By Conrad Primero
I strongly believe the speed demon that Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao was is now over. Without speed he is nothing.
There are boxers who are extraordinary athletes gifted with speed and reflexes, like Roy Jones Jr. for example. They rely on these physical gifts and lack the boxing fundamentals that other fighters who can fight later in their career have. When speedy fighters start to age and their God gifted traits start to deteriorate they no longer look super human, and become ordinary, their flaws that they used to get away with because of their speed are now exposed tenfold.
Manny Pacquiao is currently on the decline. After watching his fight against a faded and unwilling Shane Mosley, I noticed a huge decline in his reflexes, timing, and foot speed. Pacquiao looked ordinary, he wasn’t giving us those extraordinary in and out angles that he was known for, instead he was lunging in and having difficulty catching the slower Mosley.
Pacquiao’s angles come from his fast footwork, if his legs are no longer as mobile as they once were he will have great difficulty dealing with a slick fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr.
If you look at Roy Jones Jr. today, he can barely move in the ring, he can’t avoid punches like he used to, and the reason he can’t compete at a high level like 46-year-old Bernard Hopkins is because he lacks the boxing skill and technical fundamentals that Hopkins has to make up for his lack of physical gifts. Timing beats speed, and Hopkins is an intelligent fighter, he uses ring savvy and timing to beat up on younger and faster fighters. Roy Jones relied on being explosive and I see the same future for Manny Pacquiao in the next year or two, we will see younger lions knocking him out or beating him to a pulp once his reflexes and explosive speed are shot.
I see his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez being very difficult. If this was the Pacquiao who was giving angles against Oscar De La Hoya, I would favor Manny Pacquiao in a wipe out over Marquez but after watching the Mosley fight and Antonio Margarito fight, Manny is going to struggle. He got hit by one of the slowest fighters in Margarito and a prime Pacquiao wouldn’t be there to get hit, especially by someone as slow as Margarito.
Pacquiao’s speed and reflexes are on the decline, and we will see it more in his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. He will struggle in this fight and he could possibly be stopped by the precise punching of Marquez. This is why young developing boxers shouldn’t imitate guys like Pacquiao or Roy Jones Jr., because if you rely simply on physical tools, you will never fully understand the sweet science of boxing and develop bad habits like dropping your hands, lunging in with punches, things that will leave you open to get knocked out.
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