Thursday 18 January 2018

Manny Pacquiao revels in role of people's champion before 'fight of the century'

Oscar: 'Pacq must pack shock tactics'

Boxer Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, greets fans at a rally in Las Vegas
Boxer Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, greets fans at a rally in Las Vegas

FLOYD MAYWEATHER knows he may not be the People's Champion but he doesn't care as he prepares for his upcoming £330m showdown with Manny Pacquiao.

Boxing fans have been pouring into Las Vegas to taste the atmosphere building around the richest fight in history, even though only 500 tickets for the clash were made available for general sale.

Mayweather is the clear favourite to win but born again Christian Pacquiao would be a far more popular winner with Manny's trainer Freddie Roach going as far as to describe the fight as a battle of "good versus evil".

However, long-serving pound-for-pound king Mayweather views the reality that many fans want to see him fail as subordinate to his pursuit of wealth.

"I believe in self-preservation. Me first, then everyone else. But me first. Nobody is going to love Floyd Mayweather like Floyd Mayweather," said Mayweather.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Floyd Mayweather lives for Floyd Mayweather, no matter what anyone says. A business mind - whether you pay to see me win or pay to see me lose, you're paying and I'm collecting."

Oscar De La Hoya, one of five men who have fought and lost to both Mayweather and Pacquiao, is undecided as to who he thinks will prevail.

"I'm inclining more, as the fight gets closer, to Pacquiao.

"But Pacquiao has to really dig down deep inside and do a number on Mayweather. Can he take Mayweather out of his comfort zone?

"Because if Mayweather stays in his comfort zone, then it can be an easy fight for him and a relatively dull fight, where Mayweather will just outbox Pacquiao, pot-shot him and put those rounds in the bag.

"If Pacquiao can surprise him in the first two or three rounds, though, and get Mayweather where he has to catch him and come from behind, then it can be a very interesting fight.

"That has to be Pacquiao's plan. Because if you allow Mayweather to box going backward, he's going to let you come in and expose yourself. And Pacquiao will be in trouble."


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