Manny Pacquiao's Keys to Victory

Omar RodriguezContributor IDecember 3, 2008

Yesterday I was asked to breakdown Pacquiao’s chances going into this fight. As I started giving it some thought, it became difficult to compare Pacquiao to DLH’s previous smaller opponents. Then I decided to look at Oscar and think how Manny could frustrate him. So on this article, I will focus on what Pacquiao needs to do to pull the upset and garner all the accolades that come from winning such a huge boxing event.

First, let’s states Oscar’s most obvious advantages which are his height, reach, size and punching power (yes, in this fight I think he has the advantage in this category.) Other advantages are his left-hook, his boxing skills, his experience, and his most dangerous punch, the jab. (I consider his left-hook to be his most lethal weapon.)

As far as physical tools, Pacquiao only has his all around speed. Adding 12 pounds to his small frame should have an adverse effect on his quickness, but I still think he will be the much quicker guy on Saturday night. Apart from his physical tools, I consider that the key to come out victorious in this fight will be to be able to get past Oscar’s jab.

Manny may not be as slick as Stevie Forbes, and much less Pernell Whitaker, but he does have very good head movement. If he is able to duck inside DLH’s jab, he should punish Oscar fiercely and repeatedly. If he is able to do it in the first half of the fight, Oscar will become very hesitant, just like when he was in the ring with Mayweather.

Another very important part of Pacquiao’s game plan should be to attack the body. DLH has shown a trend to run out of gas in the later rounds, going down in weight would only worsen this tendency. If Pacquiao is able to duck Oscar’s jab, his first punch should be directed to hurt Oscar’s body.

This will help to speed up DLH’s stamina problems. If Pacquiao is able to do this, and win some rounds in the first half of the fight, the second half will be much easier and should be more than enough to earn the decision.

On the things Pacquiao should avoid, the most obvious is to not get hit flush with the left hook. This punch would turn the fight in Oscar’s favor the moment it lands. Another mistake would be to allow DLH to dictate the pace of the fight. Manny should press the fight constantly and for the full three minutes of every round to make DLH’s 35-year old legs and drained body feel as if he was 50.

It is obvious why, on paper, Oscar is the favorite going into this fight. But Manny’s heart and aggressive style will make this a very entertaining and interesting fight. I think it will go the 12 rounds, which does not speak well for DLH in my book. If it does go the full 47 minutes, it will increase significantly Manny’s chances of winning the fight and I truly wish he does.