Sports

Pacquaio has plan to beat Mayweather

Pacquiao's coach Roach has winning blueprint based on Mayweather's past fights

Freddie Roach has devised an elaborate strategy that will deliver a decisive victory for Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao in his "Fight of the Century" against Floyd Mayweather tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The revered trainer said that he expects a bulked-up Mayweather to seek a knockout in the early rounds but warned Pacquiao would be ready to go the distance if necessary

"I have the winning formula for Manny," Roach said at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas yesterday morning.

"He (Mayweather) put on a lot of muscle for this fight. I think he will come out in the early rounds and try to knock us out.

"He could also run all night. I have fallen asleep at a couple of his fights before. So I am ready for whatever he brings to the ring."

Pacquiao set up his training camp for the richest fight in boxing history in a private facility built underneath Roach's Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

They gutted the old laundromat that was there and replaced it with a de facto war room where Roach and Pacquiao have been crafting the plan they believe will end Mayweather's unbeaten record.

Roach said that the new gym allowed Pacquiao to escape the clamour and chaos of the Wild Card that comes with having the Filipino superstar training there.

"This camp, I didn't have Manny trying to perform for an audience, he was performing for himself," Roach said.

"We had a good training camp. A lot of good sparring partners. We had eight sparring partners and we switched them around.

"Manny is too nice to his sparring partners all the time. Once he got too friendly with them, we got a new one. That is why we used so many sparring partners."

FLEXIBLE

Pacquiao said earlier in the week: "We are not focused on one strategy but two or three strategies. Any way he wants to fight me is good. If he wants to run, we will cut the ring off."

Roach said the Pacquiao camp is going to use Mayweather's fights against Zab Judah and Oscar de la Hoya as a blueprint for their strategies.

Mayweather beat Judah by a unanimous decision in 2006 and de la Hoya by a split decision a year later.

Roach said if de la Hoya had continued to use his jab effectively in the later rounds, he could have beaten Mayweather.

"Oscar beat him in the first six rounds and lost to him in the last six. Zab just started tiring," said Roach.

Roach added that they are waiting to see if the gloves that Mayweather will use meets the standards.

They have asked the boxing officials to press the issue because it is past the deadline for both camps to turn in their gloves in for inspection.

"We turned ours in. They are long past their due," he said.

"Their gloves are hand made and our gloves are made by a computer system. I just want to make sure the weight on the gloves is fair."

Mayweather's trainer and father, Mayweather Sr, said yesterday that the gloves issue reflected fear in the Pacquiao camp.

"The gloves are not an issue. They ain't got nothing but fear," Mayweather Sr said.

Asked about former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson's comment that Mayweather was "a very small, scared man", Roach said he agrees.

"Mike knows a lot about boxing," said Roach, who believes Mayweather's 38-year-old legs may not be as elusive as they once were.

"I don't think his legs are there anymore. He can't move like he used to. We will catch him," Roach said.

"If he wants to rest on the ropes, we are ready for that.

"I learnt a lot from watching the de la Hoya fight. If Oscar could have made some adjustments, he could have won that fight." - AFP.

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