First, Floyd was interested in a rematch with Manny, then he said he no longer wanted it and that Manny's a sore loser. Boy, is Floyd fickle-minded or what? Given his whimsical nature, he could very well be reconsidering giving Manny a second crack at him at this very moment. Also, given his marketing genius, taking back the offer just might be part of his ploy to drum up interest in an increasingly exhausting rematch possibility.
But, in case a 2016 Fight of the Century encore does take place, Manny should learn from his mistakes to avoid falling into the hands of MoneyMay twice. Here's where Manny went wrong in their fight.
Mistake #1: Fighting Floyd with an injury
Facing the planet’s top practitioner of the sweet science while injured is as good an idea as downing fifteen Emperador Light bottles with your kanto buddies the night before an important early morning appointment. Manny Pacquiao found that out firsthand when his firepower ran short in contending with today’s grandmaster of slick boxing, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Entering the bout with a bad right shoulder—an injury that was kept secret from the public up until the post fight press conference—it was nearly impossible for Manny to beat the consensus number one pound-for-pound boxer in the world. As a result, Floyd came away with a relatively easy win, some fans who paid inflated PPV and ticket prices felt cheated and Manny’s getting a good chunk of the blame with lawsuits attached for it.
Boy, how sad it is that the Pambansang Kamao is still taking punches even after the fight?
Adjustment: Fight Floyd in full capacity
Team Pacquiao’s lesson to learn from Manny’s torn rotator cuff debacle is to not ever push through a fight if their fighter isn’t 100% healthy, especially if he’s about to take on one of the toughest challenges in his career. Should Mayweather-Pacquiao II come to fruition, it’s a must that Freddie Roach and the rest of his crew do a better job at making sure Manny is in the best shape possible coming in; otherwise, their shot at winning would once again look as good as you right after waking up with the worst hangover of your life. If ever an injury-related incident pops up (knock on wood) while Manny’s training for a Mayweather rematch, Coach Freddie should know by now that the right action to take is to postpone the scheduled bout to give his guy the appropriate time to heal. Had he done it the last time, it would’ve saved the Pacman a whole lot of trouble and perhaps salvaged a victory that slipped away.
Mistake #2: Believing that Floyd is out to knock out Manny/Forgetting about Floyd’s speed
Looking back at it, Team Pacquiao together with the rest of us may have been duped by the Mayweather camp into believing that Floyd was looking to knock Manny out. Money-May’s wood-chopping videos, the statements made by the Money Team insinuating that Floyd is eyeing a stoppage victory worked perfectly in diverting everybody’s attention away from Mayweather’s real plan which was to use his speed in outboxing his Filipino rival. The brain behind designing such a devious scheme deserves a slow clap with matching standing ovation. In the fight, it’s plain to see that Manny was stumped upon seeing how quick and shifty Floyd was, clearly he was not ready for a speedy Mayweather slipping and sliding all over the ring.
Adjustment: Stick to the facts
The next time Floyd and Manny get to duke it out, Team Pacquiao’s Floyd Mayweather scouting report should strictly be based on factual data. Trash talks, press statements and social media posts should hold no bearing in assessing what type of boxer Floyd will be like in fight number two. To give Coach Freddie and Manny a headstart, we’ll help them out in projecting what the Money Man might bring to the ring in a 2016 rematch.
What a 2016 Floyd Mayweather might bring:
1. Floyd will be 39 years old but he’ll still be as quick as a woman’s mood swing.
2. He’ll remain a defense-first fighter and elusive enough to draw the ire of the blood-thirsty fight fans.
3. He’ll still use his jab and right hand lead to keep Manny off him.
4. Justin Bieber will still be part of Floyd’s ring entourage, only the Biebs will be sporting a “dad bod” instead of a Calvin Klein model-type physique.
Mistake #3: Manny gave away the first two rounds
Floyd is a notorious slow starter, with the first three rounds being practically giveaways in a Mayweather fight. However, Manny failed to capitalize on this Mayweather habit and paid for it as he fell behind on points early on, prompting him to play catch-up all night long. In the first two rounds, Manny uncharacteristically put his guns in his holster and kept them there for quite a while, allowing Money-May to steal the opening frames. Had Pacquiao decisively took the first six minutes of the match, the complexion of the whole bout could’ve been completely different. In fact the result would’ve been a majority draw if Manny just cranked it up in rounds one and two.
Adjustment: Start strong
When you’ve got a couple of rounds that’s right there for you to take, you’ve got to snatch it like Leo DiCaprio snatches hot girls at high-profile parties. It’s imperative that Manny gets the bonus rounds at the beginning of his do-over versus Floyd, and for that to happen, Manny must turn into a boxing demon right from the onset.
Mistake #4: Having only one strategy
It was a huge error on Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao’s part to only have one game plan prepared for the Mayweather encounter. During the fight, it seemed like Manny was solely focused on his counterpunching as he expected to meet the flat-footed version of Floyd, the one that stood in the pocket with Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Marcos Maidana. Manny did see success early on with his singular approach, most evident in the fourth round when all of us stood up in excitement as he backed the American superstar up against the ropes with a hard left hand. But once Floyd rode his bike and went to the stick-and-move tactic, the Pacman was as lost as a dude mind-fucked by the Avenger’s Scarlet Witch. To sum it up, Floyd was able to make the necessary style-switch like he always does to come up with the win while Manny failed to do so mainly because he had no back up plans.
Adjustment: Prepare for the many different looks Floyd Mayweather might give/Anticipate Floyd’s adjustments
Team Pacquiao should never ever forget that Floyd is the king of midfight adjustments; thinking that one strategy is enough to prevail over the long-time undefeated champion is a big no-no. If the rematch does get made, for Manny to stand a chance in reversing the outcome of their initial square-off, he must have a countering maneuver in place for every single thing that Floyd might pull out from his big bag of tricks. One good way for Coach Freddie to devise different effective stratagems for a versatile fighter like Money-May is to anticipate the countermoves he’ll make in trying to thwart Manny’s varying attacks. That way, Pacquiao won’t find himself dumbfounded when Floyd figures out how to deal with his primary assault. For example, when Floyd turns to his clinching game after getting tagged, a fully aware Pacquiao will use his fast feet to explode outside to get more punching room whereas before he’ll simply get frustrated by Mayweather’s holding a.k.a. gulang technique.
Mistake #5: Throwing fewer punches than Mayweather
For Manny to put that first L on Floyd’s unscathed record, he needed to overwhelm the latter’s moderate but highly efficient sharpshooting with a non-stop barrage of vicious blows. Manny has always been known as a high volume puncher so many believed he could accomplish what was required of him. But when the lights turned up, Pacquiao “the punching machine” was nowhere to be found. Manny turned gun-shy, not only did he throw below his 780 punches per fight average, he also threw six fewer punches than his opponent, 429 to Floyd’s 435. Manny also failed to impress with his connection rate as he landed an anemic 81 punches while Money-May touched the Filipino icon 145 times. To those who still think Manny got robbed, you’ve got to understand there’s just no way Manny won that fight because even in the punch count department, he lost to Floyd.
Adjustment: Don’t get frustrated, just throw more and land more.
Floyd’s evasiveness, his hard working jab and tremendous right hand frustrated Manny a lot, putting the fire out of the hard-punching Filipino southpaw’s offense. On Floyd and Manny’s second meeting, the Pacman must realize that he can’t afford to get frustrated, and he needs to stick to his winning program which is to throw more in order to land more. Volume punching is his main key to victory against Floyd. Manny must never lose sight of it again in the reprise.
Mistake #6: Not solving Floyd’s right straight lead
Every time Pacquiao positioned himself for his patented 1-2, Mayweather’s got his right straight ready to stop his nemesis from advancing any further. The eight-division titlist had no answer. There were stretches in the fight wherein Manny got peppered with jabs just because he was wandering on the outside, mystified as to what do to get through to Floyd’s right straight lead. With Mayweather’s bread and butter punch getting the better of Manny, the once deranged, all-out force of destruction pugilist became a reluctant attacker, which ultimately cost the pam the match.
Adjustment: Attack the body first, work your way up to the head / Bait Floyd into throwing the right hand before attacking.
Manny must go downstairs for him to get past Floyd’s right hand. If the Pacman gets low enough, he’ll slid eunderneath Floyd’s right straight lead and will get the opportunity to execute a body-to-the-head combination that should catch the eye of the judges. Actually, Manny has done it a couple of times against Floyd but for a reason unknown, he simply went away from it. In the Fight of the Century 2.0, Manny must keep doing his body-to-the-head special until Floyd solves it but until then he should try to score as much as he can off of it. Another thing Manny can do is bait Floyd into throwing his right hand lead first so it can be countered. Manny’s got to do a lot of feinting and precise punching to pull that one off.
We’re just talking about battling Floyd’s right hand and already it sounds a lot of work, doesn’t it? So, hopefully, after going the knife, Manny’s body can still meet the physical demands of competing with Floyd Mayweather.
Mistake #7: Mayweather has a mole in Manny’s camp
Floyd’s got someone in Team Pacquiao under his payroll, to feed him confidential information about Manny’s training. Watch this:
Adjustment: Find out who the traitor is.