Mayweather vs Pacquiao prediction: Southpaw stance may lead to Floyd's demise (video)
"He's a southpaw. I don't want you messing with southpaws. They do everything backwards."
Do you remember the scene in Rocky (1976) where Cornerman Duke attempted to dissuade his fighter, Apollo Creed, from facing Rocky Balboa?
It's an all-too-familiar occurrence in boxing.... A dominant right-hander faces a southpaw and either losses or rides a rough road towards victory.
Southpaws, or lefties, do everything backwards and represent only about 10 percent of all fighters. As a result, orthodox (or righty) fighters spend the vast majority of time training for and fighting other righties.
And given 9 of 10 fighters are orthodox, southpaws also spend their vast majority of time training for righties. It's not surprising that when an orthodox fighter faces a southpaw, the righty is usually at a slight disadvantage; all things being relatively equal of course.
Will Floyd Mayweather have to bring more versatility to his repertoire when he faces Manny Pacquiao May 2?
"Fighting a southpaw usually presents a quandary for many, if not most, orthodox fighters. And in Pacquiao's case, this certainly holds true, especially given his speed, explosiveness and educated feet," boxing expert and FightSaga writer Christoper Wirsing told us in 2012.
And Top Rank promoter Bob Arum seems to agree:
"Floyd's defense is primarily his shoulder roll, and a lot of his defense is geared against a right-handed fighter. I think Manny (a southpaw) is going to surprise a lot of people with how he is going to be able to reach Floyd," Arum predicts.
Does Floyd Mayweather's defensive wizardly primarily work for orthodox opponents? And will he abandon his famous shoulder roll against Manny Pacquiao May 2?
FightSaga's Wirsing suggests Floyd may need to find an alternative to the Shoulder Roll.
"Floyd is a defensive shell with his right hand protecting against a left hook, his left hand protecting his body, and his chin tucked behind his left shoulder."
"That [shoulder roll] works well against orthodox fighters but, against a southpaw, it would be more difficult for Floyd to roll with a southpaw's right hook when his opponent's front hand is on the same side as his."
"The southpaw will be a little closer to him, so instead of throwing a straight right hand, he will be able to loop the shot over Floyd's shoulder and aim for his temple."
"In order to defend against Pacquiao's straight left hand, Floyd will have to bend his knees and drop underneath it because the orthodox VS southpaw angle won't allow him to roll effectively."
"We have seen Mayweather get caught by lesser southpaws, such as Demarcus Corley and Zab Judah, with hard straight punches that hurt him at one point in the fight."
"He went on to win both of those fights, but Manny Pacquiao presents a different scenario should he catch Floyd Mayweather with a good shot."
Given Floyd Mayweather is considered a sharp-shooting, low volume, defensive specialist and a Manny Pacquiao a swarming, high-volume offensive juggernaut, it's not surprising many pundits believe the fighters' contrasting styles make Mayweather vs Pacquiao so intriguing. However, are they forgetting the southpaw element?
Will Floyd be victimized by the 'Southpaw Jinks?"
Upon hearing Duke's request to sidestep Balboa, Creed replied, "Southpaw nothing. I'll drop him in three. Apollo Creed meets the Italian Stallion. Now that sounds like a damn monster movie."
Mayweather vs Pacquiao... May 2.