By Reni M. Valenzuela
Where Pacquiao is Haggler is where lies the key to decisive wins for the former. And where Mayweather and Marquez are not Cotto and Margarito is where the reasons are why strategies must vary.
The Haggler magic of winning fights is it, not Coke. And it’s the sure way Pacman could beat convincingly and knock out Marquez or a Mayweather type of opponents, different from the way when he destroyed Cotto in November of 2009. Not that Manny Pacquiao needs to adapt the style of Marvelous Marvin Haggler, but that Pacquiao just need not abandon what made him unique and phenomenon because “the style” has been his naturally, all along when he rose to boxing stardom.
Pacquiao has stark similarities with Haggler. They are both destructively offensive fighters armed with speed and power. They can appear “invincible” by pressing the fight against their rivals, giving them no time to blink, maybe just a little space to breathe. Remember the smile of a devastated Tommy Hearns in the l985 classic and unforgettable Fight of the Year seconds before he was knocked out cold in the third round of “The War” by a bloodied Haggler. Tell me what made Haggler emerged inspiring in spite of the odds during that fight, and you got the key.
Miguel Cotto lost yesterday but exposed Mayweather. Such is the bald truth. He got Floyd figured out but fell short of tactical consistency. Cotto was effective engaging Mayweather in the inside territory for several thrilling heated exchanges. And that’s when Cotto landed most of his power shots that triggered blood to ooze from Mayweather’s nose until the last round. Though there were a number of times that Cotto stood idly by at a distance comfortable enough for Mayweather to pound on him. So that was Cotto’s major undoing in the fight for it caused the difference in the judges’ “flawless” scorecards that reflect the obviously scripted and widely “unbiased” commentaries by the sycophant anchormen in the ringside.
Regret is the least that Cotto can do now. He could have emerged the winner and retained his WBA Super Middleweight belt in a dominating way.
As certain as the Marvel Avengers are a perfect combination of strengths, Pacquiao and Haggler are separately and singularly Avengers themselves in style and command. And there is no way for them to glow, fighting a good counter-puncher and a cowardly defensive boxer or a suicidal non-stop puncher, but by becoming complete on their own to hit the enemy and hit him unreservedly with full force of their heart and soul, and from all directions.
Just like Haggler, Pacquiao cannot afford to be still and wait for the green light. He should always be on the go closing in toward the target without let up, but not without caution and precision; staying busy and aggressive to constantly create a slugfest against a mainly technical boxer, even when being occasionally hit hard. Pacquiao scarcely did this to Ledwahba, Lucero, Velasquez, Larios, Solis, Barrera, Morales, Diaz, Hatton and Cotto. Hence they all ended up on the canvass. But Pacman could have executed his inherent mastery of the sport tougher in each of the said knock out victories if he had the awareness and opted to do so. A fight with Clottey was Pacquiao’s only official win over a paid but reluctant spar-mate in Baguio’s training gym.
Dela Hoya quit after the 8th round. Mosley quit from round 1 to 12, while Margarito was a compassion beneficiary who was allowed to endure a whole stretch of punishment with a broken orbital bone, still on his feet. All three had “common” divergent methods and demeanor in the ring, being “no match” taller or much bigger than Pacquiao. The Pacquiao camp got it right for their prized ward opposite those three Cyclops to gain lopsided wins.
But Freddie Roach must know what fundamental movements to coach Pacquiao in each particular matchup every time since no bout is the same. And he ought to know, for all his mindless presumptuousness, when and how to switch game plans.
Mayweather and Marquez have distinct ways though similar in certain aspects. Tim Bradley has his own technique, but the unbeaten American “warrior” from Palm Springs is less vicious a specie than his fellow American Joker from a kids tale. Thus a combination of the tested approaches could make it easy for Pacman to fully dry up the “Desert Storm” in the first six rounds, sans a Robin.
Marquez was effective versus Pacquiao, while Mayweather was “brilliant” against Marquez. But Pacman can demolish both probably even with his right hand tied behind his back.
Relentless is the word.
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