What are the prospects of Manny winning this Sunday? Asked who was tougher to fight, Oscar de la Joya, who had fought both Manny and Floyd, said: “The tougher to fight was Pacquiao. First of all, he’s a southpaw. Second, because he throws a lot of punches and has great footwork. Pacquiao is going to go in there using his footwork, moving in and out, throwing quick punches. So, the key is, if Pacquiao has the conditioning to go rounds without getting tired, then I believe Pacquiao can surprise him. He has to be aggressive in the first few rounds if he is to beat Floyd.”
The question is: will he have the conditioning by fight night? After Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny cold, I wrote that many were not surprised by Manny’s loss to Marquez. : “Manny’s celebrity status and financial windfall have many a time drawn him away from the disciplined world of a prizefighter. Training sessions, be they at the gym or on running tracks, had become road shows. His training camp was always overcrowded with plain free-loaders. To show off his versatility he played pick-up basketball with those camp followers.”
We now see every day on the three major networks bigger road shows, what with boxing legends and Hollywood stars getting in on the act. “Fiesta-like atmosphere” was how the Inquirer reporter covering Manny’s training in LA described it. “Manny attracted perhaps the biggest crowd he’d ever seen in training,” was what the Star reporter wrote. He played basketball with his camp followers a few times. However, Freddie Roach, said, “I’ve never seen a better Manny Pacquiao than now.”
Will Manny be aggressive in the first few rounds, moving in and out, throwing quick punches or will he be cautious? I wrote after Marquez beat the daylight out of Manny in December 2012: “In the ring, he would not be the reckless aggressor he is known to be, the thought of him meeting the fate of Filipino boxer Z Gorres cautioning his moves.” Gorres collapsed in the ring after being declared winner and brought straight to the hospital. He was paralyzed for a year and he is disabled for life.
Floyd packs a mean wallop. More than half of his 47 victories were by knockout. Manny might be over cautious allowing Floyd to box it out for 12 rounds. In that case, the judges might decide the outcome and the prospects are not good for Manny.