IN THE RING
Finally, the wheels are turning for the biggest boxing event so far this century with Manny Pacquiao already planning how to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Manny Pacquiao, left and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Another piece of the puzzle may fall into place if Pacquiao produces a commanding performance when he faces Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Dec 8.
Pacquiao's camp is excited about his recent training, with the Pacman exhibiting a style of boxing that is "faster and quicker" than when he lost to Timothy Bradley on Jun 9.
The champion of eight weight divisions has decided to be pro-active in the final chapter of his boxing career and his handlers are bubbling with confidence that the long awaited showdown with Mayweather will happen in the first half of 2013, after Pacquiao fights and wins his next scheduled boxing engagement with Mexican Marquez who many believe won their last contest.
News from the Philippines is that the Asian superstar is close to perfecting a winning formula to eclipse Mayweather for the richest purse in boxing history. The plan involves Pacquiao outgunning his rival with a defensive boxing strategy that is his American rival's main strength.
Mayweather is regarded as the best defensive boxer in the world, and the Pacquiao plan involves an in-and-out, side-by-side strategy to frustrate his foe.
Those who have seen Pacquiao training recently say he's moving fast and showing a lot more hip movement. In his third fight with Marquez in Las Vegas last year, the Pacman was a rigid target who got hit repeatedly with clean, hard punches that shook him in several rounds.
Pacquiao has spent the past two months working on moving defensively, making him much more elusive than he was against Marquez and will be ready for Mayweather next year.
The records show that the first time he fought Marquez in 2004 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round before the Mexican fought back for a draw.
Four years later, Pacquiao won by a split decision and last year got over the line with a controversial majority points decision that was widely disputed by boxing commentators.
Marquez contends that he was robbed of trio of wins in their past three fights and condemned the judging of their last fight as "flawed".
What was obvious to those who observed fight was that Marquez took advantage of Pacquiao's lack of defence.
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach, who is reluctant to give any details of the so-called Pacquiao Plan, says his champion had learnt to pace his fighting and would peak in three weeks' time to "knock out" Marquez, thereby sending a message to the world that he's coming on strong to thump Mayweather.
Meanwhile, Mayweather, who hasn't fought since last May, when he defeated Miguel Cotto in a unanimous points decision, has served two months of a 87-day prison sentence. He needs a fight to get back his punch power, speed and boxing mojo.
Mayweather's next fight, with or without 50 Cents as the promoter, is expected to be a tune-up for a high-stakes finale with Pacquiao.
About the author
- Writer: Patrick Cusick