Pushed to pick, actor Hugh Jackman had a most difficult time doing so.
The 34-year-old Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) is coming off of a fourth-round stoppage victory that dethroned southpaw Victor Ortiz (28-3-2, 22 KOs) on Sept. 17.
The 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), meanwhile, has a third bout against WBO and WBA lightweight beltholder Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12.
Having battled Marquez through a draw and a split-decision victory in two prior meetings as featherweights and junior lightweights, Pacquiao faces Marguez yet again, this time at a catchweight of 144 pounds.
“Ohh!!! I have a funny feeling in my gut that Pacquiao would win that fight,” said the 42-year-old Jackman. “I don’t think that it would be a knockout. I think that it would be a decision. There’s no doubt that it would be close.”
Jackman was quick to credit Mayweather for his unanimous decision over ex-beltholder Shane Mosley when he endured being staggered in the second round by a hard right hand in May of last year.
“I was very impressed with Mayweather the way that he took that shot from Mosley, because I thought that it was over, you know?” said Jackman, noting that Pacquiao also decisioned Mosley this past May.
“Mayweather really fought back and showed some real heart in there against Mosley and some real courage. But I just feel that Pacquiao, as quick as Mayweather is, that he’s just going to have the edge.”
Jackman offered his assertions during a Wednesday interview with RingTV.com while hyping this weekend’s release of his new movie “Real Steel,” which opens on Friday nationwide.
In the film, Jackman plays a down-on-his luck former professional prizefighter who compiled a modest record of 24-19, with every one of his fights, win or lose, ending in a knockout.
Known for his breakout roles as the super hero Wolverine in the X-Men series, Jackman’s character in the film has moved on to training combative robots who have replaced human beings as the fighting’s futuristic form of fisticuffs entertainment.
All of the movie’s boxing sequences were orchestrated and taught to Jackman and robot alike by Sugar Ray Leonard, who served as a consultant on the film.
“Sugar Ray, by the way, choreographed every one of those robots,” said the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jackman, who also added during the interview that his father, Chris, was a former boxing champion in the British Army.
“I’ve never found that out until I was about 16. He wouldn’t talk to me and my brother about it because we’d fight all of the time. I would talk to him a lot, and we would discuss the Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali fights.”
Jackman lists Leonard and Ali as his two favorite fighters.
“My favorite boxing movie is ‘When We Were Kings.’ I love it,” said Jackman. “I watched all of Ray Leonard’s fights, and I’m hoping, one day, to go to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com