by: Manny Pinol
PhilBoxing.com, 5 March 2015
My good friend, Manny Pinol, is a well-respected sportscaster who later became the Governor of the province of North Cotabato. When he was Governor in 1999, he brought Manny Pacquiao – the then newly-crowned WBC Flyweight Champion – to defend his crown against Todd Makelin in Kidapawan. I was there that fateful night to witness Manny annihilate the game Aussie in 3 rounds. Right then, one could see the bright future ahead for the young Pacquiao. Manny Pinol went back to his first love, sports writing, after giving up on Philippine politics.
I love underdogs, which is why I am rooting for Manny Pacquiao in his classic match with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather.
Beyond my sympathy for underdogs, however, I am convinced that the Pacman could yet prove to be the most difficult opponent for Mayweather.
In fact, this early, I am convinced that Manny could deal Floyd his first knockout loss.
Consider this: Mayweather has never fought a left-handed fighter who is as shifty and as powerful as Pacquiao.
In his previous fights, notably against Miguel Cotto and lately against the bull-like Marcus Maidana, Floyd succeeded in outwitting his opponents inside the ring.
Mayweather backs off to avoid the punches and waits for the opportunity to unleash his counterpunches.
When cornered, he ties up his opponent thus rendering them ineffective.
But both Cotto and Maidana are conventional and orthodox fighters. In other words, predictable.
When they throw jabs, it is almost certain that what would follow would be a right straight or a cross.
Added to their woes, both Cotto and Maidana are flat-footed fighters who source their strength from firmly-planted feet before throwing punches.
Inspite of these weaknesses, however, Maidana, for one moment in the dying seconds of the third round of their last fight, showed to boxing observers with keen eyes that Mayweather is glass-jawed.
A looping right by Maidana which hit Mayweather in his left face badly hurt the American and he walked back to his corner as the bell rang with rubbery legs.
Against Pacquiao, Mayweather’s left shoulder defense will offer little protection because Manny will not be throwing right straights.
Being lefthanded, Mayweather’s right flank will be vulnerable to the left cross of Pacquiao and his left lower body will be open to the thunderous right of the Pacman.
I believe Manny’s shifty movements will somehow destabilize Floyd and the American will not be able to employ his grappling defense with which he had been successful in his previous fights with on-rushing and slower opponents.
I am not saying that Floyd could not win this fight. He could if he is able to neutralize the aggressiveness of Manny and immobilize the whirlwind-like movement of the Pacman.
If he is successful with that, Floyd could win by decision.
The chances of Manny winning this fight by knockout are a greater probability that Floyd pulling a decision victory.
The wise money bet, however, would still go to Floyd Mayweather.
But if you love the idea of great returns on minimal risks, Manny Pacquiao is your man.
(Pictures courtesy of boxingvideo.org, philstar.com, cboxinginfo.com, reddevilsboxing.com, forbes.com, theinsidedrop.com, ringcraveonline.com)