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Santoliquito: Does Pacquiao Have A Chance?

By Joseph Santoliquito

LAS VEGAS, NV (CBS) — It doesn't matter if the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao megafight fight on Saturday took place five years ago, as many were hoping, three years ago, or two years ago. The result would—and will—be the same: A unanimous 12-round victory for Mayweather.

There's really no mystery here. The fight has a chance to be a very aesthetically ugly fight, if Mayweather decides to peck and run, which there is a good possibility he may.

But how will Mayweather win a 12-round decision with Pacquiao continually charging him? And does Pacquiao have any chance at all to win? Can Pacquiao press Mayweather and force him to fight?

Here is a possible game plan both fighters will employ.


Floyd Mayweather (Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Don't be surprised if two of the first three, or all three of the opening rounds go to Pacquiao. Mayweather is a master at breaking down a fighter, and "Pac-Man" possesses the kind of hand speed and quickness that's enough to almost match his own. It will take a few rounds to gauge that, find the correct spacing and time when Pacquiao hops in and hops out of the punching zone.

Two things Mayweather will need to avoid at all costs—that's sitting on the ropes as he did in the first Marcos Maidana fight. He can't do that against Pacquiao, who is the far superior puncher and can hurt Mayweather. Mayweather will do what he's always done, take the fight into the middle of the ring and use space. Working angles and Pacquiao to lunge, which the Filipino has a tendency to do, will create opening to attack for Mayweather. That's where he'll wait to counter and strike.

Mayweather may dominate the middle rounds, build a big points lead and win 8 rounds to 4, or 9 rounds to 3, depending how quickly he finds a comfortable distance to work with. Mayweather's straight right counter will cause problems for Pacquiao.


Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao (R) (Photo Credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Pacquiao is very capable of beating Mayweather. But to beat "Money" you have to catch him. You have to keep Mayweather busy backing him up and keeping on the defensive, where he has no chance to counter and you're coming to him. Oscar De La Hoya created to blueprint in beating Mayweather, and that's to beat him up, crowd him and hit him anywhere, not just aim for the head. De La Hoya ran out of gas after the eighth round against Mayweather, Pacquiao may not.

"It's called Father Time, and it caught up to me against Floyd," De La Hoya said. "Mayweather is beatable. Anyone that puts on gloves is beatable. You just have to be able to keep up with Mayweather over 12 rounds. Manny has to beat Mayweather by using the jab and making him uncomfortable. Pacquiao has great footwork. He can get across the ring and close on you really fast. Mayweather will have problems with Manny's jab. Mayweather doesn't know how to deal with a jab. Now doing it in the ring against Mayweather is another thing. Manny can win. It depends on how much he has left in the tank."

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