Monday, March 15, 2010

The Thousand Arrows of Manny Pacquiao

When Manny Pacquiao schooled Joshua Clottey on Saturday night, the relentless assault was akin to the hailstorm of arrows launched by Qin Shi Huang's deadliest archers in the historical swordplay epic Hero (starring Jet Li, featuring Donnie Yen).

Faced against so many arrows fired in quick and neverending succession, Clottey could do nothing but peek through the slit in between his guard, lest his eyes get pierced by the hissing projectiles.

Manny Pacquiao v Joshua Clottey

With the spirit and support of most of the 51,000 fans in attendance at Cowboys Stadium behind him, Manny Pacquiao's arrows seemed like they were set on fire before they were launched. It's a testament to Clottey's toughness, stamina and guard that he finished the fight standing on his two feet.

However, boxing judges don't reward stationary defenses and plodding offenses, so God willing, we'll get another chance to see Pacman try to further cement his legacy.

Hopefully, that chance will come against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

I want to watch Pacquiao-Mayweather happen as much as anyone else. But first, Mayweather must beat Shane Mosley, a tough, fast, powerful, aggressive fighter whose endurance belies his advancing years.

Also, the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps need to come to terms over drug testing, purse-splitting...You know the story.

However, as good as I think Mayweather-Mosley will be, or Pacquiao-Mosley could be, Mayweather-Pacquiao would be an epic matchup between two grandmasters, an opportunity for fight fans to see the sweet science bloom into full-fledged artistry.

Sweet Science vs. Hailstorm of Arrows
from Hero

Shane Mosley may be a great pressure fighter, but on paper, he doesn't have the hands or feet to fully track Pacquiao's movements or match him punch for punch. If he can't knock Pacquiao out, he's almost as likely to become overwhelmed by the Pacman's Thousand Arrows as Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey were.

On the other hand, Mayweather is like a matador seducing a bull. He patiently lures the bull into his lair, thrusting his sword into his prey when the opportunity presents itself.

If Manny Pacquiao's game is predicated on constant circling and a firewall of punches, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.'s tactical advantages lie in his calculated steps, upper body movement and counterpunching.

If anyone can systemically break down Pacman's terrifying arrow rain with perfectly timed parries, blocks and counterpunches, it's Money Mayweather.

And if anyone can make Mayweather pay for not attacking enough, it's Manny Pacquiao.

Until we actually get a chance to see the events unfold, let's entertain ourselves with Mayweather-Mosley (May 1, 9 PM ET - HBO PPV).

P.S. I used Hero references for this piece, but if a movie like The Five Venoms is more in tune with your kung fu movie preferences, check out my other Pacquiao-Clottey posts "Pick Your Poison : Pacquiao-Clottey" and "The Poison Clan Reborn in Pacquiao-Clottey".

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