Paquiao or Mayweather, Jr., who is the better strategist?
Let us discuss strategies of both of this world class fighters inside the ring where they have dominated boxing in their own time and class.
Between Paquiao and Mayweather, Jr., the latter is the consummate boxer. And of course, the more heady fighter between the two, so it appears.
Mayweather, Jr.'s strategy is more elaborate and multi-dimensional as he could and has changed tactics in the middle of his fights to suite the needs of the the fight on hand.
He is a skilled tactician who sizes is opponent early in the fight and prepares to dissect and dismantle them with clinical precision midway and even towards the end of the fights.
These qualities many of his opponents sorely lacks. thus, he racks up an unbeatable record victories until his self imposed retirement.
Mayweather, Jr. is also a defense specialist par excellence. His patented shoulder roll would easily thwart incoming punches by his opponents leaving them frustrated, tired, and many times, snoozing in dreamland. Add this with good measure his fine footwork and superb conditioning and you have the epetome of the finest boxer in the world.
Only recently, the Golden Boy, almost did what others failed to do against the Master Tactician. However, in the end, Mayweather, Jr. "survived" the uneventfull fight and scored a close decision.
Thereafter, the Defense Specialist cum Master Tactician hanged up his gloves claiming that boxing does not interest him anymore and no worthy opponents can be found in the vast horizon of professional boxing.
The De la Hoyas, Cottos, and Margaritos were left hanging in the air itching a crack on that ellusive Mayweather, Jr., the Master Boxer of his time.
Of course, the Hitman also had his chance to greatness against the consumate boxer that is Mayweather, Jr.. But in the end that famous cheek hook by the great master the did him in.
In contrast, the ring strategy of Manny Paquiao is laid out in simple terms: Grit, patience, determination, heavy punching, and the loving grace of God.
No other boxer in recent memory has accomplished what this stout hearted Filipino accomplished in the last three years. He conquered his enemies in the ring, he conquered the hearts of his countrymen, and he conquered the imagination of the whole boxing world.
Six different Titles under his belt. Four Linear Titles done in succession in less than two years leaving his opponents grasping for breaths and his adoring fans lusting for more.
His strategy is simple: My fists do the fighting and my manager (that includes my trainer) does the talking. Period. However, taken collectively, he defeated the most elaborate and masterful plans his opponents laid out before each fight.
And during fight times, Paquiao was the model of a well disciplined, and most obedient boxer that ever captured the imagination of the world in recent times.
In the end, who shall prevail? would it be the Master Boxer cum Defense Specialist or the hard working kid who gave his trust to his trainer, and most especially, his fate in the hands of God.
In Part III I will discuss the possible fight scenario of the Match of the Decade, should it materialized, that all of us are waiting for: Manny "Pacman" Paquiao versus Floyd "Pretty Boy" Mayweather, Jr.