Watching tape. Re-watching tape. Pausing, rewinding, dissecting.
Freddie Roach has been doing a whole heckuva lot of that in recent weeks, as he tries to nail down a game plan for his guy Manny Pacquiao which will let the Congressman have the very best chance possible to render Floyd Mayweather Mr. 47-1.
Any particular footage Freddie is poring over, when he’s away from his Wild Card Gym, and being his typical obsessive self about the sport?
“I went back to the Oscar fight, Floyd against Oscar,” Coach Roach told me. That occurred in 2007 (May 2007, Floyd took a SD12), and he has an especially solid reference basis for that clash, being that he trained Oscar for the tussle. “I know how Oscar won the first six rounds and how and why he lost the last six,” Freddie said. “He gave the fight away. We won’t give the fight away, I promise you!”
What about a fair shake from judges? Floyd after all is an industry in Vegas. Would it not make sense if there were even a subconscious bias toward rewarding the man who helps fuel a city, with his twice a year fight extravaganzas? No, Roach said, he’s not worried about that, about an instance of what I call #corruptitude.
“I’m not thinking we need a knockout. We aim to beat him every round. If we kayo him, it’s a bonus. Floyd is not perfect. That shoulder roll, he won’t probably use it, it doesn’t really work versus southpaws. He will hit the ropes, he can’t not do it.”
And once there, we can assume, it will be Manny’s intention to make him pay for that choice, one which Roach believes is made for him, because he thinks the spring in the legs has diminished. “In his last couple of fights, I don’t think he’s that fast anymore. I think we can out-hustle him and out-score him. Yes,” he said, picturing Mayweather caught on the ropes, getting basted, unable to slide away, out of harm’s way, “I think Pacquiao is gonna destroy him.”
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