The May 2 meeting between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will be their first fight against each other, but boxing’s top two stars have faced the best the sport has to offer. Totaling 111 fights in multiple weight classes, Mayweather and Pacquiao have fought a few common opponents.
It’s not easy to compare the performances of Mayweather and Pacquiao against common opponents, considering they happened at different stages of their careers. Mayweather beat Oscar De La Hoya in a split decision, and while Pacquiao recorded a TKO over De La Hoya, it was the last fight in the career of an aging fighter. Both men also beat Shane Mosley, but during the downside of his career, as a loss to Mayweather started a string of six fights that saw Mosley win just once.
Below is a look at how Mayweather and Pacquiao fared against three common opponents, whom they met near the height of their careers.
Mayweather easily handled Hatton, coasting through the fight until it was stopped with 1:35 left in the 10th round. Before the bout was ended, Mayweather landed 129 punches to Hatton’s 63. His 100 power punches were nearly twice that of Hatton’s and it was a left hook that ultimately ended Hatton’s night for good.
A year and a half after Hatton lost to Mayweather in 2007, he couldn’t even get out of the second round against Pacquiao. The fight ended just one second away from the end of the second round, as a left-handed punch sent Hatton to the canvas for a few minutes. For many, the victory made it clear that Pacquiao was the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, even ahead of Mayweather.
Mayweather topped Cotto in May 2012 for the light middleweight championship, via unanimous decision. Cotto challenged Mayweather more so than most of his opponents, leaving the undefeated boxer bloodied at the end of the 12th round. But Mayweather was clearly the better fighter, landing 175 total punches to Cotto’s 105 punches.
Just a few months after knocking out Hatton, Pacquiao ended his fight with Cotto prematurely. He knocked down Cotto twice, and the bout was stopped 55 seconds into the final round. No judge scored more than two rounds for Cotto, and Pacquiao’s 336 punches were nearly twice as many as his opponent landed.
Juan Manuel Marquez
In his return from a 21-month hiatus in 2009, Mayweather was dominant against the smaller Marquez. Weighing in at four pounds heavier than his opponent and having to pay a hefty fine for missing the 144-pound weight limit, Mayweather bested Marquez in every round.
Pacquiao and Marquez have one of boxing’s best rivalries in recent memory. Marquez got the better of Pacquiao in their most recent bout, but Pacquiao has a 2-1-1 advantage in their four meetings. Following a draw and a split decision victory for Pacquiao in their second meeting, PacMan won a controversial majority decision in November 2011.