Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Reasons Pac Man's Right Hand Would Waste Money May
It's a credit to everything Manny Pacquiao has achieved, since his time with Freddie Roach, that the best Floyd Mayweather Jr. can muster by way of explanation is that Pacquiao must be cheating.
How else could anyone have moved up all those weight-divisions and spanked so many champions so handily?
How has Pacquiao retained all that speed despite packing on pound-after-pound of added muscle?
Besides anything steroids would give a fighter, Pacquiao's has also grown enormously as boxer. His arsenal is vastly improved. His footwork is so finely tuned it's given his punches the look of enormous power that might be sneakier than you think. With speed, accuracy and an undefended target, you're going to find considerable results when hitting someone on the chin no matter how strong you are. Manny's developed into a fighter capable of showcasing better punches instead of necessarily hitting harder.
And maybe he is hitting harder, too.
But let's look at how the Manny Pacquiao of today stands a better chance than anyone at using his fists to hand Mayweather not only his first loss, but his first KO loss...
KOs Coming from Both Hands
Manny Pacquiao scored three first-round knockdowns of Marquez off basically the same straight-left punch. Against Hatton we saw something entirely different.
Pacquiao showcased a wickedly sneaky right-hook that Hatton was never able to see.
This new punch added to Pacquiao's arsenal makes him even more dangerous and confident to let his punches go as opponents spending too much time and energy guarding against a straight-left open themselves up to caught in profile with a beautifully accurate right-hook.
Pacquiao keeps adding weapons, and his footwork providing new angles from which to launch them has been chiefly responsible for the kind victories he's been able to achieve against bigger, stronger men.
Do Your Homework (or Get Freddie To)
Shane Mosley may have exposed something we all know—even Floyd must be susceptible to: age.
The first victim of age for a boxer is the spring in this step. Would the young Ali have been clocked by Joe Frazier's left hook in their first fight? Maybe. Maybe not. He was a different man.
Floyd's defenses work just fine against traditional modes of attack. He plays all the angles and has tremendous vision in terms of seeing punches coming. Floyd's defense is as slick as it comes.
However, the biggest blindspots a fighter can have are often the most obvious. Nothing is so obvious it's obvious (take Rick Perry's memory at the debates, for example). Floyd's internal judgement about distance is based not on his reflexes, but his own self-assessment of them.
Fighters work in mili-seconds and millimeters when it comes to the difference between avoiding a punch and being Paul Williams after Sergio Martinez put out the lights.
Floyd knows exactly how Pacquaio fights, and that he'll be pressured with a lot of leather coming at him from all kinds of angles. What might cost him the most dearly, is if he misses making an adjustment based on his own reflexes and foot-speed slowing down a hair or two.
And he's not 25. They have slowed down. They do for everybody. That Floyd works harder than anybody else has allowed his ability to remain intact better and longer than nearly anyone else in boxing history. He gets full credit for that. That wasn't given to him, it was earned.
Manny Pacquiao has eaten opponents alive with his power. He's retiring opponents. De La Hoya retired on his stool rather than face another round against the onslaught Pacquiao was inflicted.
Pacquiao has to treat Floyd Mayweather with exactly the same degree of contempt as he's treated the other boxers many assumed were too big.
Mosley proved Mayweather can be reached, and he proved Mayweather can be hurt. Quickness found a way in and the confidence to fire at Mayweather with serious blows was highly effective in the second round and then promptly abandoned.
Pacquiao has zero fear of running out of gas. He's endured the punches of bigger men and not suffered for it. All of this leads to an offense-first approach to Mayweather with the strict intention of taking him out as soon as possible so as to avoid Floyd being able to adjust his game plan.
Striking early and with extreme intension to harm just might be Pacquiao's most likely avenue to success in the fight.
Not Being Frightened of Mayweather's Speed or Defense
Shane Mosley proved in one round that Mayweather could be hurt and nearly dropped on several occasions.
Manny Pacquiao proved against Shane Mosley that he's just as fast or faster than Mosley with his fists and a world faster with his feet.
Pacquiao needs to use this confidence to set the tone of the fight and dictate the pace.
If Floyd gets comfortable, it could be a long night for Pacquiao.
Fortunately the only person in Pacquiao fights who appears comfortable is Manny Pacquiao.
Pacquiao needs to exploit his win-first attitude over Mayweather and create a panic that no fighter has ever achieved in him. Floyd is such a polished, consumate professional in the ring, that if somehow Pacquiao's power or speed is able to really shock him, it might provide the biggest window for Pacquiao to end the fight in a hurry.
HE CAN BE BEATEN!
Someone came before Pacquiao and set a precedent against Mayweather that any boxer since was free to study in terms of forming a template.
Pacquiao brings a lot more to the table than Castillo did in Mayweather's first fight against him. Many who watched the fight (this writer included) felt Castillo did enough to win.
Psychologically, it might be very useful to break down exactly what Castillo was able to do in negating the effectiveness of Floyd's skills in that fight. You can bet Freddie Roach will spend hours looking for pointers his fighter can exploit.
When it comes down to it, Pacquiao needs a sense of urgency to find the knockout without desperation. If Floyd manages to convince Manny a decision is possible and is able to dictate the pace, it'll be a long and most likely unfortunate night.
Based on evidence, Pacquiao only goes for decisions when he feels sorry for his opponent. Something tells me clemency isn't the order of the day for Mayweather.