Contributing authors Roilo Golez and Peter Bacho analyze the upcoming megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
by Roilo Golez
In the Hatton fight, Mayweather was outpointed by Ricky Hatton in three of the first six rounds. Pacquiao is more skillful and stronger than Hatton. Pacquiao has more weapons in his arsenal like jabs, right hooks and a very powerful left cross. Pacquiao’s power punch, the left cross, can be very effective against Mayweather’s left shoulder roll defense. Mayweather is right-handed, with his left shoulder forward and which he uses very effectively against another right-handed opponent. He cannot use that left shoulder roll against Pacquiao’s left cross. Mayweather was able to adjust in the later rounds, scoring big punches that culminated in a tenth round KO of an already softened up Hatton.
Pacquiao has a much better defense than Hatton. With his style of throwing around 90 punches per round, he can score a lot of damaging punches on Mayweather.
Can Manny Pacquiao hit Mayweather? Of course!
In the Maidana fight, a very aggressive Maidana scored a lot of clean hits that hurt Mayweather. It was a slugfest, and if Maidana could do that against Mayweather, Pacquiao would do a lot better because Maidana’s skills and power are inferior to those of Pacquiao.
Look at these stats:
Mayweather Punches Maidana
52 of 152 or 34% Jabs 36 of 318 or 11%
178 of 274 or 65% Power 185 of 540 or 34%
230 of 426 or 54% Total 221 of 858 or 26%
Maidana scored 185 solid, power punches of 540 thrown compared with 178 by Mayweather; 185 power punches hit Mayweather, that's a lot! That’s clear proof that Mayweather can be hit a lot. Mayweather made up by scoring more jabs (52 vs. only 36 by Maidana).
Maidana averaged around 70 punches per round, scoring 34 percent; Pacquiao can do a lot better than that, maybe close to 90 average per round and with a better percentage of around 45 percent.
Maidana did so well that the outcome was in the balance even up to the later rounds. And analysts called it a close fight.
Conclusion: Mayweather can be hit a lot. And Pacquiao has the skills and power to hit him and hit him hard a lot. Pacquiao has developed a good defense since his defeat by Juan Manuel Marquez, as shown by his easy handling of Bradley whose boxing skills come closest to that of Mayweather. Pacquiao will overwhelm Mayweather with a steady attack of around 90 power punches per round.
Mayweather can run, but he can’t hide.
My fearless forecast: As long as Pacquiao maintains a relentless but careful attack (don’t do the Banzai attack he did against Marquez), throwing his usual 90 or so punches per round, it will be Pacquiao by stoppage in 10 rounds or less, or by a clear decision with Mayweather’s face badly beaten up.
First posted in "Reads and Googles," the author's blog.
A six-term congressman, Roilo Golez is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis where he was the undefeated Brigade Boxing Champion for four straight years, the first ever to achieve this feat since the Academy was established in 1845. Since then, only 14 midshipmen have won four brigade boxing championships in the Academy’s history.
By Peter Bacho
Both have mastered the nuances of their individual fighting styles. But in this case, style is where Manny holds the advantage. Floyd, an orthodox (left leading) fighter loves to lure fighters to him. Inevitably, they have plodded forward behind a left jab, seeking to cut off the ring, corner Floyd, nullify his bag of defensive tricks and turn the contest into a fight in a phone booth.
But they have all failed.
The crafty Floyd rolls his left shoulder, he bobs his head, he pulls back just out of reach – and then he counters with a lightning quick right or an equally swift multipunch combination.
In Pacquiao, Mayweather will be facing someone with the type of unique skill set to beat him. For starters, Pacquiao is a southpaw, which means that unlike the majority of fighters Mayweather has faced, he leads with his right. For southpaws, the standard rule is to keep your right foot to the outside of your orthodox opponents’ left foot.
This allows fighters like Manny to avoid an orthodox fighter’s right hand counter and, at a minimum, make it very difficult for him to effectively throw a left hook. This is the rule that Manny broke in 2012, in the fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, one of the greatest Mexican fighters of all time.
In a see-saw battle that raged from the first round, Manny made the mistake of dropping his hands and loading up to punish Marquez with an overhand left. His other mistake was to move down the middle (inside Marquez’s left foot) and be in line for a short Marquez counter right that ended the bout.
Manny’s millions of fans hope he won’t make those mistakes again.
Then there’s the matter of foot speed, or to be more precise, Manny’s preternaturally quick first step in. This first step – crucial to the success of the great Roberto Duran and the young Mike Tyson – nullifies an opponent’s advantage in height, power and length. It allows a smaller man (and Manny is two inches shorter than Floyd) to get inside the elbows of a bigger opponent and do his damage. Tyson, for whatever reason, eventually lost that step, and when he did, he became just another short heavyweight that taller opponents could pot shot from a safe distance.
Fortunately, for millions of his fans, Manny still has that quick first step.
Finally, there’s the volume and the speed of the punches that Manny throws. Many of Floyd’s opponents have been left-jab, right-cross, left-hook types of punchers. Very conventional, very predictable, easy enough for a fighter of Floyd’s guile and experience to avoid.
Manny’s not like that. He has very fast hands, and he throws in bunches – four, five, ten punch combinations. Admittedly, Floyd is a defensive genius, but under a typical Manny barrage, that genius would be sorely and painfully tested.
Unless Manny gets nailed by a right-hand counter coming in, he should be able to get the “W” May 2.
Author, educator and boxing enthusiast Peter Bacho is the author of Boxing in Black and White (Henry Holt & Co., 1999). He was recently featured in Positively Filipino: http://www.positivelyfilipino.com/magazine/peter-bacho-pessimistic-sage