Saturday, February 28, 2015

Manny Pacquiao has chance to beat Floyd Mayweather, says Teddy Atlas

The recent announcement that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao finally will meet in the ring on May 2 in Las Vegas was a cause for celebration throughout the boxing world.

ESPN commentator Teddy Atlas says it's better late than never, but he believes the fight is "six years too late" from an athletic standpoint.

"I don't know if it will be a great fight, but it's going to be the biggest fight of all-time," Atlas told Newsday.

Referring to Pacquiao's Dec. 8, 2012 knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Atlas added, "Pacquiao was out cold, but the stars lined up right for him. The fans are happy because they're parched in the desert, and they think they see an oasis. But there's always a danger you're seeing a mirage."

In Atlas' view, Pacquiao isn't as big or as strong at age 36 as he was when he was knocking people out, which he hasn't done for his past 10 fights dating to a 2009 stoppage of Miguel Cotto. Atlas said Mayweather might have been right to demand testing for performance-enhancing drugs when the camps for the two fighters first negotiated in 2009.

"I'm not making any claims," Atlas said. "I'm using my eyes."

At the same time, he believes Mayweather also is diminished at age 38.

"Floyd has always been careful, and now, he's more careful than ever," Atlas said. "He showed that in his last fight against Marcos Maidana. He grabbed and ran."

But while neither fighter is as good as in his prime years, Atlas believes it could be a decent fight simply because Pacquiao is good enough to possibly end Mayweather's unbeaten streak of 47 fights.

"The greatest strength of Mayweather is his greatest weakness," Atlas said. "He's so defensive that he gives you a chance to go to work. Pacquiao's hand speed gives him an opportunity to outhustle Mayweather and grab some rounds ... Floyd's great, but Pacquiao has a chance."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pacquiao's Mayweather tactic? 'Use my left and right'

 Underdog Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he has a simple tactic to beat American favourite Floyd Mayweather in history's richest fight by two longtime rivals for the planet's top "pound-for-pound" boxer crown.

"Use my left and right (fists)," the Filipino boxing hero told reporters when asked how he planned to deal with his undefeated foe's height and reach advantage, as well as famed defensive skills.

"If I hurt him I expect him to run. Otherwise he might fight me toe-to-toe."

The Philippines is in the throes of "Pacmania" as the 36-year-old, dubbed "The National Fist" by local media, is set to fly to the United States to train for the May 2 Las Vegas bout.

The 38-year-old Mayweather, tipped as the favourite by bookmakers after announcing the megabucks fight last weekend, has not lost any of his 47 fights, in which he has scored 26 knockouts.

Pacquiao has 57 victories and five defeats to his name, including two suffered as recently as 2012. He has two draws and 38 knockouts.

But he exuded confidence Wednesday as he gave out free pizzas to supporters while preparing for his third game as a basketball player in the Philippines' top professional league.

His determination to play for his Kia Carnival team has raised fears he might get injured before the fight, which US media report could net him an $80 million pay cheque.

- Injury fears -

"I know what I'm doing," said the 1.69-metre (5-foot 6-inch) Pacquiao, a devout Christian who is also the shortest and oldest player in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

He said he would also hit the court again on Saturday, hours before his US flight.

"My Lord, my God, He is the Creator of everything. He knows everything," he added, pointing to the ceiling and repeating his mantra that God will keep him from harm.

Unlike his boxing, however, Pacquiao's basketball career has been underwhelming.

He has scored one solitary point, off a free throw, in his rookie season as player-coach for Kia Carnival.

"That's fine. What's important is my team won. I needed to play to inspire my teammates," he said Wednesday as his courtside struggles continued, going 0-2 with an airball in just under six minutes of play.

With him riding the bench for the rest of the game, his team beat the Talk N'Text team, 106-103, their third win against four defeats.

Pacquiao downplayed criticism by ex-National Basketball Association player Daniel Orton, who was fired by a rival PBA team last week for describing the boxing champ's basketball skills as a "joke".

"Poor guy," Pacquiao said, adding: "I will not react because I would be going down to his level.

"It's like this: No person has ever succeeded without being criticised."

His courtside fans also backed him.

"Everyone has a right to strut their stuff," 36-year-old housewife Ginalyn Lacsana told AFP as she cheered the Kia team from her ringside seat.

"You have to show respect," agreed Ramli de las Armas, 29, who went to the PBA games while on vacation from work abroad as a machine operator in Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What it could look like when Pacquiao or Mayweather win

The two tensest moments in a boxing match are ironically the moments when nobody is throwing a punch.

The moments preceding the first bell, when the referee is clearing the ring of entourages, and the two fighters and their chief seconds meet at center-ring for final instructions and the ceremonial touching of gloves.

Goosebumps raise from your arms waiting for the timekeeper's hammer to strike the bell as months of build-up come down to the next 48 minutes (or less).

The other is the moments right after the final bell, when both fighters have already made their case and await the verdicts of three judges whom will decide how history remembers that bout.

With so much on the line heading into the May 2 welterweight super-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., there will be much pressure on the judges assigned to the bout.

The Las Vegas SuperBook thinks the fighters will head to a decision, having installed the over-under prop line at -300 favorite for the 11 1/2 round for the over.

We won't know who will emerge as the victor until May, but we can get a glimpse at what it might look like thanks to some superb editing by the Facebook page Office Hansho Boxing.

In the first video, posted in August prior to Pacquiao and Mayweather's most recent fights, Pacquiao's hand is raised in victory. Apparently, according to the admin, he was "forced" to create a second video showing Mayweather being named the winner by "the hordes of butthurt Flomos."

And even if you know it's just a fan video, it's hard not to get excited hearing Michael Buffer's voice announcing a decision.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Marquez trainer picks Pacquiao over Mayweather

The man who successfully devised a game plan to defeat Manny Pacquiao is picking him to beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their May 2 super fight.

Ignacio “Nacho” Beristein, who trained Juan Manuel Marquez in his four fights with Pacquiao, is confident that the Filipino icon will emerge victorious against Mayweather in the match that’s expected to be the richest in history.

"Pacquiao will definitely win. Pacquiao is just too tough and too strong. Pressure and a lot of punches just beats Floyd up," Beristein recently told Mark Malinowski of Ring Observer.

Oddsmakers have installed Mayweather as a 2 1/2-1 favorite to beat Pacquiao, but Beristein believes the General Santos City-based southpaw will buck the odds.

Interestingly, the 72-year-old trainer was in Marquez’s corner when the Mexican legend fought and lost to Mayweather by decision in 2009. But it will be Beristein’s work against Pacquiao that will mostly define his legacy as one of the best trainers in boxing history.

Pacquiao and Marquez clashed four times, with their first three outings ending up closely. In their final clash in 2012, Marquez knocked Pacquiao in the sixth round to register the first conclusive result of their storied rivalry.

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Beristein just knows Pacquiao from head to toe that he believes the fighting congressman has the tools to end Mayweather’s unbeaten 47-fight run.

”I know very well Pacquiao. I’ve seen him fight many times. He’s very good. And everybody picks Mayweather to win the fight because he wins so much against easy fighters, but Pacquiao is just too tough, too strong,” he argued.

“Mayweather’s style – when he fights someone that pressures him and throws a lot of punches – he (Pacquiao) just beats (Mayweather) up,” Beristein added.

Beristein pointed out Pacquiao’s remarkable work ethic, saying it will be one of his keys to victory.

”He just works too hard. His training is too hard. He works very hard,” he continued.

Mayweather works hard as well, and in more than two months, the world will know who’s more effective.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Floyd Mayweather Sr. eager to get son back in gym, stresses body work vs. Manny Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Sr. will spew 10 weeks of verbal bravado about his son's May 2 showdown with Manny Pacquiao, but the trainer knows it is the fight of all their lives.

Mayweather-Pacquiao, after five years of balky talks, finally is scheduled to happen this spring at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"I don't think the fight has lost nothing," Mayweather Sr. said Saturday. "I think the fight will be as big as it ever was going to be, because you know what? If people anywhere are talking about anything on the planet, it's the fight. That's what they're talking about. Everybody is talking about it.

"My phone has not stopped ringing today. It's true. My phone woke me up this morning. A whole bunch of good is going to come out of this fight. It's going to be a good thing to see."

Mayweather-Pacquiao widely is projected to be the richest fight in history, and projects as one of the rarest of generation-defining boxing events, along with the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard-Marvelous Marvin Hagler in 1987, Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier I in 1971, and the most historically significant boxing event ever, Joe Louis-Max Schmeling II in 1938.

The welterweight unification bout was announced Friday.

Details have not been announced, but pay-per-view is expected to cost $100 including high-definition tack-ons, and ringside tickets are expected to run around $5,000 -- if you have the contacts to get any before the set-asides and resell market drive prices higher.

Mayweather Sr. offered the predictable prediction that his son will knock out Pacquiao, though neither fighter has scored an unsullied knockout in more than five years.

 He did offer some hints as to the strategy against the speedy, heavy-handed Pacquiao.
"If you've ever seen Pacquiao fight, against everybody, you never see nobody going to his body -- you never see nobody going to his body," he said. "So my thing would be is to tell Floyd, hit him with the straight right hand and left hook, and then go back to the body.

"A southpaw is definitely geared to be hit with right hands. I'm going to say that, along with the body work, it's going to be a good right hand and a left hook that's going to put him down."

Pound-for-pound king Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) risks his pristine legacy against Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) -- but if he hadn't, it wouldn't have been pristine.

Mayweather Sr. said the fight will be equivalent to "just a good fighter sparring in the gym, that's all."

"I know one thing, I know every move that Pacquiao does," he said. "That ain't no problem. He'll jump in with the jab, and when he jumps in with the jab, he ain't going to throw nothing behind it. He only throws one or two punches. When he jabs, because he jabs with his right hand, Floyd can pick it, or slide and dig to his body. There's all kinds of ways you can do things."

Though there are several pre-fight details to work out and training probably won't begin for a few more days, Mayweather Sr. said he would prefer it to begin this week for the biggest fight in a boxing-immersed family's history.

"It's time to get down to business," he said. "Don't cheat yourself or beat yourself, you understand?"

Friday, February 20, 2015

Computer glitch made MGM Grand appear sold out for Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

Still hoping to get tickets for the most highly anticipated fight of the year? You’re in luck!

Boxing’s mega-bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is guaranteed to spark a mass influx of humanity into Las Vegas on the weekend of May 2 – and thankfully there’s still plenty of opportunity to get a room at the fight’s venue.

A computer glitch made it appear the host MGM Grand was sold out for May 1 and May 2 minutes after the announcement that Mayweather would fight Pacquiao, but the hotel was busily putting the word out Friday night that it has plenty of rooms available for the event’s weekend.

MGM Grand spokesperson Yvette Monet said the hotel was nowhere near being sold out and that if you log on to the hotel website at, a toll-free number would allow you to make reservations for the big weekend.

In recent days, as speculation that the two men would finally meet in the ring after more than five years of frustration and contractual wrangling, room rates for the MGM continued to rise, on what is already one of the most popular holiday weekends of the year.

On Thursday, when it appeared Mayweather was poised to make the announcement before keeping fans on tenterhooks for one day longer, prices climbed as high as $615 per night for May 1 and 2.

Even though the arena’s capacity can reach only around 17,000 – depending on any reconfiguration to try to accommodate more ticket holders – thousands of revelers are expected to flood into Sin City to take part in the associated festivities and watch on one of several closed circuits viewings at various casinos.

So, if early indications are anything to go by, even with rooms still available, nothing associated with this fight will come cheap.

The MGM Grand sold out the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in 15 minutes

Boxing’s mega-bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is guaranteed to spark a mass influx of humanity into Las Vegas on the weekend of May 2 – but boxing fans can forget about getting a room at the epicenter of fight week.

The MGM Grand, which will host the long-awaited contest between boxing’s two biggest names, appeared to have completely sold out within 15 minutes of the match-up being announced by Mayweather on the social media site Shots on Friday afternoon.

In recent days, as speculation that the two men would finally meet in the ring after more than five years of frustration and contractual wrangling, room rates for the MGM continued to rise, on what is already one of the most popular holiday weekend’s of the year.

On Thursday, when it appeared Mayweather was poised to make the announcement before keeping fans on tenterhooks for one day longer, prices climbed as high as $615 per night for May 1 and 2.

Even though the arena’s capacity can reach only around 17,000 – depending on any reconfiguration to try to accommodate more ticket holders – thousands of revelers are expected to flood into Sin City to take part in the associated festivities and watch on one of several closed circuits viewings at various casinos.

But, if early indications are anything to go by, nothing associated with this fight will come cheap.

Done deal: Floyd Mayweather will fight Manny Pacquiao on May 2

After years of frustration and disappointment, following many starts and stops, perhaps the most talked about boxing match in history is finally a reality.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. announced Friday that he's agreed to fight Manny Pacquiao in a welterweight bout May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. It's a bout the public has been calling for since late 2009 and pits the two finest boxers of their generation in a historic event.

"I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done," said Mayweather. "Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus. This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2. I am the best ever, TBE, and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win. Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won't be successful. He will be number 48."
The bout is expected to set numerous records, including purse size, live paid gate and pay-per-view sales. The cost of the pay-per-view has yet to be determined and won't be until there are deals with the distributors.

Formal details on the agreement have yet to be announced, but it's expected that Mayweather will have a 60-40 split advantage on revenues, with Mayweather making at least $120 million and Pacquiao, who signed the contract for the bout Thursday, earning $80 million.

"Floyd should enjoy being the A-side while he can," Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, said. "Because on May 2, Manny is going to put him on his backside."

The two nearly came to terms around the Christmas holidays in 2009, a month after Pacquiao stopped Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand. It fell apart, though, when Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum balked at Mayweather's demand for drug testing run by the United States Anti-Doping Agency during training camp.

There were numerous attempts over the last five years to reignite the talks. In 2011, then-HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg tried to act as a mediator between Mayweather adviser Al Haymon and Arum, but that didn't come to fruition.

In 2012, Mayweather, who was in Las Vegas, called Pacquiao, who was at his home in the Philippines, and offered him a guaranteed $40 million but with no pay-per-view upside. Pacquiao declined that offer.

Mayweather jumped from HBO, which had him under an exclusive television contract for much of his career, to Showtime in 2013, which seemed to be the death knell for the fight.

Mayweather has fought four of the six fights on his record-breaking Showtime contract and didn't have an opponent out there who would have made the kind of show that would resonate with the public the way a Pacquiao fight would.

Pacquiao remains under an exclusive television deal with HBO, so that further complicated the attempts to match the fighters. Only once previously, in 2002 when Lennox Lewis (HBO) and Mike Tyson (Showtime) fought, have the two premium cable giants gotten together to do a pay-per-view.

This most recent talks began in November and were started by CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, a longtime acquaintance of Arum's. Roach actually got them together by speaking to a friend of his who owns a Southern California pizza restaurant that Moonves frequents.

Moonves and Arum were joined in the talks by HBO CEO Richard Plepler. And while there were many false alarms along the way, they were able to get the deal done.

Arum told Yahoo Sports on Jan. 13 that Pacquiao had agreed to terms for the bout and that all that was required was for Mayweather to agree.

But because Mayweather, the pound-for-pound king and the sport's biggest pay-per-view attraction, had the upper hand and was dictating the terms, there was a lot of skepticism and back and forth. Several times, Mayweather went to social media to announce that no deal had been reached.

Mayweather and Pacquiao spoke face-to-face for the first time during these negotiations Jan. 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami at a Heat-Milwaukee Bucks game. Pacquiao had served as a judge at the Miss Universe pageant in Miami two nights earlier, but because of bad weather on the East Coast, his flight to Los Angeles had been canceled.

As a result, he went to the game to see the Heat because he’s friends with Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. Mayweather, who owns a home in Miami, also attended the game and walked over to speak to Pacquiao at halftime. Later, Mayweather went to Pacquiao's hotel room and they had further discussions.
That led to intense speculation of an announcement, but it took several more weeks before the deal could be consummated.

Roach told Yahoo Sports in January that he'd already gotten bleary-eyed from watching film of Mayweather and coming up with a plan.

"It's a huge challenge for Manny, no question, but I think it's a fight that he can win," Roach told Yahoo Sports.

The intrigue in the bout comes about because they are not only widely regarded as the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world but their styles are vastly different.

Mayweather is the brilliant tactician and one of the finest defensive fighters in the sport’s history. He has an innate sense of timing and can see punches coming that others can’t.

Pacquiao, a left-hander, is a powerhouse offensive fighter who has the speed and quickness to deal with Mayweather.

"I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years," said Pacquiao. "They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is an honor to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world."

Former world champion Timothy Bradley, who has gone 1-1 in two bouts with the Filipino congressman and cultural icon, told Yahoo Sports last year that Pacquiao is an extraordinarily hard puncher.

"He hits hard, man," Bradley said. "It's a whole different level. You feel it when he hits you."

The result is the kind of boxer vs. slugger match that has long intrigued boxing fans.

And five years after it first was talked about, it's finally a reality, and the endless debates over who would win will be settled in the ring.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mayweather, Pacquiao Discuss Terms In Private Meeting

The megafight that the boxing world has been clamoring for between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. should be finalized in "the next couple days," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told the New York Post.

The sides have been negotiating what will certainly be the richest fight in boxing history, but no deal has been struck yet. The two fighters met privately for more than an hour on Tuesday in Miami.

"Everybody is doing the right thing," Arum told the Post on Friday. "We're looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done."

One of the issues is that Time Warner/HBO, which has a contract with Pacquiao, and CBS/Showtime, which has Mayweather under contract, need to hammer out terms for a joint pay-per-view telecast, which they did once before for the 2002 fight between then-heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis and former champ Mike Tyson. They have been negotiating the terms.

"I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together, and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not," Arum told the Post of the Miami meeting. "Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and [Pacquiao adviser] Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight."

Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs), the 36-year-old Filipino legend, and Arum have repeatedly said they have agreed to all of the terms outlined by Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), who turns 38 in February, during talks with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, who has served as the go-between on behalf of Mayweather and his adviser, Al Haymon.

Mayweather has said he intends to fight May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, be it against Pacquiao or somebody else.