LAS VEGAS, United States – Most sports analysts don’t see a knockout happening in the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao on May 2 – but ESPN’s Stephen Smith does.
And he says it will be Mayweather knocking out Pacquiao in the 11th round.
On Friday, May 1, Smith told Rappler he thinks Pacquiao will be dropped by his undefeated opponent.
“Mayweather, TKO, 11th round,” he said, when asked who he is picking to win the fight.
Smith’s ESPN interview with Pacquiao has gone viral in the Philippines, wherein Pacquiao tells Smith he thinks Mayweather was afraid of losing, which is why the mega fight has taken over 5 years in the making.
In the video, Smith reacts to Pacquiao’s statement with exaggerated shock and surprise. He reacts similarly to Pacquiao’s other opinions on Mayweather. In the end, he tells Pacquiao, "I hope you know Floyd is watching this.” Pacquiao only responds with laughter.
Smith did acknowledge Pacquiao’s superstar status however, marveling at the turnout at the weigh-in alone, which filled the rafters at the MGM Grand Garden Arena a day before fight night.
“It’s spectacular. Obviously everyone is hyped about it, the capacity is over 10,000 spectators, they understand what’s at stake. This is the biggest fight in the last quarter century,” he said.
“Manny Pacquiao is sensational, we all know that, he’s big time but so is Floyd Money Mayweather. And because we’ve waited so long for this, and everyone’s been starving for this, we understand what this is about. This is a legacy-defining fight. No matter what anybody else accomplishes in their career this is the fight that they’ll remember.”