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If "styles make fights" in boxng; Mayweather beats Pacquiao

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,841 times Debate No: 18973
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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First and foremost I want to make it clear that I am a fan of both Floyd and Manny, and have no bias towards either. This is my objective analysis of the match-up based on their fighting styles.

If "styles make fights" one has to ask which boxer has the stylistic advantage over the other? Is Pacman's aggressive flurrying style better suited for Mayweather? Or is Money May's defensive counterpunching style better suited for Pacquiao?

The boxers that gave Pacquiao the most trouble in recent history have been Erik Morales (in their first fight) and Juan Manuel Marquez. Both of them are boxing technicians and counterpunchers like Mayweather (although not as fast or as "slick" as him).

Erik Morales was passed his prime after his epic and physicality exhausting trilogy with Marco Antonio Barrera. He was a 9 to 5 underdog against Pacquiao for their first fight ( Despite this Morales got the upset by out-boxing Manny, and gave him his most recent loss. (watch the first video for the highlights of that fight)
*Manny would later beat Morales twice when Morales was further passed his prime. The point is to consider the fact that the last fighter to beat Manny was a technically sound counterpuncher*

In the first fight Juan Manuel Marquez had with Pacquiao, he was knockdown three times in first round and suffered a broken nose. Yet he would go on to out-box Pacquiao in almost all of the following rounds. The fight ended in a controversial draw.
In their second fight, Marquez's counterpunching style would yet again cause Manny difficulty, and he was getting out-boxed for much of that fight too. It was a knockdown of Marquez in the third round that played a significant role in Pacquiao winning a controversial split decision. Many prominent boxing experts, including Dan Rafael, Max Kellerman, Kieran Mulvaney, and Brian Kenny, believed Marquez had won the fight (

The second and third videos are a thorough analysis by SaiBoxTV of why Marquez's style causes Manny so much trouble, and how Pacquiao's tactics might not have changed since then.

If boxing technicians and counterpunchers like Morales and Marquez have given Pacquiao such trouble, wouldn't Mayweather, currently the world's greatest boxing technician and defence specialist, be a serious challenge for Manny? Doesn't Manny need to modify his style or strategy in order to beat Floyd?

Mayweather on the other hand seems to be at his best when fighting aggressive boxers who come at him or try to stand toe-to-toe with him (watch the forth video for examples). His style is tailor-made for defending and countering against aggressors. Which means Floyd doesn't have to adjust his defensive style in order to deal with Manny's aggressive style. This is why I believe Mayweather has a stylistic advantage on Pacquiao.

If "styles make fights" Mayweather should win.


I look forward to a good debate.

Before I begin, pay close attention to the resolution. I do not have to prove that Pacquiao beats Mayweather to win this debate. The wording of the resolution says that "If styles makes fights". Mayweather beating pacquiao is based on this statement, if I adequately show the idea that style makes fights is incorrect, the entire affirmative is proven wrong.

Style doesn't make fights, skill makes fights, my opponent misses the forest for the trees. Style is simply a way to say a player is skilled.

There are no true "styles". Each fighter is skilled to different degrees in every trait necessary to win at boxing, what my opponent calls styles are really just talking about a facet of a players skill, a part of their aggregate way of fighting. Fighters must incorporate all of their skills to win fights, saying "styles make fights" would be like saying one candy makes for a candy jar.

It is the mixing of all skills that decide fights, or, what my opponent calls "making fights", not singular areas of skill he calls styles.

The more skilled fighter is the one that will win out. A fighters aggregate skill is what decides a fight, not a singular "style" of how they fight. Effectively, style does not make fights.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your challenge.

I would like point out that the subject of this debate is the Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup. You may attempt to undercut the notion that "styles make fights" but you must do so with respect to this matchup. I would like to keep this debate relevant to a hypothetical Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. If styles don't make fights then explain why that premise is wrong in this particular case, not just in general. Also try to use evidence to support your argument.

I didn't coin the phrase "styles make fights" myself, the term is an old saying in boxing and it's true. You say there is no such thing as different boxing "styles", only boxing "skills". According to you all boxers have the share the same technique and strategy but differ in their skill sets. You could not possibly be more wrong.

Some boxers are more aggressive, while others are more defensive. Some boxers try to beat their opponents to the punch, while others let their opponents throw first and try to counter. Some boxers try to get inside on their opponents, while others try to keep distance between them and their opponents. Some boxers tend to be flat-footed and stationary, while others are moving targets.

These are not boxing attributes like speed, power, stamina, or chin. They are completely different approaches to boxing.

In the first video, a developer of the boxing video game Fight Night Round 4 gives an overview of the different boxing styles that exist and references real boxers as examples of each style. Here's an article about the different styles as well:

There is also differences in boxing technique, including different stances, guards, offensive tactics, and defensive maneuvers:

Boxing styles do exist. To argue the contrary would be absurd.

The notion that the more skilled fighter always wins the fight isn't always true. Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in the first round of both their fights. Patterson had better boxing skills than Liston.
A more recent example: Vernon Forrest out-boxed Shane Mosley twice during Shane's prime, then in his next fight got knocked out in the third round by Nicaraguan brawler Ricardo Mayorga who had amateurish boxing skill (read the story here: You can see the fight for yourself, it's the second video. Listen carefully to the commentary.

In those instances the style matchup had a greater influence on the fight than the difference in skill.

"Styles make fights" because each style has its strengths and weaknesses. Mayweather's style is a greater challenge for Pacquiao than visa versa. Therefore, Mayweather should win.


letusdebate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I am very disappointed by how this debate turned out.

I was trying to give my opponent the benefit of the doubt but now it is indisputable what he or she was trying to do. If you read my opponent's argument in Round 1, it is clear that they are trying to deconstruct the language of my resolution as opposed to the substance. My opponent has showed no desire to debate boxing but instead wanted to challenge my use of the word "style".

"Style" is often defined as the strategic approach a fighter takes during a bout." (source:

"While all boxers utilize different moves and punches to some extent, the specific way they fight is called their style." (source:

"There is a commonly accepted theory about the success each of these boxing styles has against the others. The general rule is similar to the game Rock, Paper, Scissors - each boxing style has advantages over one, but disadvantages against the other. A famous clich´┐Ż amongst boxing fans and writers is "styles make fights"." (source:

Whether or not this is the proper use of the word "style" is irrelevant. That is what the word means in boxing lingo. I dare say even the most casual boxing fan would have known that. This mistake leads me to believe (and I hate to say this) that my opponent may know little if anything about boxing, and perhaps should not have challenged me.

Please vote for Pro.

For those who are interested, I'd like to continue on why I think Mayweather would beat Pacquiao:

Pacqiao seems to be vulnerable to straight right hands. The first video is a compilation of Juan Manuel Marquez hitting Pacquiao with several straight right hands in both of their fights. Many of Pacquiao's recent opponents have lacked a good straight right hand. Oscar De La Hoya and Miguel Cotto are left-handed fighters who box in the orthodox stance, which means their straight right is not their dominant hand. Ricky Hatton and Antonio Margarito are both pressure in-fighters who mostly use hooks and uppercuts and rarely if ever throw straight rights. Joshua Clottey and Shane Mosley do have good striaght rights, but both of them were too defensive in their fights with Pacquiao to throw them. Mayweather has a excellent straight right hand which he loves throwing (see the second video). Mayweather can step-back and counter Pacquiao all night with straight right hands, like Marquez did, and win the fight.


letusdebate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by YoungContrarian 6 years ago
Why is no one voting on this debate? :(

...Anyways, Manny Pacquiao's third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez further validates my argument. I'm not alone in my analysis, here is article by Kevin Iole for Yahoo Sports - "Style favors Mayweather in potential superfight":

"He has a hard style," Pacquiao said of Marquez. "That's very difficult."

"Counter punchers give us problems," Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said, shrugging his shoulders. "We need to get to work on how to deal with counter punchers better." [...]
"[Marquez] understands how to fight Manny," he said. "He's strictly a counterpuncher, but he's very good at it. And that's what Mayweather does, of course. That is something we need to work on." point exactly. Styles make fights. Mayweather beats Pacquiao.
Posted by waylon.fairbanks 6 years ago
I totally agree. I think Pretty Boy Floyd is too powerful for Pacquiao. Mayweather's biggest problems come from boxers similar to himself. In the Ortiz fight, for example, I thought the actual fighting was much more evenly matched than was let on. Ortiz got Mayweather on the ropes a couple times, and if the fight would have gone further than round 4, it may have gotten very interesting.

This whole notion of Mayweather fearing Pacquiao is probably cooked up by people who want another reason to hate Mayweather. Too bad I cannot debate you. Sounds fun
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