4 reasons why Manny will defeat Mayweather

On the eve of the Fight of the Century, author caught up with Manny Pacquiao at Nat Thai's restaurant, next door to the Wild Card gym in Hollywood. Photos by Cecile Ochoa

A few days before the Fight of the Century, author caught up with Manny Pacquiao at Nat Thai’s restaurant, next door to the Wild Card gym in Hollywood. Photos by Cecile Ochoa

By Dante D. Ochoa

There has been no dearth of opinion about the upcoming epic Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. There’s probably no other fight in history that has drawn more predictions or opinions from experts and fans alike.

Any diligent follower of the match-up would not have missed what five former opponents of both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have to say. Oscar Dela Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, all picked Mayweather as the probable winner, with the exception of Miguel Cotto who did not want to make a prediction.

All four share the same view that Mayweather is a defensive genius and has the ability to adjust to an opponent, even more intelligent than Pacquiao, if you listen to Juan Manuel Marquez.

But the four reasons why Manny will beat Mayweather is as follows:

Manny will neutralize Mayweather’s “shoulder roll.”

The shoulder roll is basically a defensive move where Mayweather rotates his body to the right and raises his left shoulder to deflect punches. This enables him to time a counter-punch with his right over his opponent’s defensive left hand which is usually pulled lower by body mechanics when a boxer throws a heavy right hand. But this is most effective only against right-handed opponents whose usual main weapon of choice is a right hand punch. Mayweather can use a shoulder roll against Manny’s potent right hook but he cannot use the shoulder roll against Manny’s devastating left because that means he would almost be turning his back to Manny and will be out of position to counter with his vaunted long right straight. This scenario at the very least will eliminate Mayweather’s defensive rhythm and would have to rely on a weave and bob and block the punches mode. Even a Mayweather cannot block or duck all the punches of Manny’s trademark offense. This is a major drawback for Mayweather.

Mayweather “cannot run and cannot hide.”

Mayweather tried to do some fancy footwork in a you-can’t keep-up-with-me routine with Maidana in his last title defense but could not sustain it. Eventually he was more flat-footed, most of the fight, and was forced to revert to his defensive game to outbox and/or tie up Maidana who was game but really was not good enough. All boxing analysts agree that Manny Pacquiao has the clearly superior footwork which enables him to punch from many angles, darting in and out of reach. The late Emmanuel Steward, veteran trainer-HBO boxing analyst frequently commented that it is Manny’s outstanding footwork combined with punching power is what makes him truly special. And Mayweather has not met anyone like Pacquiao in the right.

Mayweather will not be able to adjust to Manny’s game.

All of the Mayweather and Pacquiao common opponents attribute Mayweather’s ability to adjust to the situation, usually when losing the early rounds of a fight, he “thinks of something” in the last 4 or 5 rounds to win the match. It is my opinion in the some close matches against Jose Castillo, Pernel Whitaker, Dela Hoya, his opponents just got too tired. There were no adjustments; Mayweather plainly outlasted them because he always was more fit during the fight. Even Ricky Hatton explaining his knockout loss said he was just too tired at that point. Will Mayweather be more fit than Manny Pacquiao? The better question is what kind of “adjustment” is available to him. Mayweather has won all of his victories basically doing the same defensive fighting style. It served him well when he was a lot younger, so why change now to a more aggressive style when he’s a lot older and relatively slower. And being aggressive will be walking himself up to Manny Pacquiao’s favorite style of fighting. Freddie Roach also noted that Mayweather has “fragile hands” that runs in the Mayweather family that could have dictated on Mayweather the defensive style of fighting his Mayweather, Sr. developed in him.

Manny has the will and belief in himself to win.

Manny from the beginning wanted to fight the best and always brings himself to the test. He has been seeking a showdown with Mayweather who only had consistently found a reason after reason why he should not fight Pacquiao. It is clear that without Les Moonves, president of CBS which owns Showtime in the equation, the fight would not have materialized. Both Showtime and Mayweather Productions reportedly are not obliged to complete the 6-fight contract to each other. So is there or has there been a belief in Mayweather that he will be the winner of a showdown with Manny Pacquiao? Likely not, otherwise why did it take him six years to accept the challenge? Why did it take him six years to decide he can make the “adjustment” to beat Manny? As Miguel Cotto said: “The winner is going to be the one with the belief that he will win.” And interestingly, out of character, Mayweather has been subdued with his comments lately, mentioned early this week that he’s getting tired of the fight game and today he said that the result of the showdown will not define his legacy. So quietly he trods towards fight time (like a sheep to the slaughter?) and neither do I see a big stick.

Where history began, officially: Pacquiao and Mayweather first faced the media in March. Photo by By Tet Valdez/TFLA

Where history began, officially: Pacquiao and Mayweather first faced the media in March. Photo by By Tet Valdez/TFLA

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