Years of wondering and fantasizing about a day that would seemingly never come makes way for Saturday’s colossal fight between boxing titans Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s (decade) by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). He is also a three-time The Ring and BWAA “Fighter of the Year,” winning the award in 2006, 2008, and 2009, and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (born Floyd Joy Sinclair, February 24, 1977) is an American professional boxer. He is currently undefeated as a professional and is a five-division world champion, having won ten world titles and the lineal championship in four different weight classes. Mayweather is a two-time Ring magazine Fighter of the Year (winning the award in 1998 and 2007); he also won the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) Fighter of the Year award in 2007 and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
No major sport can separate its two biggest stars in different universes for over a decade. The NFL makes a point to schedule Peyton Manning against Tom Brady. In order for Stephen Curry or James Harden to file a claim as basketball’s best, they’ll eventually have to go through LeBron James first.
Yet boxing’s two premier pound-for-pound fighters operated far away from the other, with their paths only colliding amid speculation and teasing of a match that felt less probable than the Avengers actually showing up in Times Square.
On Saturday night, Mayweather will put his undefeated record on the line against Pacquiao, who has yearned to get a stab at his distant rival. Here’s how the two icons stack up heading into the Las Vegas spectacle.