Rios picks Mayweather to beat Pacquiao
By Chris Williams: Former Manny Pacquiao victim Brandon Rios has great respect for the skills of Pacquiao, but he still thinks that he’ll ultimately come up short next month against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their mega fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rios was mesmerized by Pacquiao’s hand speed and talent when they faced each other in November 2013. Rios tried his best, but he was just too painfully slow of hand and foot.
His movements were too slow, and he seemed to process things a step too slow in reacting to things that Pacquiao was doing in the ring.
“I go with Mayweather, too, in a close decision. But to me, it’s whoever follows their game plan,” Rios said to esnewsreporting.com. “With Pacquiao, that [expletive] was fast. I seen three of those [expletives] in the ring. I thought I was fighting an octopus. Manny was right there in front of me and then the next minute he’s on the side of me, next minute he’s on the other side,” Rios said.
Pacquiao is a fast fighter, but it was more of a case of Rios being so incredibly slow that he made Pacquiao look faster than he really is. If you look at guys like Amir Khan and Mayweather, they have better hand speed when it comes to throwing shots that are out in front of them at arm’s length in front of them. This is the way you really measure hand speed.
The area where Pacquiao has fast hands is when he throws short punches about 10 inches in front of him when he flurries. Those kind of shots are only good if your opponent is standing within breathing distance of you, but it doesn’t work if you opponent is standing at medium to long distance and is jabbing you in the face or nailing you with right hands or left hooks. That’s why I see Mayweather and Khan’s hand speed being better than Pacquiao.
As far as Rio’s comments about the winner being the guy who follows their game plan, I don’t see that as being practical for Pacquiao, because I see him sticking with the same game plan that he always uses in his fights. There’s no adjustments that I can see from Pacquiao in any of his fights. He generally always fights the same way each time he gets inside the ring.
It’s always the in and out attack that he uses, and he always leaves himself open when he goes on the attack. The major question is whether this style can be effective against Mayweather. If so, then Pacquiao will probably win. If not, then I don’t see Pacquiao winning, because I don’t think he’s going to be able to make adjustments to shift into a plan-B, C, D or E. I don’t think he’s capable of finding another gear to come up with something different from what he’s done in any of his fights since he turned pro 20 years ago.
In contrast, Mayweather will be making a lot of adjustments in this fight in reacting to the things that Pacquiao does in the ring.
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