Mayweather vs. Pacquiao: Floyd putting sparring partners to sleep?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Still nearly a full eight weeks before what is likely to be boxing's biggest fight in history to date, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, the WBA/WBC welterweight champion already seems to be in fighting form.
Just as important, it appears Floyd Mayweather breathing fire.
Not known for his punching prowess, rumors are circulating Floyd knocked out one or more of his sparring partners on his day of training, according to boxing reporter Elie Seckbach of ESNews.
Will we see a flat-footed, more powerful version of 'Money May' against Manny Pacquiao?
Answer: There's a good chance.
Don't expect Floyd Mayweather to willingly engage in an all-out brawl with Manny Pacquiao. However, if the stories of Mayweather dispatching sparring partners are true, expect Floyd to try to get Manny Pacquiao's attention - and respect - early.
... As early as the first round.
If Floyd is, in fact, sitting on his shots and punching for power (instead of points) during his initial sparring sessions, we may see Floyd slug is spurts with Pacquiao.
Box, box, brawl, box, box, brawl.
If Mayweather brings the 'powerstuff' and connects on a few bombs, an onrushing Pacquiao may become more tentative and may be less likely to 'take the fight' to Floyd, enabling Mayweather to dictate the tempo.
Obviously, such a strategy is easier to plan than implement.
However, Floyd can be an effective aggressor when he chooses to. We've seen him take the lead many times before, most notably against Canelo Alvarez, a fighter bigger and presumably stronger than Manny Pacquiao.
And while it's not his forte, Mayweather can also brawl effectively, and does have formidable power.
In their 2009 superfight, Juan Manuel Marquez clocked Mayweather with a sweet right hand and then found himself on the seat of his pants seconds later.
But instead of going for the knockout, Mayweather largely stuck to his jab, leaned back in his familiar defensive posture and picked apart another opponent.
So why haven't we seen more power and all-out aggression from Floyd?
The multi-division champion has opted to play it safe and use his speed and skills to outbox and outfox opponents while staying out of harm's way.
But perhaps things will be different May 2? Maybe Floyd & Co will try to catch Manny and Freddie by surprise by employing some brute power? Or maybe they believe there's a vulnerability in Manny they can exploit via the 'power' route.
If Floyd is already knocking out sparring partners some 50 days ahead of the fight, look for him to showcase a few new wrinkles on May 2.
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