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De La Hoya: Pacquiao has the advantage against Mayweather.

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If you listen to Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is in deep, deep trouble against Manny Pacquiao in their fight coming up next month.

De La Hoya thinks Mayweather could fall behind in the fight early and then be put into a position where he’ll need to change his normal fighting style by being the aggressor instead of the counter puncher against Pacquiao.

De La Hoya thinks Mayweather isn’t comfortable being the aggressor in his fights, and this could lead to him struggling to try and get back into the fight.

Like George Foreman, De La Hoya believes that that first three rounds of the fight are extremely crucial. If Pacquiao is able to win 2 to 3 of the first quarter of the fight, he’ll put Mayweather into a bind where he’ll have to make some changes to his fighting style if he wants to be able to rally to get the victory.

De La Hoya and Foreman are both in the same boat in believing that the first three rounds are very important for both fighters, even though Mayweather has already shown in the past that he has no problems rallying from an early deficient. We saw that in his fights against De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and in first fight against Marcos Maidana.

“I feel Pacquiao has to win the first two or three rounds, because it’ll make Mayweather have to come from behind and he’ll have to start to pressure Pacquiao, to be the aggressor, and Mayweather does not like to be the aggressor,” De La Hoya said via the “So if Pacquiao can start well the first two rounds – winning those rounds – the fight can go in Pacquiao’s direction,” De La Hoya said.

First off, I don’t think Pacquiao is going to be able to win the first two or three rounds. I don’t see that happening. He’s too short and his reach is too limited. But even if Pacquiao did win the first three rounds, I think Mayweather is going to come storming back and will look to KO Pacquiao like Juan Manuel Marquez did. He’s going to want to put Pacquiao out of the fight by tagging him with some hard shots by backing him up, and we just don’t know how could have a head shot Pacquiao can take at this point.

After the way Marquez knocked Pacquiao out in 2012, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayweather knocks him clean out with a right hand or a left hook to the head. Mayweather has been adding punching strength with the help of his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, and he could be a very different fighter than the one that fought Maidana twice.

“The one fighter to make it an exciting fight is going to be Pacquiao. What he has to do is go in with a lot of combinations, a lot of footwork, which he has,” De La Hoya said. “With Mayweather, we’re going to see the same thing he does in every fight, which is box, win the rounds one at a time. I don’t see Mayweather trying to knock out Pacquiao, but I can see Pacquiao trying to knock out Mayweather. In this sport one punch can change everything and I think I’m going to have to give Pacquiao the advantage.”

Mayweather will definitely attempt to box Pacquiao, but if that doesn’t work, he’s going to adapt and try another tactic. If that means slugging, then that’s what he’ll do, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayweather gets the better of Pacquiao in that department. What Mayweather lacks in punching power, he’ll more than make up with his timing and accuracy.

Pacquiao can jump around the ring all night long and tire himself, but Mayweather is still going to be able to connect with a lot of shots due to his timing. He’ll figure out Pacquiao’s movement quickly and then time him to start nailing him with shots. At that point, Pacquiao can continue to hop around the ring all he wants, it’s not going to help him. He’ll need to try something different like storming Mayweather in the same way Maidana was doing. I don’t think that’s a style that Pacquiao is capable of imitating though even if he trained to imitate it.


By Chris Williams:

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