win at Churchill Downs.

M.K: This year, I see Carpe Diem taking home the crown. Coming into the race as the third favorite with odds of 8-1, Carpe Diem looks to seize the day and win the derby. Interestingly, although the horse itself is a major factor in deciding who will win the race, the jockey riding it is equally as important.

John Velazquez will be riding Carpe Diem this Saturday. In his 14th appearance of his career, Velazquez will try to win his second Kentucky Derby. The 5’6” Puerto Rican is consistently a top three earner amongst jockeys in the world, so he’s always near the top of the leaderboard. This year, though, I feel that he has found a winner in Carpe Diem.

Carpe Diem is a three-year-old colt, with a strong pedigree. The son of Giant’s Causeway and Rebridled Dreams, Carpe Diem was born at Coffee Pot Stables in Kentucky. After being moved to train at Winstar Farm and Stonestreet Stables under Todd Pletcher, the colt has found success. With four wins during its career the horse has definitely been used to the winner’s stage, which is why I believe he’ll thrive in the primetime situation. This Saturday I fully expect Carpe Diem to use it’s clutch gene to win the Kentucky Derby.

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