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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Arum: Pacquiao, Mayweather approach boxing differently

Promoter Bob Arum has handled the careers of both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he has respect for both as fighters.

However, he said they’re completely different in the way they approach the sport: Pacquiao seeks out real challenges that result in big paydays, Mayweather seeks out the least possible risk to earn the money he wants.

Arum still promotes Pacquiao. Mayweather, who faces Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday in Las Vegas, now promotes himself.

“They’re different kind of people,” Arum said at a news conference Monday to promote the Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight on Nov. 14. “Manny is somebody who has great pride in himself and his country. He’s always looking for the next challenge. With Floyd, and he himself says it, he’s a businessman. It’s about money. For him, it’s risk vs. reward.”

And if that damages his legacy?

“I don’t think he gives a s--- about his legacy,” Arum said. “I think he cares about money in the bank. He says it himself; he’s “Money Mayweather.” If he can make a lot of money with little or no risk, that’s what he feels he should do.

“And there’s nothing wrong with that. But neither Manny nor Miguel have that mentality. They are really fighters. Marquez, too, no question.”

Arum also believes that fans gravitate to Pacquaio more than Mayweather because of his willingness to take risks in the ring.

“People want to see Pacquiao because he’s the most-exciting fighter in the world,” he said. “They know that when Manny Pacquiao fights, they’ll see great things. They see a guy who fights. Many fail to realize that people can look at a defensive fighter and say, ‘Hey, he has a lot of talent.’ But they don’t necessarily want to pay to see him fight.

“That’s the way it’s always been in boxing.”

Who wins Mayweather-Marquez? Pacquiao picks Mayweather.

“It’s a good fight,” he said, “but Mayweather is faster than Marquez.”

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, was asked the same question and he responded with a smile: “Who cares? They’re counterpunchers. You’ll fall asleep.”

Roach wouldn’t mind having his fighter face the winner of Mayweather-Marquez, though. Pacquiao-Mayeather, in particular, would be a huge promotion.

“We have a tough fight ahead of us,” he said. “We’ll take care of this one and then hopefully negotiations will happen.”

How will Cotto win? Cotto was asked repeatedly how he will beat Pacquiao and he answered each time in generalities, saying he’d go to camp, study Pacquiao and then make the appropriate game plan.

He would say, however, that he has one significant advantage going in.

“He’s coming up to my weight,” he said, referring to the 145-pound catch weight. “He’s coming from 122 pounds, 126. If he thinks the same thing will happen that happened with (Ricky) Hatton, he’s wrong.”

Of course, Hatton said the same thing when Pacquiao fought him at 140 and we know happened there.

Manny the actor: Pacquiao has been busy in his acting career back home in the Philippines the past few months. He recently completed a superhero film -– yes, he’s the superhero –- called “Wapakman,” which he compared to Spider-Man and Superman. He said he flies in the film.

And he has a weekly sitcom on television called “Show Me the Manny.” (Laughs.)

He insists that he’s shifted his energy to boxing, dismissing more and more questions about whether he has too many distractions in his life.

“The last month, the last few weeks I didn’t think about boxing,” he said. “What I had in my mind was to do the movie and enjoy it. Now, OK, I put aside the movie thing or whatever and focus on boxing.”

Roach found a positive in Pacquiao’s acting career.

“He had to stay in shape for the movie so he’s skinny right now,” he said.

Cotto the linguist: Cotto is one of the few fighters from a Spanish-speaking country, Puerto Rico, to recognize the advantage of learning English to market himself and then actually learning it.

He has had English tutors in Puerto Rico but also has another learning tool: His South African conditioning coach, Phil Landman, speaks only English.

“The only way I have to talk to him is in English,” Cotto said. “And I talk to him a lot. … I want to speak for myself. I don’t want anyone else [a translator] saying what I want to say. In translation, you lose a lot.”

Tactical fight? Roach said more than once Monday that we might not see the brawl or quick knockout that some people might be expecting.

“Miguel knows how to nullify speed,” Roach said. “He did it with (Shane) Mosley. We’ll have to throw a curve ball at him. It could be a much more tactical fight than people think because he’s a very smart fighter. People say he’s just a strong, rugged guy, but he’s very intelligent. He knows how to distance himself well.

“We do also. It will come down to who will implement their game plan and use it to their fullest advantage. We have the speed advantage but we have to use it the right way.

And …

“We don’t underestimate anybody,” Roach said. “We train for a 12-round fight. If a knockout comes, it comes. If you go out looking for a knockout, you might get caught yourself. It will be very tactical. Manny Pacquiao, at this stage of his career, can follow a game plan for 12 rounds. He’s very intelligent. He’s learned a lot along the way.

“At one time, when he was a little bit younger, he might get a little reckless and try to kill you with his left hand. Now he’s a more-complete fighter. He’ll fight a very tactical, smart fight.”

Roach isn’t talking with the same bravado he did before other recent fights because he respects Cotto, who he said will be Pacquiao’s toughest test in quite a while.

“He’s in his prime, I think,” he said. “He’s young and strong. But listen, we fought the (Erik) Moraleses and other great fighters. This is another great fighter we’re going against. Manny right now wants to challenge the best out there. This will keep boxing alive.”

The odds: The odds on the fight at the MGM Grand are -250 for Pacquiao, +210 for Cotto, meaning Pacquiao is almost a 2½-1 favorite.

Source: ringtv.com

1 comment:

  1. You will see come fight night that Cotto will have enough speed to handle Paquiao. The key to this fight will be a left hook to the body and a jab. Size does matter, just ask Marquez. Paquiao is a man, he bleeds and hurts like the rest of us. I really question people's knowledge of the game when they base their conclusions on two fights. One against a weak chin not too smart fighter and another against a well over his prime De La Hoya.