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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pacquiao: special fighter now being compared to Roberto Duran

Manny Pacquiao is a special fighter. No question. He is now being talked about in the same breath as the likes of Roberto Duran. Yet he could go one further, having the propensity as he does to inculcate a game plan to perfection.

I wouldn't mind betting that if Floyd Mayweather Jnr defeats Juan Manuel Marquez - which one would favour him to do on head alone, not heart - if Pacquiao and Mayweather meet back here in Las Vegas in November, it will be seen as having parallels with Ali v Frazier, The Thrilla in Manila, at a lower weight.

Maybe it could be even be staged there. Regardless, it will pitch the dangerous hooks of Pacquiao (substitute) Frazier, for the sublime skills of Ali (Mayweather).

Criticise not, for it has its comparisons; the real difference being that it will be somewhere between 140lbs and 147lbs. It will be bigger than the recent battles between their foes in common.

Bigger than Mayweather v De La Hoya, greater than De La Hoya v Pacquiao. No 1 versus previous number 1. And I wouldn't mind predicting at this juncture, with the fight far off, that Pacquiao and Freddie Roach will pull of a game plan and strategy to defeat Mayweather, who will be returning after almost two years. Game on.

Pacquiao recognized that his own game plan had worked perfectly against Hatton. Yes, Hatton was very poor on the night, but take nothing away from Pacquiao. "After I knocked him down the first time with the right hook he was open for everything. I had a lot of respect for Ricky's power and that is why I worked so hard in training camp."

"Anything less would not have been sufficient to defeat him. One of the biggest advantages I have is that every fight is an opportunity to give honor to the Philippines. The Filipino people don't just give me their support, they also give me their strength, their pride and their love. It's an awesome power and a big responsibility. I am truly blessed."

Roach believes Pacquiao can get even better. "The scary thing is we still have not seen the best of Manny Pacquiao. I have never trained an athlete like Manny who after more than 50 fights is still willing to learn new techniques and is able to apply them. One of the reasons Manny is so hard to fight is because you never see the same Manny two times in a row. "

"He always has a new style making him totally unpredictable and impossible to anticipate. Plus his conditioning is supreme to anyone in the sport. He is an athletic phenomenon. I get a lot of credit for his success, but it's Manny who does the work in the gym and does the fighting in the ring. He's incredible. His last four fights have been at four different weight divisions. He goes up in weight. He goes down in weight. He fights the best in each division. He's a Manny for all seasons!"

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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