Pacquiao Watch: Pinpoint power punches

Edwin G. Espejo
Pacquiao Watch: Pinpoint power punches
Who throws and lands more power punches? Mayweather or Pacquiao? Columnist Edwin Espejo takes a look

When he was toiling in the lower weight classes, Manny Pacquiao was knocking down opponents like bowling pins.

Thirty-five of Pacquiao’s 38 KO victories came when he was not yet a welterweight, a respectable 74% stoppage rate.

Since then however, he only stopped 3 of his last 12 opponents – all of them in his first 3 fights as a small welterweight.

His last dozen fights, including the one where he forced Oscar de la Hoya to quit in his stool, pulled down Pacquiao’s career KO rate to 59%.

Pacquiao derives his fearsome reputation as a volume and power puncher – with foot speed to boot – that is seldom seen from a southpaw.

Half of the time, Pacquiao is connecting with the power punches that he uncorks at his opponents.

He lands an average of 20 power punches per round.

It is the kind of volume and power punching accuracy that snaps the will of boxers into mixing it up against the best boxer ever to have emerged from Asia.

Ricky Hatton, who was knocked out cold by Pacquiao inside two rounds, said he did not see the punch that dropped him flat on his face.

De la Hoya once mentioned he saw the punches but was too slow to react.

He badly disfigured Antonio Margarito and turned Miguel Angel Cotto’s face into chopped meat.

Pacquiao’s power punches also come from odd angles and in vicious combinations – usually 3-5 dimes.

This is where he holds the edge over Mayweather who lands power punches at a better rate – 53%.

Mayweather, however, has thrown less power punches in his last 8 fights, relying on his jabs to keep his opponents at bay.

On average, Mayweather lands only 10 power punches per round.

And while Mayweather has never lost a fight, his KO rate is only 55.32%.

Only one of those came in his last 8 fights and it was not exactly a clean one. It came while Victor Ortiz made the mistake of not protecting himself during a referee break.

The undefeated American, however, is one of the game’s hardest men to hit.

Marcos Maidana was about the most successful in landing power punches against Mayweather – 187 power punches in their first fight. That is an average of 15 power punches per round.

Overall, Maidana threw 858 punches in their first fight that went the distance in May 2014.

Between Pacquiao and Maidana, the Filipino boxing idol definitely is the busier fighter.

If Pacquiao can maintain his volume of power punches with the same pinpoint accuracy, he may yet be the first to hand Mayweather a career loss.

Mayweather will obviously try to unsettle and frustrate Pacquiao.

As they say, numbers do not lie. He who lands the most and the hardest will win. Of course it pays if it will not be decided by the judges.

But there are a lot of factors that make a fight. And we have still a long way to go to digest and discover them. –

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