In Boxing News: Manny Pacquiao To Change Gameplan

Things continue to heat up in the boxing press as Erik Morales vs. Manny Pacquiao approaches. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that Manny Pacquiao’s final workout in Los Angeles was opened to the public and what loomed was a skilled, vicious fighter. It was not exactly a new Manny Pacquiao who awed spectators with newfound skills and techniques, but the Pacquiao they saw was a far cry from the confused, overeager slugger who lost to Erik Morales. Pacquiao was polished, strong and sure as he had his last workout at Freddie Roach‘s Wild Card gym. Roach said that this time they will be ready for Morales. Manny thought he could do the same thing to Erik that he did to Barrera, Roach told The Press Enterprise . He learned his lesson, added Roach.

Roach admitted that both he and Pacquiao made a mistake in the first fight: We used the wrong strategy. We didn’t fight well last time. You just can’t walk in and try to knock this guy out like we did the last time. Roach said that Morales can be outboxed easily and that the game plan was to pick up where Zahir Raheem left off – for the Filipino southpaw to use head movement, feint, box and use footwork to expose Morales. The plan is sound, but can Pacquiao really be compared to Raheem in terms of style of fighter? Probably better, however, not to disagree with Freddie. Discussing the glove-controversy hangover from the first fight, Roach told Viva Sports/Standard Today: they (the Morales camp) are assh**** and I don’t care about Erik. I think he’s a jerk and we are going to kick his a** this time.

The Asian Journal reports although it’s obvious that there is no love lost between Pacquiao and Morales, Mexican boxing experts and fans reveal that though they may not exactly love the Philippine boxing champ, they definitely have a lot of respect for him. This is as it should be, and surely most Filipino fans respect Morales. Anybody who doesn’t respect either of these fighters has obviously never seen them fight.

Ricky Hatton will next fight Arturo Gatti, Acelino Freitas, Diego Corrales or Jose Luis Castillo in the United States: I don’t know who it will be yet, it is genuinely still being negotiated but I expect to know by the weekend, Hatton told BBC. Looks like another big payday is on the cards for Gatti. Notably, Hatton added that a fight with WBC champion Floyd Mayweather Jr was still on: as far as I’m concerned a fight with Floyd Mayweather is a done deal for this year.

Writing for the El Paso Times, our own Matthew Aguilar writes that a consolation to El Paso fight fans bummed by the postponement of the Feb. 4 Jose Luis Castillo-Diego Corrales rubber match is that new Castillo opponent Rolando Reyes could be the next Carlos Baldomir.

Ed Schuyler isn’t completely convinced by Nicolay Valuev’s fistic credentials: Whenever the 7-foot, 300+ pound Russian makes his U.S. debut as champion, the fight should be held in a tent, cotton candy should be sold, and the bearded lady should be a round card girl. None of these things will happen – at least I hope not – but you can bet that Valuev will be promoted for his curiosity value. Whether he can fight will not matter to the curious among the general public. There also will be plenty of real boxing fans who want to take a look at someone who makes the Klitschko brothers look medium sized and who would make Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey look like a couple of shrimps.

Not exactly known for guarded understatement, the Mirror in the UK has a column which claims WBO super-middleweight king Joe Calzaghe plans to copy Rocky Marciano – his boyhood hero – and retire undefeated. The Mirror quotes Calzaghe: It would be fantastic if I could retire undefeated and as a reigning champion like Rocky. I know what I want to do and when I knock out Jeff Lacy I’ll be top of the world in the super-middleweights. I will have nothing left to prove at super-middleweight, and I’ll step up to light-heavy and fight Antonio Tarver, who’s considered the best at that weight. I’ll win a title, have a couple of big, fat pay days defending my title and then I’ll retire when I’m 36 or 37 as a two-weight world champion. C’mon, did Calzaghe really say that?

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