Mayweather-Pacquiao mind games
Published On March 21, 2015 » 2460 Views» By Administrator Times » Columns, Sports
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RINGTALKAS the boxing fraternity world-wide waits with bated breath for the ultimate showpiece in boxing, likely to be the biggest in boxing history this century, featuring two of the best welterweights of their generation Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, mind games are already underway.
Showtime and HBO will jointly broadcast the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on May 2, following a model similar to the one they built when Mike Tyson faced Lennox Lewis in 2002 in London. Lewis knocked out Tyson in round eight.
That night will be a glittering one as it’s certain the blockbuster event will attract the creme de la creme of Hollywood, business moguls and the cream of the crop from the world of sport in the audience. This is to say nothing of the millions who will watch the drama live on their screens.
The main press conference and the last time that Mayweather and Pacquiao will actually see one another until fight week, took place this past week and the fight hype was in full gear with Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach pulling no punches about the outcome.
Roach has recently displayed an overwhelming level of confidence going into this mega event, which isn’t exactly out of place. A coach is always going to be confident in his fighter, but there seems some genuine belief in the voice of Roach, which suggests the fight could be quite close.
In his closing statement he said at the presser, “Sorry, Floyd, but we are going to kick your ass.”Fighting words!
This confidence is built on the fact that one of his former pupils Oscar De La Hoya pushed Mayweather closer than most, losing on a split points decision. Granted De la Hoya came up short on that occasion, but one would think Roach has been studying Mayweather for years at this stage and could very well have an elaborate game plan up his sleeve.
Although there was not too much in the way of trash talk during the week in Los Angeles, the man they call God’s gift to boxing, ‘Money’ Mayweather, wasn’t out-done in the mind games department and dropped a subtle bomb of his own.
While he was talking in the third person and not directly referring or naming Manny in some of his remarks, it was obvious who he was speaking about. A quotable quote was this: “When a fighter has lost before, losing is always in their mind.”
This was an indirect reference to Pacquiao’s losses to Juan Manuel Marquez (sixth round KO) and to Timothy Bradley. Of course, Pacquaiao avenged his earlier loss to Bradley and performed well against Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri.
Pacquiao himself has previously said he could easily beat Mayweather by breaking his legendary defence which 47 others before him failed to do. Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been more vocal about who he thinks will win and tips the Filipino, while Evander Holyfield, the man whose ear Tyson made a ‘meal’ sees it as too close to call.
Holyfield believes Pacquiao could pull it off if he could manage to cut off the ring, but he quickly adds: “Can he (Pacquiao) manage? I don’t think so.” For me, Floyd’s mind games started by giving Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana back-to-back fights.
As I said in one of my earlier pieces, Mayweather was severely tested by the awkward Maidana who showed no respect for the American and threw everything, anything and everywhere at Mayweather. I said then that the only reason Mayweather won those fights was that he was Mayweather.
I believe Mayweather used those two fights to get ready for Pacquiao. As we draw closer to fight date, this column will weigh in on what each boxer should do to win. Meanwhile, let the debate begin.  Who do you think will win?
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