- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. is getting ready for his welterweight unification fight with Marcos Maidana on Saturday (Showtime PPV, 9 p.m. ET) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but that didn’t stop him from critiquing fighters involved in two recent major fights that were also at the MGM.
Mayweather was impressed by former junior middleweight titlist Canelo Alvarez’s dominant 10th-round knockout of Alfredo Angulo on March 8 but not much by either Manny Pacquiao or Timothy Bradley Jr., who squared off in a rematch April 12.
“Canelo looked unbelievable against Angulo,” said Mayweather, who rolled to a one-sided decision against Alvarez to unify junior middleweight belts in September in the richest fight in boxing history. “I was like, this guy, he’s back. What else can I say? It’s the only thing I can say, that he’s back.”
Mayweather-Pacquiao has loomed as boxing’s biggest potential fight for years, but the future Hall of Famers have never been able to make a deal despite multiple efforts. Both sides deserve their share of blame.
To the surprise of many, Mayweather said he watched Pacquiao-Bradley II, an exciting fight that Pacquiao won by clear unanimous decision to reclaim his welterweight belt and right the wrong by two judges in their first meeting two years ago.
Mayweather typically says he doesn’t watch Pacquiao’s fights. What Mayweather did see did not impress him.
“Yes, actually I did watch the fight. You know, I haven’t seen Pacquiao fight in years. I’ve seen highlights,” Mayweather said. “I haven’t seen Pacquiao since before [he knocked out] Miguel Cotto [in 2009]. I thought that he deserved congratulations. He’s the better man, but as far as Bradley, whoever he’s working out with, they have to make a lot of changes because he’s lifting too many weights. I think he’s more worried about how he looks when he get on the scale instead of how he performs inside that ring.
“I thought that Bradley went out there and fought his heart out, but I think he was pulling a lot of shots like an amateur. I think he was making a lot of mistakes and he was very fatigued early on. I think that he was making a lot of mistakes, falling off balance and fighting like an amateur. I think both fighters fought like amateurs.
“I thought Pacquiao fought like an amateur also, and I wasn’t pleased with his performance, but he got the victory the best way he knows how, but I wasn’t pleased with his performance and I’m seeing something totally different in Pacquiao.”
While Mayweather didn’t say it in so many words, it seemed he was alluding to alleged performance-enhancing drug use that has dogged Pacquiao for a few years, despite a lack of evidence.
“I don’t see the same pop in Pacquiao’s shots. Once again, I’m not saying this guy is doing anything, but I don’t see the same snap in his shots,” Mayweather said. “He’s getting tired when he wasn’t getting tired before. I’m seeing something totally different whereas me, I’m still sharp, I’m still smart, I’m not getting fatigued. I wasn’t getting fatigued from the beginning, and those are the things that I see. I don’t know if you guys see it, but that’s what I see.”