By Conrad Primero
The Filipino dynamo we know as the “Pacman” Manny Pacquiao blasted onto the boxing scene like a shooting star and just like a shooting star the Pacman’s career is heading for a burn out.
I’ve been following Manny Pacquiao’s career since his early days at lower weight divisions to his meteoric rise at welterweight. Whatever Pacquiao lacked in size he made up with explosive speed and a tenacious will to win at all costs. This is why he was given the nickname the “Pacman” because of how he gobbled up Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003, before that his moniker was “The Destroyer” because he fought to destroy anyone in his path.
Either way, Manny Pacquiao was a beast, a relentless storm, that would take anything down in his path even if it meant taking damage himself just to give some back. He was resilient and would pressure and pressure until he was able to break you down.
I already knew that Manny would struggle with Juan Manuel Marquez, people told me I was just being a hater or that I didn’t know anything about boxing. Well those people who thought that the Pacman would just steam roll his old rival are the ones who don’t seem to understand the sweet science and the concept of styles making fights. Pacquiao has trouble with counter punchers and guys who fight off of the back foot.
Here is a snippet from my last article before the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez III fight:
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 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. Full Article: Manny Pacquiao Is Nothing Without His Speed
I was right about Manny Pacquiao struggling with Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez was more cautious than I expected but Manny was there to be knocked out. If Juan was more aggressive he could have dropped Pacquiao in the fight. Manny looked like he was just fighting on auto pilot, he was trying to be more of a counter puncher and looked bored in the ring.
The first thing to go is the fighters physical gifts and Manny’s physical gifts of hand and foot speed started to decline around the time of the Antonio Margarito fight where Manny was being hit multiple times by one of the slowest boxers in the welterweight division. During the Shane Mosley fight, Manny had extreme difficulty using his angles and cutting off the ring because his feet were becoming heavy and cramping up — this happens to many aging fighters they start to lose their legs. The second thing that happens to a fighter as they decline is they lose their fighting spirit or hunger and they can no longer pull the trigger. Manny lost his killer instinct and he was having more trouble pulling the trigger in his last two fights. When he fought Shane Mosley and when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez, he didn’t show the same type of trademark tenacity that made him such a polarizing figure in the boxing world.
This is why I strongly believe that Manny Pacquiao doesn’t really have a shot against Floyd Mayweather. The chances of Manny beating Floyd are slim to none. I can only judge a fighter off of his recent performances and when Floyd fought Victor Ortiz he looked amazing, he was able to counter punch a younger, bigger, and stronger southpaw with ease. Manny Pacquiao has looked terrible in his last outings against aging fighters, he was going back to his old habits of lunging in and dropping his hands after he threw punches, and judging from his inability to cut off the ring and avoid right hands he will play right into Floyd Mayweather’s style of fighting.
The only chance that Manny has against Floyd is to land a lucky punch and knock Floyd out cold and we all know that isn’t going to happen. We must face the reality that Manny Pacquiao hasn’t evolved as a fighter, just because he has a better right hook doesn’t mean he is a better fighter. Anyone can have a good right hook but what makes someone a better fighter has to do with their brain and ring IQ and Manny is not a thinking fighter he doesn’t even know how to cut off the ring or slip a right hand, and he doesn’t have the smarts to adjust in fights or set up traps the way Floyd Mayweather does.
It all goes back to the saying “STYLES MAKE FIGHTS” and Manny Pacquiao has difficulty against slick counter punchers, and who is the best counter puncher in the game today?
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
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