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Roach Never Misses The Obvious, And That's Huge

BY Frank Lotierzo ON March 17, 2011
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Last week Manny Pacquiao's head trainer Freddie Roach, talked with the Philippine Star/Philstar.com and shared his thoughts on his fighters' upcoming title bout with former three division champ Shane Mosley on May 7th. While he was disclosing his thoughts on the fight, Roach took time out and praised Mosley's trainer Nazim Richardson, but acknowledged at Mosley's age, 39, how much can he really do to make him a better fighter. And then added that Mosley's legs are gone and that really showed in his fight with Floyd Mayweather last year. This is something everyone who saw the fight surely agrees with him on.

Obviously, Roach has a ton of respect for Mosley and waited a couple years before he let this fight come to fruition. As most know I think Freddie sometimes gets a little too much credit from the media, and that like some other great trainers from the past, happens to have a once in a generation fighter in his stable. But that's not the point here. The point is Roach never misses any of the obvious deficiencies that other trainers sometimes do in the opponents their fighter is about to face.

Roach pretty much encapsulated what Mosley will bring on fight night to the letter when he said, “He can take you out with one punch, the right hand,” Roach told The STAR over breakfast at the Sofitel Hotel. “Mosley’s a good counter-puncher. He’ll use his left as a decoy. What he wants to do is to land the right. I don’t think he’ll box Manny because he doesn’t have the legs to fight from a distance. He’ll come on strong in the first four rounds, looking to knock out Manny.”

If that doesn't summarize what Mosley is most likely going to try to do against Pacquiao, then he'll have to grow a third arm between now and the fight to throw off team Pacquiao. Or anyone else who knows what they've been watching during Shane's career. Because that's all Mosley can do at age 39, - go right hand crazy.

Think about it, what other weapon does Mosley have that he can try to employ against Pacquiao in order to have a shot in the fight? The fact is, he doesn't. Right now Pacquiao is faster and can put his punches together better than Shane. That might not have been the case in 2002, but they're fighting in 2011. And Pacquiao can beat Shane stepping back fighting as the counter-puncher, or his hand speed and southpaw angles will enable him to hang with and eventually better Shane when he tries to push the fight and force Manny to slug it out and trade with him. In other words, Mosley will try to make Pacquiao open up and slug with him so he can bring his right hand home.

In a perfect world, Richardson would love to have Pacquiao bring the fight to Shane. That would make Mosley's right hand more effective because he then could time and catch Pacquiao on the way in. He'd also get more on his right hand and wouldn't have to reach for the shorter Pacquiao while he's pulling away looking to set up his own attack, or counter.

Most know Pacquiao is prone to attack and has the mindset to want to oblige Shane when he tries to force the fight. However, Manny and Roach are too smart to go along with that fight plan just to prove they can beat him at his own game. Simply because by doing that, they'd be giving Mosley his best and only real chance at scoring the upset. No doubt, Pacquiao will go after Mosley during patches of the fight, but only when the time is right.

Roach wouldn't make a prediction during the Philippine Star interview on the round he thinks the fight will end, but said, “it’ll probably be after the fourth round, maybe, the fifth or sixth,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “Mosley’s got power and some hand-speed so we won’t rush things.”

That about says it all.

Some think that boxing strategy has to be rocket science, which is a fallacy. A lot of times if a fighter's trainer could just get him to take one thing away from his opponent, or make him do something he's uncomfortable doing, it's the difference between winning and losing. Granted, the trainer needs the right fighter to carry out the plan, but if the trainer's sharp, and the fighter is special, history is usually made.

Most fight observers knew Marvin Hagler didn't like to fight as the aggressor and was only average at cutting off the ring. And after watching Roberto Duran extend Hagler 15 rounds, and Sugar Ray Leonard out-box him for the better part of 12, some have said all you have to do to beat Hagler is move and make him go forward. Really? Try moving laterally and out-boxing Hagler while on the move if your name isn't Sugar Ray Leonard. Do you think Angelo Dundee could've navigated Tony Sibson, Wilford Scypion or Caveman Lee past Hagler using the same strategy that Leonard did? Of course not.

Pacquiao is a once in a generation fighter who listens and believes in his trainer. And his trainer often breaks it down to a few things for him to do in order to carry out the plan they've devised to insure victory. In addition to that, Roach never misses the obvious. And it seems that Freddie has the perfect read on Shane Mosley circa 2011, and not just how he'll fight Pacquiao, but even more than that understands the only way he can fight his fighter. A lot of times seeing the obvious is huge. And even though it sounds easy on paper, it isn't.  If it were, there'd be more than a handful of good trainers around today.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

Comment on this article

FighterforJC says:

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. WRONG!!!! Mosley will try to employ the same tactic he used against Margarito. He will clinch and wrestle Pacquiao to impose his natural size advantage over him. Mosley will try to land short uppercuts during the clinch , hit behind the head and everything else to rough up Pacquiao and throw him off his game. Freddie, are you listening? You NEED to prepare Pacquiao for a wrestling match. Make sure he doesn't lose his poise when he's getting bear hugged and shoved into the corner. Roach needs to hav a plan for that.

kmonterde says:

If you really think Freddie is wrong, then go to baguio and train Manny yourself. He is the head coach and he is pretty good with his job, after all, Manny won't be a successful boxer if Freddie is not the best coach. So please, let him do his job!

FighterforJC says:

If you really think Freddie is wrong, then go to baguio and train Manny yourself. He is the head coach and he is pretty good with his job, after all, Manny won't be a successful boxer if Freddie is not the best coach. So please, let him do his job!


I'm already training yo mama.

Radam G says:

Akin kabayan kay Kmonterde nagsabi iyan para sa akin [My countryman said it for me.], so I don't need to parrot him. I'm just saying don't believe the latest hype about turtle-legged Sugar Shane. At least those slow-arse legs are strong. The ref or the corner will halt the bout to save the Sugarman from a severe arsh thrashing. When fighting Da Manny, he and Golden Boy Big Money Oscar will look like twins. Holla!

Isaiah says:

Shane Mosley is the last of the name welterweights in the last several years. Manny has to beat this old warrior into submission just so no one can say that he didn't give Shane a shot. After that, bring on the rest cause they're flunking the Manny test. Afterwards you can say, Cotto, Margarito, Clottey and Mosley all ran the welterweight division for a long time, fought eachother and Manny beat them all. Floyd Mayweather saw this and cried herself to sleep overdosing on SCAREroids. Buck, buck, buck...

Radam G says:

Somebody oughta take a timeout or just straight-up CHILLAX! Accept change. This new TSS Universe is awesome. We don't any of the ways and trifling behavior of yesteryears' TSSU. Let's be mature grow ups. One can agree to disagree without making childish inflammatory remarks about "training" someone's dear "mama." I'm just saying playing the dozens ain't cool. Holla!

FighterforJC says:

@Radam: You don't think that Mosley's gonna try to wrestle Pacquiao the way he wrestled Margarito? Mosley has no legs aand he has diminished reflexes. The best way to deal with that is to grab Pacquiao. No way Mosley is going for broke in the early rounds.

ultimoshogun says:

FJC, I think the Margarito gameplan will spell certain doom for Sugar Shane if he uses that strategy come May 7..Margarito is a slower fighter with no reverse gear who kept coming straight at Shane and kept falling into his trap...Pacman is a completely different animal, he has faster hands, faster feet, and attacks in angles while darting in and out..Shane will have very little success trying to wrap him up...In my opinion Shane's only shot at an upset is to let Manny initiate most of the attack and just fire back and try to win the exchanges, since he has a solid chin and the power to rock Manny...If Shane tries to stalk Manny and impose his size he'll be eating shots all night on the way in...but yeah, its gonna be interesting to see what Team Mosley comes up with to stop the Filipino juggernaut.

Radam G says:

I know Sugar Shane, his pops Jack and the ole wise, genie Naazim. NO! I don't see the Sugarman trying to wrestle with Da Manny. In this hurt bitnezz, one wrestles with a slow-like, standing straight-up, robotic boxer, not with one who's moving all over the place -- side-to-side, in-and-out -- and punching from weird directions and angles. Genie Naazim has already called Da Manny a modern-day Aaron "Hawk Time" Pryor. Everybodeee who had height on him, tried that wrestling jive, and ended up stumbling and tumbling and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

You don't slow down a speed demon by trying to get him in wrestling hold after wrestling hold. Quickly he will make your arse fold. You try to get him with feinting and timing. Because even then, you may hit him with one or two shots, but he is going to drill your arse with about 15 pops. Sugar Shane may get in a hard shot of two. But the now not-starved-down Manny can take a shot. [This is why Pops Joy May and Uncle Roger May claim that "he is on A-side Meth that help Filipinos to walk through bullets." WTF! Fam Mayweather needs to come the Philippines and show us where to find that jive. Every Filipino in the world would be a megabillionaire like a muthamoneymaker. And we would even break off some dough for those Mayweathers.] Sugar Shane may hit Da Manny with a shot similar of the shot that Alexis Arguello hit Hawk Time Pryor with. But as Hawk Time did, THC PacMan will eat that shot, and knock Sugar Shane da-double-fudge-and-strawberry-on-top out. Holla!

Robert Curtis says:

I agree with the consensus who think this will be Manny/DLH II. A young cowboy beating on an old glue factory horse. What's with that Beatles hairdo Manny's got? Is he singing another duet on Jimmy Kimmel soon?

admin says:

My thinking is that Manny is too mobile to be wrestled by Mosley with any effectiveness.

@Radam: You don't think that Mosley's gonna try to wrestle Pacquiao the way he wrestled Margarito? Mosley has no legs aand he has diminished reflexes. The best way to deal with that is to grab Pacquiao. No way Mosley is going for broke in the early rounds.

FighterforJC says:

My thinking is that Manny is too mobile to be wrestled by Mosley with any effectiveness.


Maybe so, but it's still Mosley's best bet to drag Pacquiao down to his level. This might not be the best comparison, but if you can file back to 1997 I think, when Randy Couture met Vitor Belfort for the very first time. At the time, Belfort (pumped with roids) was just blasting out his opponents with a combination of speed, punching power and strength that no one's ever seen in the UFC. Randy Couture utilized his "dirty boxing" and completely dominated Belfort. Mosley has enough agility to put on earmuffs and barrel his way inside to get the clinch or at least try to pin Pacquiao against the ropes.

brownsugar says:

Manny's not going to walk up to Shane... beating his chest like Mayorga and challenging Shane's manhood,.. he'll box smart, pick his shots and avoid heavy artillery untill Shane becomes mortal after a few rounds.... after that,.. the Pacman bumrush begins........ then the debates will begin... was Mosely shot??,.. or is Manny the most incredible boxer the new millenium has ever seen?

FighterforJC says:

I'm not at all saying that Mosley will be successful at wrestling with Pacquiao, but it's his best bet to have any sort of consistency throughout the fight. If he fights Pacquiao straight up, Mosley's virtually looking for one lucky punch. However if he tries to turn it into an MMA match, Mosley has a chance to really throw off Pacquiao's rhythm and frustrate him with incessant clinching and hitting & holding.

Phenom37 says:

manny will fight patiently. he will constantly move in and out, side to side and bring the fight in the middle of the ring. but shane is a dangerous fighter, he is taller, heavier, stronger and has a longer reach. plus he is a knock out artist. pac's advantage is speed and stamina. he needs to stick to his game plan. he'll not stick his back on the ring and test shane's punches. he's gonna be the same energizer monster bunny that we know. =)

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