MANNY Pacquiao will use his indisputable power and tremendous quickness to beat American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This is the fearless forecast of assistant trainer and dietician Nonoy Neri, who expressed confidence that the eight-weight world division titleholder will outpunch Mayweather on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Neri, who currently oversees Pacquiao’s conditioning training in General Santos City, believes that the 36-year-old Pambansang Kamao (National Fist) is faster and much stronger than the unbeaten Mayweather Jr. (47-0 win-loss record with 26 knockouts).
“Mayweather is beatable because Manny is faster and stronger, but we must not relax,” Neri told The Manila Times on Sunday in a phone interview. “Defensively, Mayweather is smart but we’ll be ready.”
“Manny throws and connects a lot of punches, he will surely outpunch him. We are now focusing on improving Manny’s condition by jogging and a lot of road works. He is also hitting heavy bags and the mitts,” he said.
When asked if Pacquiao (57-5-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) could win by knockout against Mayweather who will turn 38 on Tuesday, Pacquiao’s long-time assistant trainer said: “I’m expecting we will win by unanimous decision because Mayweather won’t engage.”
As an afterthought, he added: “But who knows?”
According to Pacquiao, his bout with Mayweather “is just like any other fight I had before.”
“I’ve been in this kind of situation many times in my previous fights. It doesn’t scare me. I love being the underdog,” said Pacquiao amid reports that oddsmakers in Las Vegas are giving his opponent the advantage.
“It even motivates me to train hard and go for the crown,” he added.
Neri explained that Mayweather is more of a defensive and counter-puncher who usually rolls his shoulder as a form of defense, but he lacks punching power.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, is absolutely the aggressor, “but he will need good timing to whip Mayweather’s ass.”
“We started our light training two weeks ago. And a day after Floyd’s announcement, Manny’s training shifted to more intense workout,” explained Neri, noting that Pacquiao’s other assistant trainer, Buboy Fernandez, would come on board next week.
He said the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion would train in General Santos for one to two weeks before flying to Los Angeles, California, on March 8 or 9 to resume his training and then hold his sparring sessions in the Wildcard gym.
“Coach Freddie [Roach] is in Macau, China, right now for the Zou Shiming fight, but he will go back to Los Angeles immediately after that bout,” said Neri, adding, “We will stay in the US from March until the fight night on May 2.”
Neri disclosed that Pacquiao, also a congressman representing Sarangani province, will leave his political duties as well as his basketball job as playing head coach of KIA basketball team in the Philippine Basketball Association in the meantime to concentrate on his training for the May2 super mega fight.
“Two months of training in the US are enough,” said Pacquiao’s long-time business manager Eric Pineda, who will take care of Pacquiao’s KIA basketball team as team manager while Pacquiao is preparing for the biggest and richest fight in boxing history.
Mayweather Jr., who will pocket 60 percent of the fight purse, formally announced and signed the fight contract in the US last Friday (Saturday morning in the Philippines).
The bout, which has no rematch clause, is expected to generate $250 million to $300 million in revenues.