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Mayweather to press the attack early against Pacquiao

1-02By Allan Fox: We may see a totally different WBA/WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. tonight in his unification bout against WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather is saying that he’s going to be very aggressive and he’s going to go on the attack against Pacquiao from the opening bell in turning the fight into an immediate war at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Mayweather must believe that his best chance of winning is to be as aggressive as possible.

Unfortunately that style hasn’t worked well for Pacquiao’s recent opponents Tim Bradley and Brandon Rios. Both of those fighters attempted to bring the fight to Pacquiao, but they ended up losing.

“I am going to approach it in a very, very aggressive way and go out there and press the attack early,” Mayweather said via Yahoo Sports. “I am pretty sure he is going to come at me extremely strong.”

By Mayweather coming at Pacquiao to try and back him up early, Mayweather stands a better chance of winning the early rounds of the fight than if he stands with his back against the ropes hiding behind his Philly shell defense trying to pick shots off. Pacquiao throws too many combinations for Mayweather’s shoulder roll defense to pick off all the incoming fire from Pacquiao.

Mayweather will struggle to win rounds if he stays still with his back against the ropes. It’s very important that Mayweather win most of the first four rounds of the fight because if he falls behind early, he’ll be forced to abandon his pot shot fighting style and will need to go after Pacquiao to play catch-up.

Pacquiao will have an advantage over Mayweather if the two of them are slugging it out. Mayweather has never shown the ability to stand in the trenches to slug it out for long against big punchers in the 147 pound division. Juan Manuel Marquez did well against Pacquiao in punching with him, but Marquez had a good chin, and he was unafraid to get hit. Marquez also had good punching power with both hands.

Unless Mayweather’s punching power has increased for this fight, he’s going to have some problems being able to fight aggressively. But he may feel that he has no other choice but to take the fight to Pacquiao because it doesn’t work out well for Pacquiao’s opponents when they stand still and wait for him to come at them. It also doesn’t work to run from Pacquiao.

“I never watch my opponent. I feel like you can have a certain game plan, but once you get inside that square circle the game plan changes,” Mayweather said. “Boxers may fight certain guys the same way, but they fight me different.”

Pacquiao usually doesn’t watch his opponents either before his fights, but he’s made an exception with this by sitting down with his trainer Freddie Roach to scout out Mayweather’s flaws in his game. They’ve both spotted a number of things that they feel Mayweather does wrong and they think they can get the better of him.

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