In successfully wishing for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega-bout to take place, did we just bite off more than we could chew? Did we set up our boxing idol on a silver platter for Money May to gorge on? Is our fight simulation of the mega-bout too idealistic?
Like the final boss in a videogame, Floyd Mayweather is a monster and even the great Manny Pacquiao is going to have his hands full come May 3. Nevertheless, we believe that the eight-division champion from GenSan has earned enough skill points and leveled up enough to handle the undefeated American.
The question now is how exactly should Manny use his vast array of high-level weaponry versus Floyd? Considering the Pacman’s exceptional skillset, we expect him to do a lot more than Floyd’s past opponents. Now, suppose Buboy calls us up and asks us to join Team Pacquiao in hatching a game plan that could ensure Mayweather’s defeat, we’d come running and hand this handy strategy guide for his brad to follow.
TIP 1: Destroy The Shoulder Roll
No fighter in the history of boxing utilizes the shoulder roll technique better than Floyd Mayweather Jr. The look of hopeless resignation in the faces of those who tried to break into Floyd’s fortress-like maneuver—an ever-present sight in every Mayweather fight—says it all.
The winning formula versus Floyd’s use of the defensive stance has sort of become one of boxing’s biggest mysteries but if anyone could play the role of Sherlock Holmes and solve it, it’s got to be Manny. Unlike the men whom Mayweather had vanquished, Pacquiao has the necessary speed, tenacity, and motor to be successful in breaking the wall of Mayweather down.
Our Advice: Going by boxing principle, the best way to attack the shoulder roll is to throw punches in succession—one of Manny’s strongest points. Doing such at a high pace, sustained for 12 rounds, should get the job done. The first two blows might not connect but the third or the fourth or the fifth has got to.
Plus, a non-stop barrage will force Floyd to solely focus on evading Pacman’s fists, which is supposed to leave the judges no choice but to score in favor of the Pacman.
Money May’s mastery of the shoulder roll has played a huge role in his accumulation of his 47 and 0 record. It has yet to fail in protecting him from getting KO’d and it has always frustrated the wits out of his adversaries. If Coach Freddie Roach and Coach Buboy can devise a way for Manny’s video-game-like combos to cause Mayweather’s bread and butter move to virtually be useless, the Pambansang Kamao’s chances to win will increase dramatically.
TIP 2: Fend Off Floyd With The Left Hand Lead and The Right Hook
If the shoulder roll won’t work against Manny, the next thing Floyd will probably try is to fight like the bigger man that he is by walking Pacquiao down. With a combined height and reach advantage of seven inches, he’ll attempt to drive Manny backwards by throwing sharp jabs followed by straight or looping right hands while moving forward.
It’s a tactic that was seen a lot in Mayweather’s drubbing of Juan Manuel Marquez back in 2009. If he once again succeeds with the same ploy on May 3, Floyd will not only win the ring-generalship judging category, he’ll also be significantly less susceptible to getting smoked as he’ll see the bullets coming at him much easier with Pacquiao on the retreat. He’ll punch then dip and dodge as if he’s Spider-Man benefitting from his spider sense.
Our advice: It’s something that Pacquiao absolutely cannot afford to take place. To prevent Money May from making a dummy out of him, it’s imperative that Manny makes use of his two signature punches to a tee, the left hand lead accompanied by a teleportation to the left side of the opponent (see Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya) and the right hook over the jab counter a.k.a. the Manila Ice.
Video via Christopher Metler
What Manny should do as soon as Floyd approaches is pull the trigger on that that pistol-like left hand that made De La Hoya look silly or check him with the right hook that served as the prelude to the demise of Erik Morales and Ricky Hatton. The two high caliber guns in Manny’s artillery, if fired at the right time, will keep him on the offense and stop Mayweather in his tracks. And if he hits the target on a regular basis, Floyd might just crumble late in the fight like a house that was dismantled brick by brick.
TIP 3: Prepare To Fight (Or Not Fight) On The Inside
Floyd’s bag of tricks is fully packed. Another ring ability in his possession is an underrated hit-and-grab gulang game ala Bernard Hopkins. He’ll likely employ it against Pacquiao, especially if he gets tagged with Pac’s bombs from the outside.
When Floyd decides to hold Manny down after throwing a 1-2, Money May will also have a go at getting a few scoring shots thru uppercuts and clubbing punches. The Pambansang Kamao has always been at his best fighting at a distance, where he can dart in and out as he unloads his combinations. Getting tied up by the naturally larger and heavier Floyd just puts Manny at a disadvantage.
Look at how Floyd uses these tactics here:
Our advice: One thing the Pacman can do against it is to move constantly. Being on his toes will surely make him ever ready to shift from one place to another. That way, Floyd will have a hard time tying him up as much as we’re having difficulty to not ogle photos of Coleen Garcia in her bikinis.
But in occasions wherein Mayweather is able to drag him inside, Manny’s got to know how to explode out of it. Manny must have a punch prepared that would serve as a launching pad as he jumps out of the clinch. He can also try to come flying back in with a scorching left hand immediately right after hopping outward. Perhaps it will surprise Mayweather enough to not let him get out of harm’s way in time. Sapul!
TIP 4: Watch Those Elbows and Shoulders and Forearms
Seeing Floyd derail his opponents with his elbows, shoulders, and forearms could make one think that he is Jon Jones’ long lost little older brother. When Hatton thought he could rough Mayweather up by bulldozing his way in, his face ran straight into those three seemingly razor-edged parts of Floyd’s limbs, damaging him and his fight plan right down the toilet.
Be careful of those sharp elbows, Manny. Don't be no Mosley:
Our advice: Manny better watch out for those, especially the elbows. He’ll put himself in danger, at the same time waste energy, if he jumps on his foe recklessly. He must come in from an angle wherein Floyd’s street-style boxing wouldn’t be effective. When he sees Floyd raising his right elbow, he must reset, find a different route, before moving in.
TIP 5: Watch Out For The Marquez Right
There’s a huge chance that Mayweather will try to duplicate the two punches that knocked Manny down and ultimately out in 2012. We’ll probably see an impersonation or at least an attempt to mimic Marquez’s whirling right hand and the straight right counter from Floyd.
Our advice: If Coach Freddie prepares his Number One student for it ardently, Manny’s going to recognize it as soon as Money May postures to throw El Dinamita’s patented punches. And when he does, Manny should step on the breaks and stay out of trouble. Pacquiao withstood Tim Bradley and Chris Algieri’s right hands but we don’t want him taking the same risk against a more accurate puncher like Mayweather.
TIP 6: Hurt Floyd Early
We’re not asking Manny to knock Floyd out within the first six rounds, although that would be way better than any outcome we could possibly imagine. In any case, a KO victory for Manny would be much more possible if he strikes early.
In case you've forgotten, Manny's really good at this:
One of the main reasons why the years and years of waiting for this fight has ended is because Floyd now believes that the Pacman no longer has his lethal punching power. Mayweather also has Pacquiao’s ex-strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza on his corner, helping him to get rid of the notion that Manny is out to put him to sleep. Floyd said it himself, he’s all about self-preservation. Money May has always been keen on winning the psy-war in all of his bouts, and right now against Manny, he probably thinks he’s once again prevailing.
Our advice: The Pambansang Kamao can take away that mental advantage by drilling Mayweather with one vintage killer left right at the onset. It’s very possible that after getting clocked early, the thought of getting finished will haunt Money May for the rest of the fight, prepping him to be eaten alive by the Pacman. Stripping Floyd off of his newfound confidence would probably lead to Manny stripping him off his belts, too. Like Tim Bradley’s trainer Joel Diaz once said, “The fight is not the same once Manny hits you.”
TIP 7: Counter The Money Shot
It’s not only Pacquiao who leaves his chin exposed whenever he leaps forward to unleash his most powerful punch, which is the left straight. The other guy with the same habit, only he does it with his right hand, is none other than Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Take a look at Floyd’s fights and watch carefully how he throws his highly revved up right straight. He usually leans forward, sometimes even springs towards his mark, opening himself up for a counter right down the middle:
Our advice: Mayweather has yet to pay for it dearly, because he strikes as fast as a cobra but he has to know that Manny is fast enough to be the mongoose that finally gets him. There’s probably nobody in this planet that’s quick enough to catch Floyd right down the pipe other than Pacquiao.
The most recent proof of the punch that could separate Mayweather’s senses from him can be seen when Marcos Maidana tattooed Floyd during the dying seconds in the third round of their rematch last September. It was a countermove that Manny can execute much better using his uncanny speed and tremendous left hand. If he’s able to bait Mayweather in by pretending to misfire a jab, he just might land the blow that would give him the sweetest victory of his glittering career.
TIP 8: Relish Being the Underdog
Every time a large chunk of the boxing public considers Pacquiao as an underdog coming into a fight, he steps up and gives a spectacular showing that results in a career-defining win. See: Lehlo Ledwaba, Oscar De La Hoya, and Marco Antonio Barrera, and the supposedly bigger and stronger Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto.
There’s just something in being an underdog that turns Manny into a different, much fiercer, much more ruthless animal—as though the loss will send him falling back to the jaws of his impoverished beginnings, a potent motivation not to lose.
Our advice: If we were with Team Pacquiao for the whole training camp, we’ll mention to Manny every single day that a lot of people are expecting him to lose to Floyd. Doing so might push the Pacman to render a performance not seen from him since the Cotto fight.
A daily reminder that he’s the B-side fighter here might unleash the beast inside him. Wouldn’t it be great if a Super Saiyan version of Pacquiao suddenly appears in the MGM Grand and just crushes Floyd as if he was Freeza?
Come on Manny, blast Floyd into pieces!