Hungry Pacman set to unveil new battleplan
‘LOCKED AND LOADED’
Manny Pacquiao will go the extra mile and revise his fighting style just to come up with a masterful conquest of Lucas Matthysse in their World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title match this Sunday at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
Buboy Fernandez, who will be calling the shots from Pacquiao’s corner, bared that the eight-division champion will be extra cautious and play the role of a counter-puncher if that what it takes to throw the Argentinian puncher off his comfort zone.
Pacquiao became a legend for his aggressive, devil-may-care fighting style.
That style prompted him to dominate and end the careers of some of the world’s best fighters like Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003, Erik Morales in 2005, Oscar De La Hoya in 2008 and Ricky Hatton in 2009.
But lately, the power in his punches appears to have faded as his foes have uncovered a surefire solution to tame him by not engaging him into a full-blown brawl.
Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather and Timothy Bradley mastered the art of counter-punching that left the Filipino dynamo groping for form. Everything collapsed against Jeff Horn when the unheralded Australian combined street-fighting with precise defensive strategy.
This time, Pacquiao is willing to change his battleplan.
“We will be the one to counter,” said Fernandez Tuesday at the Le Meridian Hotel where Pacquiao and Matthysse made their grand arrival.
“We will not attack right away. We will go slow and take it easy at first. We will turn to that game plan where we will end up frustrating him.”
“I can see that they are planning to attack Pacquiao with counters. But for us, we’ll wait for them to create action.”
Pacquiao said everything is set for the fight that would either extend or break his career.
“We are locked and loaded,” he said in a statement, expressing his hunger for another victory.
“I am more than ready and excited to show Malaysian fight fans the fruits of hard training and preparation.”
This will be Fernandez’s first time to act as lead trainer after Pacquiao decided to give his long-time cornerman Freddie Roach a break. Although Pacquiao said Roach will be back in his next match, there’s really no assurance as Lance Pugmire of the LA Times revealed that the two boxing icons have yet to talk since that fateful lost to Horn last year.
Aside from Fernandez, also working on Pacquiao’s corner are Roger Fernandez, Nonoy Neri and Nonito Donaire Sr. while Justin Fortune serves as his strength and conditioning mentor.
Fortune said they are glad that veteran referee Kenny Bayless will serve as the third man on the ring.
Although it was Bayless who officiated in Pacquiao’s controversial setback to Horn, where the fighting Senator was punished with rough tactics like elbow blows and head butts, Fortune said this is now a golden opportunity for the American referee to redeem himself.
“The referee is Kenny Bayless. He’s the real deal. He won’t allow that head-butting,” said Fortune, referring to the seasoned arbiter who worked on some of the world’s biggest fights involving Morales, Bradley, Shane Mosley, Cotto and Hatton.
Fortune said they anticipate some rough plays from Matthysse because he’s not as fast as Pacquiao.
“But he’s smart,” said Fortune. “He is a very dangerous guy.
Still, when the bell rings, it’s the hungrier fighter who will survive.
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