With the “Fight of the Century” looming just a few hours away and the spectators estimation with how the fight may go at its absolute peak, let’s take one last in-depth look at Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao.
The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao has many fans split just on the aspects of Pacquiao’s power and Mayweather’s zero in the loss column, but lets look deeper into this fight.
With Pacquiao being introduced first on Saturday, let’s start with the Pac Man. For Pacquiao to have a shot he has to not let Mayweather get into a groove. Against great fighters like Mayweather, if you don’t establish yourself early or at least get to him by the fourth round–such as Jose Luis Castillo did in their first fight–then he’s already gotten into a rhythm and pop shot groove and you can find yourself behind on the cards.
By that time, if Pacquiao doesn’t use his busy style to swarm Mayweather and not let the “Money Man” breath to figure him out then he can forget it. Strategy wise, with Pacquiao being southpaw, he must throw lots of speed, power punches, and his left hand, all while being very unorthodox.
For some reason, Mayweather has always had trouble with southpaws, maybe because of the way the Philly Shell is made–being that it’s mostly built for a right hand. The way you pocket yourself tucking into the shell makes it easier to see a conventional fighters shots come off so you can pick, catch, roll and counter, dip and get out of there to bigger ring real estate, and finally reset leaving your opponent to become flustered with not landing clean shots.
If Pacquiao keeps his right foot on the inside of Mayweather’s left foot, it’ll leave Mayweather on the straight line of the brick hand of Pacquiao while Floyd is pulling up his body while he picks the right jab just as if the situation is reversed for Mayweather’s straight brick right hand.
Pac has to use those tree trunk legs to keep stepping over to throw another speed and power flurry, along with his herky-jerky style to try and off set and maybe troubleshoot Mayweather to freeze.
Now, last but not least, let’s look at Mr. A side, Floyd Mayweather.
A lot of people are rooting for Floyd solely on him having the 0 attached to his record and nothing more. But it is deeper than that. Regarding his execution, his skill and smarts are what got him to this point and can help him make it another easy money night.
Pacquiao is not as reckless as people may think, especially with Freddie Roach, but it won’t exceed the Mayweather families collective minds. I believe Pacquiao will be coming to lay Reyes leather on Mayweather, but the essentials of vision and reflexes will see Pacquiao, as usual, falling in as the late great Emanuel Steward said about him long ago when he came on the scene as a Filipino storm in the first Marquez bout with that bow-and-arrow, one-two combination.
The difference with this fight more than any others is Mayweather may have to dig a little deeper than usual. Floyd after landing whatever counter he surgically imposes on to Pacman to put his combinations together with 4 and 5 shots. If he feels like the stronger guy with the longer arms then when in clinches impose his will and strength. Those brittle hands still have power so he should rip body shots in those combinations.
Smart, high ring IQ combination counter punchers such as Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez are fighters that always gave Pacquiao a lot of problems, so in my opinion one counter at a time with a slow pace won’t do it.
Floyd possesses all the attributes as those great fighters and maybe has a higher ring IQ than those greats, but the one thing that’s missing is the combination throwing that’ll give Pacquiao something to think about and maybe stop him.
There hasn’t been a fight that has been such a toss up in many years for the sport. This fight is filled with such suspense, you can feel it in your body, giving you chills with so many questions left to be answered.
Whoever wins this fight will possibly go down as the star of their generation, while the other looks as the one who just came up short with so many critics in their career.
It is clear Floyd has the most to lose and gain with the many critics, and Pacquiao is fighting to be great and cement that notion. Let’s just feel privileged to enjoy these two greats blessing us for 36 minutes of action.