I'm worried, my friends.
I am worried that we are in a place where we are setting ourselves up to over-promise, and under-deliver. The Fight, I'm talking about.
On May 2, we are going to get a couple million folks who really never watch boxing, maybe never have, or maybe last did when Tyson was still the Baddest Man on the Planet, instead of a cartoon character. (Literally, he has his own cartoon, I'm not busting chops!)
And many of those folks will have been lured in by the hype. They are hearing the trumpets blaring, and seeing snippets of the most active that Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao can be, and they are expecting to be entertained by two pugilistic hurricanes, who'll blow into Vegas and level their surroundings i.e. each other, and leave us to marvel at the grandeur and gore left in their wake.
Only, here's the thing. Mayweather, especially, is no hurricane. He's patient, and cerebral in the ring. He's always the eye of the hurricane, calm and centered. His flurries are pretty rare and intermittently placed. He's no Goldman Sachs sort…the guy rarely trades, let alone gets into a high frequency trading mode. So those expecting Mike Tyson Jr. on their screen or in that ring at the MGM on May 2 are bound to be disappointed. I'm here to temper expectations a bit, capisce?
Most of us are expecting Pacquiao to push the issue. Freddie Roach told us he wants to take Floyd out of his comfort zone. Rush him, bull him, flurry on him, catch him on the ropes when he's resting and baste him. We shall see some of that…but we will also see a cerebral and patient side of Pacman. Floyd makes you pay when you're off balance, or after you miss, so Roach will want Manny to have his antennae up for three minutes of every round, not rush himself, and flurry and miss, and get countered as Juan Manuel Marquez did in their 2012 fight. So, in other words, there could be more minutes of more rounds than you might expect in which the two men are NOT punching.
How to put this? Friends, Gatti-Ward I V.2015 this will not be…
I spoke to Roach about the expectations that might be dashed from non fight fans thinking they will be watching a Rocky movie sort of choreograph. He chimed in with an anecdote…In 2012, he said, some lucky fans won a contest and their prize was attending the Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero fight. “They gave us s—y seats, and then the best part of the whole show was the four Asian guys in front of us, all dressed alike, with their heads turned to the right, all asleep during the fight!”
The trainer promises that his guy will be there to bring it, even if Floyd is in “fight smarter, not harder” mode.
“Manny is coming to fight,” Roach told me. “This fight is for boxing purists. And Mayweather is a very good boxer, but yes, he's not the most exciting guy. He's very crafty. We have a real guy in front of us, and whoever pulls off the game plan will win.”
So, you all might want to spread the word and get into a “under promise so the fight over-delivers” messaging mode, my friends. Just remember, a Gatti-Ward 1 sort of rumble, this will not be…
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