The Offensive Juggernaut
Two-handed power, punches at all angles, incredible foot speed and an ability to strengthen as the fight goes on. These are Manny’s strengths. He will need to use all of them in order to win. Add to that him being a natural lefty and you have the elements that give Mayweather problems. If Manny can assault from the opening to closing bell and smother Mayweather with effective punches, essentially not permitting Mayweather to get set or provide him enough space to get off shots, he has a very good chance of succeeding. It was an approach used by Marcos Maidana in his first bout with Mayweather and nearly worked. However, Manny is not without his flaws. He’s often open when attacking and if he is on constant attack, it will give Mayweather plenty of chances to counter. He’s also never encountered an opponent with the defensive abilities of Mayweather. Namely, Mayweather’s ability not just to make you miss, but miss at different angles thus preventing an opponent to time him. Then there are the wildcards for Manny. One positive is mindset, he seems incredibly relaxed and a relaxed fighter makes for a better performance. Add to that his status as underdog has motivated him. During the press conference he stated,
“I like being the underdog going into a fight. It has been a while since I’ve been one. This time around it gives me much more motivation and I am determined to prove that I can win.”
As to strategy, he will surely miss his share of punches. He will also, surely be clinched (another Mayweather tactic). Will he get frustrated? If so, how will he react? Also, punching power. Yes, Manny has it, but there hasn’t been a convincing stoppage since Miguel Cotto in 2009. The Chris Algieri and Brandon Rios bouts do not count, as they are nowhere near the same class as Mayweather. These are areas of concern.
With all this said. What is our prediction? Despite each fighters strengths and weaknesses. We see a Pacquiao win by decision. The bout will likely begin with round 1 being a mutual respect round. Then Pacquiao turning it on, there will be bursts of success in Manny’s aggression, but just as much frustration. However the key will be for Manny to continue the aggression and not let up in a manner which Mayweather has not seen before. Resulting in a close, but unanimous decision. That being said, this is boxing, so anything can happen!!!