Roach: Pacquiao can outpoint Mayweather no problem
By Chris Williams: The confident, and some would say the slightly deluded, trainer Freddie Roach thinks his fighter Manny Pacquiao will defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. by either a decision or a knockout on Saturday. A lot of boxing fans think that Pacquiao, who is kind of a sloppy fighter in terms of his technical ring skills, will never be able to out-box a master fighter like Mayweather.
These fans see the fight as a situation where Pacquiao is going to need a KO for him to walk out of the ring the new WBA/WBC welterweight champion. To be sure, it is awfully hard to picture the 5’6” Pacquiao winning a decision against Mayweather due to Pacquiao’s lack of height, reach and skills in comparison to Mayweather.
“Manny knows exactly what to do in every situation. I think we can win a decision. We can outpoint him no problem,” Roach said via Fightnews.com. “Floyd’s never fought anyone with better speed than he has and I believe we have better speed. I believe we have better power than he has and we’re using that.”
Pacquiao knows what do to in the situations that Roach has thought up, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to apply what he’s learned. There’s a big difference. Being told how to defeat Mayweather’s style in lab conditions during training camp is a much different situation than actually going out and doing it in real life. There’s a thing called reality that gets in the way of the best laid plans, and Roach doesn’t have a great track record against Mayweather. His fighter Oscar De La Hoya lost to Mayweather in 2007 in a fight in which Mayweather appeared to carry De La Hoya for 12 rounds instead of stepping on the gas to trounce him like he probably could have. Roach’s game plan for De La Hoya failed in that fight, so he’s batting zero right now in terms of his game plans for beating Mayweather.
“Manny is definitely ready for this fight, we’ve had a great strategy. We’ve actually really worked on this fight together,” Roach said.
All this talk about Roach having a great game plan for Pacquiao to beat Mayweather would sound feasible if Pacquiao had showed in the past that he’s capable of using different game plans in his previous fights, but he doesn’t seem to do anything other than his one basic fighting style. Roach always talks about him having come up with a new game plan for each fight, but then Pacquiao goes out and fights exactly the same way each time.
That’s either a case of Pacquiao not following Roach’s plans, or Roach simply not having any real game plans. I don’t know which one it is. All I know is it’s hard for me to take Roach seriously anymore when he talks about game plans for the 36-year-old Filipino star because he’s not showing that he can use other game plans. He’s like a concert pianist that knows only one song. He might say he’s going to play another song, but then once he starts playing the fans quickly find out it’s the same song he’s been banging out on the piano.
“Manny took me into his room many times to dissect tape on Mayweather and how he fights against certain people,” Roach said. “This is the first time he has ever asked me to watch film with him. I liked what he showed me on the tape and I think that we’re perfect for this fight.”
I don’t think it matters that Pacquiao showed Roach some tape of Mayweather. If Pacquiao can’t change his fighting style on Saturday, which I don’t think he can, Mayweather is going to quickly neutralize his one fighting style and win a lopsided 12 round decision. Pacquiao probably needs at least 10 different game plans to have a chance of beating Mayweather on Saturday, but I doubt that Pacquiao will have anything different than the same old tired fighting style that he’s been using since he turned pro 20 years ago.
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