Beating the Pac-Man

With Pacquiao-Bradley fast approaching, we look at how ‘Desert Storm’ can beat the P4P king

22 May 2012    |    0 Comments

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Image courtesy of: Fighting Fit

On June 8, Manny Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against top contender Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, in what promises to be one of the biggest boxing spectacles of 2012. ‘Pac-Man’ is now undefeated in 15 fights and has not tasted defeat since 2005 to Erik Morales, a loss the 33-year-old avenged two fights later by scoring a TKO over the Mexican in round 10. The big debate is, Does Timothy Bradley have the skills to solve the puzzle that is Manny Pacquiao? An explosive southpaw with relentless cardio, no-one has thus far had an answer to the Philippine.

Here is a taste of what some of the top boxing coaches in the world – not to mention the challenger himself – thought was the key to toppling the pound-for-pound king from his throne.

Ismael Salas says go downstairs
I worked in Thailand for a long time, had five world champions and while I was there, Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by a body punch; he’s not the same Manny Pacquiao but he is the same person, you just have to get him at the right time. Pacquiao is still in his prime but he’s starting to slow down, and it will not be so far and he will get beat. Marquez concentrated on the body, cutting down Pacquiao, chopping, chopping, and not enough fighters try that against Manny.

Barry Hunter says use the jab
Against an aggressive fighter like Manny it’s advisable to employ a consistent jab. The jab is the best punch in boxing – one, it’s the first punch your average fighter learns, and two, it’s so versatile: it’s a timing disrupter, a range-finder, a pace-setter, and most combinations start and end with the jab. Manny is a rhythm fighter and the jab keeps him at bay. There is a certain distance between him and his opponent where Manny can be very explosive, so the jab stops him entering that range. But you can’t throw one at a time because one jab can be countered; two-to-three jabs are hard to counter.

Dave Coldwell says use brains, not brawn
Sooner or later you think that we will find someone stronger than Pacquiao. We thought back then that Ricky Hatton was a much bigger guy and would walk through Manny but by fight time Pacquiao looked huge and size was not really a factor anymore, same with Cotto. The key is not to out-man him but to outbox him, because he’s not the greatest boxer. It was a pride thing with Cotto and Hatton, everyone saying he was a little guy and it gets instilled in these fighters that they will be too big and too strong; they all expected that and as a result neglected their skills and ability.

Dominic Ingle says don’t believe the hype
Lots of fighters who take on Pacquiao – same as with Mayweather – are half-beat before the opening bell due to his reputation; it was like that with half of Naseem Hamed’s opponents but if they had come in the gym and seen the times he phoned it in, they would have had more confidence in beating him, but that never got out into the press. You have to get away from all the hype, the illusion that they’re always 100 per cent on their game. You have got to have the outlook that they’re just another opponent, that mental strength.

The challenger, Timothy Bradley, says bring on the southpaws
I’ve beaten every southpaw I’ve ever been in the ring with. The trickiest was Junior Witter at one time – he fought orthodox and southpaw and I had to be able to deal with that; he was way trickier than Pacquiao. I’ve fought two southpaws in my last two fights: Devon Alexander [w TD 10] – who is a speedster – and Joel Casamayor [w rsf 8] – who is more a clever fighter – and I beat both comfortably.

For more on beating Manny Pacquiao, get yourself the April 2012 issue of Fighting Fit. To purchase online, please click here.

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Fighting Fit is published by Newsquest Specialist Media, the world’s leading combat sport publisher. Other titles include Boxing News, The Boxing News Annual and The Boxing News Health & Fitness Series

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