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‘Counter punchers can beat Pacquiao’

By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
April 30, 2011

LOS ANGELES, California  –  In order to confuse Manny Pacquiao, his opponent must adopt a counter-punching style and avoid aggression in the early rounds, suggested the former strategist and buddy of the late Agapito Sanchez (36-11-3, 18 KOs), who engaged Pacquiao in a controversial 6th round technical draw for WBO/IBF super bantamweight titles on Nov. 10, 2001 in San Francisco, California.

Manuelito Azucena Sanabria of Dominican Republic, now a casino security staff, said he noticed that the Filipino multi-titlist "finds it hard" to deal with counter-punchers like Sanchez, Juan Manuel Marquez (52-5-1, 38 KOs), Nedal Hussein (43-5, 27 KOs) and even Rustico Torrecampo (15-8-5, 8 KOs), the first pugilist to flatten Pacquiao for a full count.

"When you face a fast and strong boxer like Pacquiao, you must use physics to neutralize his speed and power," suggested Sanabria, 46, who considers the notorious Sanchez, a neighbor in La Victoria, as Pacquiao’s toughest opponent.

Common Mistakes

He said "the most common mistake" of boxers who didn’t last the distance with Pacquiao’s was "they immediately jumped into the fray thinking they could knockout Pacquiao thus exposing themselves to danger and going down in humiliation".

Sanabria criticized Ricky Hatton (45-2, 32 KOs) as "a powerful puncher who didn’t use his brains" and ribbed Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KOs) for "not taking advantage of his size" and for "being content to lose on points without giving extra efforts (to win)."

He belittled tall Antonio Margarito whom he described as "moving like a kindergarten in a playground" and "attacking like a one-way train" in losing a lopsided 12-round decision to Pacquiao for WBO 147-lb belt in November last year.

No Success

Sugar Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), who will face Pacquiao for WBO welterweight championship on May 7 in Las Vegas, Nevada, was unsuccessful though as counter-puncher in his two decision losses to the late Vernon Forrest.

As aggressor and one who dictated the tempo of the duel, Mosley, 39, however, was deadly when he mowed down Fernando Vargas and Margarito.

Underdog Mosley plans to "execute my own game plan" against 32-year-old Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) and adopting a counter-punching style could be part of his weaponry, according to observers in his Big Bear training camp.

The skillful Filipino champion, who has developed his right punch, has been using his left hook to obliterate highly touted rivals – both aggressive and counter-punchers.

Team Pacquiao expects a tough showdown against the aging but three-time world titlist Mosley who has refused to predict the outcome of the widely publicized card promoted by Top Rank along with HBO, Sugar Shane Promotions and MP Promotions, except "to shock the world".

 

 

Boxing’s weird pair

Mosley old, Pacquiao tired

By ALEX P. VIDAL / PNS
April 28, 2011

LOS ANGELES, California – Between a "senior citizen" but razor-sharp gunslinger and "overworked" but immensely popular speedster, which one could still pull the rabbit and send shockwaves to the marquee game on May 7 in Las Vegas?

Sugar Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) is being dismissed as "old" and "past his prime" at 39, but sources from his high altitude training camp n Big Bear said "he still packs pistols in both hands and is extremely dangerous in any street shootout."

"When Mosley attacks, he is merciless and ferocious that leaves his opponent totally confused and wrecked – unless the referee is quick enough to intervene in a carnage," observed boxing buff Jeff "The Lightining Rod" O’Donnell, in exclusive talk with this writer.

"In Big Bear, Mosley is so focused and trains seriously like when he was preparing to fight Oscar De La Hoya. The coaching management sees to it that there are no distractions."

Three fights ago, Mosley, an orthodox fighter, chopped down Antonio Margarito, the "tallest tree in Manny Pacquiao’s forest" in 8th round to send a signal that he was still in command of the guillotine.

Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who broke his fists attempting and failing to topple down Joshua Clottey for 12 rounds in Arlington, Texas in March 2010, could not duplicate Mosley’s fireworks when it was Pacquiao’s turn to engage the tough Mexican in the battle for WBO welterweight supremacy also in Arlington, Texas in November last year.

Badly clobbered, Margarito, however, considered his 12-round unanimous decision loss to Pacquiao "as the worst beating in my boxing career."

Shocker

Mosley’s stunning second round shocker against Floyd Mayweather Jr. left a bad taste in the mouths of those hobnobbing for a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather tango even if he failed to hack out an upset win against the overbearing and undefeated fellow black fighter from Nevada.

Critics have written Mosley off when he managed to only eke out a 12-round split draw against one-time Vernon Forrest conqueror, Sergio Mora, in what they considered as one of his most lackluster performances in recent years.

"But the Mosley boxing fans will see on May 7 is a reincarnation of the Mosley who electrified the boxing world years back with epic battles against Forrest, De La Hoya, (Fernando) Vargas and Micky Ward ," assured O’Donnell.

"When you always see a smile on Mosley’s face, it means he is in excellent condition and deadly. Fans have seen him smiling a lot these past days."

Priority

His job as congressman being his biggest priority outside boxing ring, Pacquiao, 32, is considered as one of the most active welterweight champions today and has been unbeaten since Feb. 19, 2005 when he lost on points to Erik Morales (51-7, 35 KOs) for the WBC international superfeatherweight championship.

As one of the richest and highest paid professional athletes in the world today, the Filipino southpaw is also considered as "one of the most tired" prizefighters in the world having logged more professional fights than Mosley, who is older by seven years.

Pacquiao’s coaching staff led by Freddie Roach, however, managed to steer him away from extra-curricular activities not related to his May 7, WBO 147-lb duel with Mosley and praised the Baguio City training camp in the Philippines as "the best ever".

Even Pacquiao’s Twitter account, where critics had lashed him out for justifying his "no" vote in the impeachment case against Ombudsman Mercidetas Gutierrez, had to be shut down "to avoid distractions".

A celebrity life and "pressures to always win and satisfy the fans" were also seen as among the hard-hitting Filipino’s psychological anxieties which he recently acknowledged.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum had sounded an alarm following erstwhile WBO featherweight ruler Juan Manuel Lopez’s shock 8th round disposal defeat to unheralded 30-year-old Orlando Salido (35-11, 23 KOs) in April 16 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Distractions both in Lopez’s training and personal life, Arum said, destroyed 27-year-old Lopez (30-1, 27 KOs).