Manny Pacquiao’s powerful left hand may be his instrument to defeat unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their unification welterweight bout on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, USA, according to Freddie Roach.
The Boxing Writers Association of America seven-time trainer of the year believes that Pacquiao’s improved fighting style will give the 38-year-old Mayweather Jr. (47-0 win-loss record with 26 knockouts) his first defeat.
“I believe that Manny being a southpaw will be a huge factor in this fight,” said Roach during an interview facilitated by Top Rank Promotion publicist Fred Sternburg. “Manny showed me a tape of Floyd fighting a southpaw and told me that that is exactly what we are going to do in this fight.”
Mayweather is right-handed.
But the 55-year-old Roach said being left-handed was not the only advantage of his prized pupil. He said Pacquiao has vastly improved his speed and throws more powerful punches.
“Manny is better than ever in every category. I’m impressed with his attitude, it’s different and I’ve never seen him work this hard. His speed is faster, his punches are harder. I’m really happy where he’s at. His legs look great; he’s on his toes all the time,” Roach stressed.
“Mayweather is a good counter-puncher, but Manny has faster hands and his combinations are better,” he added.
Roach said he will not be surprised if Pacquiao (57-5-2 record with 38 knockouts) wins by unanimous decision and not by a knockout.
“Since Manny moved to 147 he hasn’t knocked many guys out, so getting the knockout in this fight isn’t a concern for me. If Manny fights at 140, then he does knock guys out, but at this weight he is fighting guys who are bigger than him,” he explained.