#MayPac Predictions from ESPNers
With one day remaining until the biggest fight of a generation, ESPN on-air personalities offered their fight predictions for tomorrow’s welterweight unification title matchup between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Of the 30 picks, 20 selected Mayweather to win, while six picked Pacquiao to win. Four were undecided or felt the fight would end in a draw.
Reminder: ESPN’s week-long coverage from Las Vegas continues tonight with live coverage of the weigh-in on a SportsCenter Special(5 p.m. ET, ESPN2). SportsCenter will have live coverage throughout the day tomorrow leading up to a SportsCenterRed Carpet Special (8 p.m., ESPN). Following the fight, a SportsCenterSpecial will provide fans with analysis, interviews and post-fight reactions (approx. 12 a.m. ESPN).
Paul Azinger, ESPN golf analyst:
Mayweather goes the distance to win.
Max Bretos, ESPN studio anchor:
Mayweather by unanimous decision.Based on everything I have seen and heard, Mayweather has never been more focused for a fight. After losing to Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, Pac Man has won his last three fights. None of those opponents are anywhere near the quality of “Money.”
Chris Broussard, ESPN NBA Insider:
Mayweather by unanimous decision.
Jonathan Coachman, ESPN Radio host/studio anchor:
There is a reason Floyd Mayweather is undefeated despite all of the out of the ring troubles. My heart is very different than my head here. I believe this fight will go the distance and Mayweather will win a unanimous decision. Floyd just doesn’t knock people out.
Kevin Connors, ESPN anchor:
My heart says Pacquiao – my head says Mayweather. Floyd wins a unanimous decision, as usual, in a fight that fails to live up to the hype. Sorry to be a Grinch, but they’re about five years too late.
Colin Cowherd, ESPN Radio host:
Styles create fights and I think these fighters come together and I fear it could be a pretty pedestrian fight with Mayweather taking the decision.
Robert Flores, SportsCenter co-host:
Mayweather by split decision. Neither one of these fighters have knocked anyone out recently. Mayweather would prefer to use defense and just enough offense to get things done. Pacquiao is fast, and will hit Floyd occasionally, but it won’t be enough to get a decision, much less a knockout.
Brad Gilbert, ESPN Tennis analyst:
Money Mayweather will win easy. Might even be a knockout or like 10-2 in rounds by decision.
Todd Grisham, ESPN Friday Night Fights studio host/anchor:
Anyone expecting an exciting, toe-to-toe thriller on Saturday night is delusional. Yes, Pacquiao can certainly deliver that type of fight but Mayweather has never, and will never. Look back at his 47 wins. They mostly look the same. He pretty much just picks his spots, employs incredible defense and wins on points in less than spine-tingling performance. Same thing happens here. Mayweather by decision.
Chris Hassel, ESPN studio anchor:
Mayweather. Final round KO. With Pacquiao pounding on Mayweather, Justin Bieber distracts the ref when he breaks out into song from his ringside seat while 50 Cent enters the ring and hits Pacquiao, from behind, with a folding chair.
Darren Haynes, ESPN studio anchor:
Mayweather by unanimous decision. Floyd Mayweather is known for his defense. There’s an old saying “Defense Wins Championships” for Floyd Mayweather, his defense is going to win him…A BOAT LOAD OF MONEY!
Doug Kezirian, ESPN studio anchor:
Mayweather by decision. Pacquiao is easier to root for, but he is several years past even having a puncher’s chance in a fight I expect Mayweather to dominate.
Bob Ley, Outside the Lines host, SportsCenter anchor:
Domestic violence consciousness. Unanimous decision.
Juan Manuel Marquez, ESPN Deportes boxing analyst:
My prediction is that Mayweather will win the fight on points.
Patrick McEnroe, ESPN tennis commentator:
Floyd. Unanimous decision.
Bernardo Osuna, ESPN boxing reporter/ESPN Deportes commentator:
My feeling is that this is the fight that Manny Pacquiao can win based on his punching power, hand speed and footwork. The thing is, he’s facing the smartest fighter of his generation who in 47 fights, has proven that he can make in fight adjustments that neutralize his opponents’ strengths. I expect some rocky moments early for Floyd, but anticipate a split decision win for a 48-0 record.
Dr. Jerry Punch, ESPN play-by-play announcer/reporter:
Mayweather in four by KO.
Dan Rafael, ESPN.com senior boxing writer/analyst:
Mayweather wins in 12.
Jorge Eduardo Sánchez, ESPN Deportes commentator:
In my opinion, Floyd Mayweather wins on points.
Marcellus Wiley, SportsNation co-Host, ESPN Radio co-host:
Mayweather wins this fight in an exciting and dominating display of size, savvy, and IQ!
Teddy Atlas, ESPN boxing analyst:
Pacquiao by controversial decision.
Allen Bestwick, ESPN play-by-play announcer:
Pacquiao goes the distance, by decision.
John Buccigross, SportsCenter anchor:
Pacquiao. First round. Because it’s my dream and I’ll dream what I want to.
Brian Campbell,ESPN.com boxing writer/analyst:
Pacquiao by split decision.
Dari Nowkhah, SEC Network host:
Pacquiao in a decision. If I were able to choose an outcome, I would choose Manny in a KO 15 seconds into the fight, but I will settle for this.
Reese Waters, SportsCenter fan correspondent:
Pacquiao KO win in the 10th round. Because all the world’s a boxing ring and we are merely betters.
Undecided or Draw:
John Anderson, SportsCenter anchor:
My prediction for the fight – pain. Stolen directly from Clubber Lange (Mr. T) in Rocky III. As for the actually fight…I am one of the few disinterested.
Nigel Collins, ESPN.com boxing and ESPN Friday Night Fights contributor:
I’ve never bought into the opinion that Mayweather would easily outbox Pacquiao. I thought it was a 50-50 fight when the match was first talked about years ago and I still think it’s a 50-50 fight today. If, however, Pacquiao is as aggressive as Marcos Maidana was in his first fight with Mayweather, I can see Manny prevailing a competitive contest. He’s much faster than Maidana and significantly more accurate with his punches, which would allow him to outwork Floyd and win a close decision.
Darren Rovell, ESPN sports business reporter:
My prediction? Three million pay-per-view buys: Even though it’s at a record breaking price of $99.95, $20 more than the previous high, this is a fight that people just have to see. They’ll get to this number despite bars and illegal streams. This will double the previous pay-per-view revenue record of $150 million (Mayweather-Canelo, 2013).
Joe Tessitore, ESPN Friday Night Fights blow-by-blow commentator, in Las Vegas anchoring coverage for SportsCenter:
I am predicting a “majority draw.” If Manny fights his best fight I think this will be a very difficult fight for the judges to score. I can see some judges giving rounds to Manny based on being more the aggressor and his volume of punches against Floyd. Then others will favor Floyd’s effective counter punching and controlled moments. I predict scores of — 115-113 Mayweather, 114-114, 114-114.
Header photo by Adrian Garcia Solis