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Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: How will they prepare?

Manny Pacquiao

By Vitali Shaposhnikov (MP8 contributing writer)

Most fighters and their coaches cater their training and strategy to best increase their change of defeating their opposition. Many boxing trainers also spend a considerable amount of time watching videos, fishing for a tell that they might be able to take an advantage of.

Some fighters on the other hand, have had enough time in the ring to let their experience and ring IQ guide them in the right direction. From the first bell they feel out their opponent, while their corner is looking for flaws and repetitions.

For Floyd Mayweather Jr., who claims that he never takes the time to review the tapes, leaving it to his trainer, a bout against Manny Pacquiao might be a good reason to get more involved.

Fighting Pacquiao must force an entirely different approach in preparation. While it is true that adapting is something that Mayweather Jr. is the best at, facing a rival who is capable of throwing a very high volume of punches from awkward angles, and generally having enough stamina to stay consistent for the entire 12 round fight, might prove to leave Mayweather Jr. with less time to stick to his own offensive plan.

Philly style defense with his favorite, shoulder roll, will only go so far against the hard punching Filipino sensation. Since Pacquiao is well versed at taking angles, standing in the corner and using his shoulder will most likely prove to be painfully ineffective for Mayweather Jr.

I would imagine that trying to stay off the ropes and relying more on footwork is something that Floyd’s team is going to aim for. That way, when, not if, Pacquiao throws a sloppy combination, Floyd will have the space to do his job and throw his sniper-like counter.

Same goes for team Pacquiao. Aside from Juan Manuel Marquez, it has been a long while since Pacquiao fought a master technician, which Floyd is the highest caliber of. Relying on sheer volume and speed will land Pacquiao with a bruised face from Floyds accurate counters. If there is anyone out there who can take Pacquiao’s style apart for the get-go, it is Floyd Mayweather Jr.

This is also not a scenario where Pacquiao can step into the ring and intimidate his opponent due to his power. If Mayweather Jr. brings his A-game, which he seems to always do, Pacquiao might be punching air more than anything else come fight night.

The fact that these two, after decades in the sport, are entering uncharted waters in facing each other, is what makes it one of the more intriguing fights in the history of the sport. As the weeks go by, there will be an avalanche of information to discuss and report on, but one thing will remain constant, come May 2, Las Vegas will experience a crowd effect that it has never seen before.

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