Saturday, December 19, 2009

Floyd Mayweather's mind games working on Pacquiao?

Although the negotitions between Top Rank and Golden Boy are mostly completed, some of the smaller details are proving to be points of contention between the two sides. As in many big fights, a lot of this is probably purely as a means of leveraging advantages for the fight, either directly for your own fighter or indirectly as a distraction for the opponent. There is also perhaps no fighter in the sport today as good at this as Floyd Mayweather.

First and foremost Manny Pacquiao isn't usually someone who tends to get emotionally involved with his opponents, never bad mouthing them or waxing about how he will beat them etc. In fact usually he and his opponents tend to be friendly outside the ring, previous opponent Miguel Cotto for example was invited to Manny's birthday bash easlier this week.

The Mayweather trash talking and difficulties seem to be getting under Pacquiao's skin a little more than usual of late though. Manny has gone on record as saying he would punish Floyd for his lack of manners, and doesn't seem confortable with the constant stream of empty talk coming from the Mayeather camp. Perhaps more to the point Manny has never faced an opponent who likes to talk as much as Floyd, which is partly to hype up his fights and partly to antagnoize his opponent.

Whether this tactic is a good idea will remain to be seen until March, when either an reckless or more focused Pac-man will step into the ring with Floyd. On the one hand, Manny likes to stand and trade with his opponents, much to the chargrin of coach Roach, and doesn't mind taking a few shots here and there. During the Cotto and Hatton fights Manny stood toe to toe with both larger men and took their shots without backing down. Against Mayweather he wont be abel to do this because of the way Mayweather fights, and if he goes looking for a firefight Mayweather will dance around him all night long.

Mayweather's hope will no doubt be that Pacquiao will be unsettled byt he extra drug testing he has insisted on for the fight, and wound up by his trash talking. On fight night he will no doubt hope that Santa has left him a late Christmas present in the form of a furious Manny rushing after him, ignoring the game plan and getting picked apart with Floyd's pot shots.

On the other hand if Mayweather and his mouth are angering Pacquiao in the right way, be will only become more focused and listen even more intently to Freddie Roach in the build up to the fight. If Pacquiao can dismantle opponents he is friends with outside the ring, then facing someone who he really doesn't like may just bring out an ever better Manny than we have seen in the past. Other opponents have tried and failed to rattle Pacquiao in the past, and while Floyd is a master of his craft when it comes to this kind of thing, Manny usuallu seems unshakeable.

Its an interesting gamble for Floyd, a master of dictating the terms of most of his previous fights before and during the bout, but one that might not pay off as well as he would like.

No comments:

Post a Comment