PUTTING his unblemished boxing record on the line, Floyd Mayweather Jr. revealed that he has finally agreed on the challenge posed by first eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao because of his advantages against the smaller fighter.
“When you just look at the tale of the tape, I have a longer reach, I’m taller, I’m stronger, and I’m more accurate,” Mayweather told FightHype.com after announcing that his fight with the Filipino champion will be happening on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Dubbed as the pound-for-pound king, the American champ has been known for his defensive boxing style while opponent Pacquiao has been remarked for his impressive all-action offense and the ability to punch from all angles.
Mayweather believes that his height advantage will be a factor in his victory over the Philippines’ beloved athlete.
“I think with me, [height] plays a key because I use a little bit of everything. I use my reach, I use my height, I use my movement,” he noted.
“I use different techniques, whereas he is not as versatile as Floyd Mayweather,” the American champ said.
Acknowledging Pacquiao’s strength and zest as a boxer, Mayweather, however, insisted, “This is a different league.”
“I mean, this is a guy that can box going forward, this is a guy that can box going backwards, a guy that can counterpunch,” Mayweather said, bragging his skills that may punch Pacquiao’s career.
“I can tie you up, I can slug if I have to, but my thing is always working smarter, not harder,” he added.
The undefeated American boxer sees Pacquiao as a changed fighter ever since his strength and conditioning trainer Alex Ariza went to work with Mayweather.
“Once Alex Ariza left, he’s a totally different fighter,” he said.
Despite his advantages, Mayweather said he believes that he should not underestimate Pacquiao.
“He may not be the same fighter, but this is a guy that I cannot overlook. He got here somehow and some way,” Mayweather said. “You never take nothing for granted, because anything can happen.”
Acknowledging the efforts of his opponent’s team, Mayweather still believes that he has enough qualities to win the WBO title and retire with an undefeated streak.
“But a far as me being nervous or worried, absolutely not. But I’m always cautious and smart,” he said.
“You know, I don’t have anything bad to say about (Pacquiao’s trainer) Freddie Roach, I don’t have to say anything bad about his team, but I believe in myself and I believe in my skills, and I got here somehow and some way by believe in my skills and believing in my talent,” he added.
Mayweather’s father, also a former boxer, Floyd Sr., described Pacquiao as an easy opponent.
“This is going to be a one-sided deal, man. Pacman gets his ass whooped, simple! I’m just telling you what it is. Everybody all hyped and geeked, they will see how easy this fight is going to be,” Floyd Sr. said in an interview with FightHype.com.
“I’m just telling you right now and I’m saying this right now, ain’t no way he can whoop Floyd. That’s that. He can forget it. He can bite the bone that’s what he’s going to do—hit the f***ing ground,” he added.
Floyd Sr. is confident that there is no need for a rematch between the two fighters, as his son will undoubtedly win.
“Floyd’s going to make him look like a baby. Believe me! Floyd can hit him with a jab and stuff easy, man. He’s the most hittable man in the world. You gonna see that. You gonna get a chance to see exactly what I’m talking about. Floyd gonna hit him easy. Floyd will dominate him bad,” Floyd Sr. remarked.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, started his training in the Philippines before heading to the US for his formal training with coach Freddie Roach.
Analyzing previous fights of his opponent, Pacquiao noted that Mayweather is far from perfect.
“I saw his weaknesses in the Maidana fights,” Pacquiao said, referring to Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana fight last year. “Yes, I’m confident I can catch him.”
“All I need to do is train hard,” he added, insisting that there is no need for an overhaul in his training regimen.
He, however, admitted that there is a need to improve his training.
“I must improve some more. I need to be in 100 percent condition,” he said. “Apply exercises that we were unable to apply before.”
Before the finalizing of the contract, Pacquiao had to settle with a 60-40 purse split clause in their agreement. Moreover, he had to accept that with his record, he would be an underdog over his undefeated opponent.
“I’d been in this kind of situation many times in my previous fights. It doesn’t scare me. I love being the underdog. It even motivates me to train hard and go for the crown,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao will be heading to US on Feb. 28.
Skyhigh ticket price
Anticipated as the richest fight in boxing history, the ticket prices in the match are expected to cost a fortune.
ESPN’s Dan Rafael predicts that the cheapest ticket could be around $1,000 (P44,290 at P44.29 = $1) and the most expensive about $500,000 (P221,454.91)
Rafael said very few tickets might be put on sale for the public.
“However, with such heavy demand for tickets from the promoters, networks and casino (which all have to pay for tickets), it is doubtful than a few hundred, maybe 1,000 tickets will be offered for public sale. If there is a public sale, no date has been announced,” he wrote.
Those who cannot avail the ticket may catch the fight through pay-per-view, which is expected to be at $100 each, according to CbsSports.com.
The Mayweather-Pacquiao is expected to spawn around four million pay-per-view buys,nearly double than the highest recorded in 2007 when Mayweather faced Oscar dela Hoya.
(With reports from ABS-CBNNews.com, GMANetwork.com, Rappler.com and Inquirer.net)
(LA Midweek February 25-27, 2015 Sec. A pg.1)