Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trend shows Pacquiao's punch stats on the decline

Here's a compilation (Table 1) of Pacquiao punch statistics from the last Morales fight up to Bradley II. The stats are culled from and I also compiled the punch stats of his opponents (Table 2). From the two tables, we get the average jabs and power punches thrown per round (Table 3).

Table 3 is then plotted on a line chart to give us Figure 1. The adage that styles make fights might explain the up and down fluctuations in the chart. We fit a trend line over the points. Excel does fitting a polynomial trend line well. From the trend lines, we see that Pacquiao clearly peaked in 2008-2009 when he fought dela Hoya-Hatton-Cotto. While Pacquiao won over Clottey, that fight was the start of his decline.

We also produced a trend line of Pacquiao's punches that landed (Figure 2). This chart shows an even faster decline. We plotted his accuracy too (Figure 3) . And we get a slight declining trend as well.

Finally, Table 4 shows the occasions and areas where he outworked his opponent. Pacquiao generally outworks his opponents except when he fights counter-punchers. The 2nd Marquez fight and both Bradley fights show that counter-punchers are busier than Pacquiao. This tells us that Floyd Mayweather, Jr., most probably will outwork him too.

In the post-fight interview, Pacquiao said that there are two more years in his boxing journey. Incidentally, there are also two more years before the next elections where he can run for senator. He also said recently that his ideal weight class is junior welterweight. That effectively gives him and Mayweather another reason not to fight each other. But that will also pit Pacquiao against the likes of Matthysse, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and his former sparmate Shawn Porter. Not to mention Khan, Provodnikov, and Bradley again.

If Pacquaio cannot/will not fight Mayweather and if the prospect of beating FMJ at this point (more so next year) is dim, I suggest that Manny retire. There is no point in him being a stepping stone of the new light-welterweights to shine, like Barrera and Morales did for him.

The data set used for the tables and charts above is here.

Table 1. Pacquiao punch stats
Table 2. Pacquiao opponents' punch stats
Table 3. Pacquiao's average no. of punches per round

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

Figure 3. Accuracy

Table 4