Tungod, Inabanga, Bohol – Early in his career, the world’s greatest boxer of this era Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao of the Philippines was widely regarded as a one-dimensional fighter. He overly relied on his offense and didn’t put much premium on defense. His motto was “I hit you… you hit me… let’s see who remains standing.” He never really cared if he got hit for as long as he could land his own punches. That aspect of him captivated fans who might have never thought that Pacquiao would someday line his name alongside the sport’s legends, and share a spot as one of the all-time greats. Over the course of time, the Pinoy sports hero/politician, has brought the same kind of intensity and fearless mindset in all his ring exploits. He was exciting to watch then as much as he is at this point in time.
Throughout his career, he has had the benefit of having cat-quick reflexes, the stamina of a horse, iron chin, and hammer-strong fists that his previous opponents had to endure and overcome. They all tried, but much more often than not, they failed. Pacquiao’s training regimen is topnotch and his discipline and dedication are second to none. He never fades in the later rounds and would even seem brisker and faster as the fight goes on. All these imposing advantages, in one way or another, form an integral part of the complete fighting machine that Pacquiao currently is. The scary part is that unlike in his younger come-as-it-may days, the seven-division champion has developed a rather awkward yet very effective defensive attribute that makes him even more difficult and dangerous to hit. He creates angles that leave opponents off-guard and off-balance. His fighting stance, unlike any other, allows him to throw bombs the split-second he sees openings regardless of his own posture or bearing. Right now, Pacquiao has undoubtedly mastered just about every aspect known to the sport.
While some pugs have a competitive edge in size, reach or both during fight night. Others rely much on either their speed or power, while only a handful of boxers possess both. Pacquiao, for his part, might not have had an advantage in size and reach in majority of his fights, but he has most certainly so enjoyed a considerable edge in both speed and power all throughout his entire boxing career.
But a question still lingers and remains unanswered: What is Pacquiao’s ultimate edge? Is it his speed… his power… his conditioning… or is it something else? The great heavyweight “Iron” Mike Tyson once said in an interview (perhaps quoting Joe Louis), “Everybody’s got a game plan until they get hit.” That basically suggests power – in boxing, it essentially just means the ability to hurt one’s opponent. Sure thing it does apply to Pacquiao, too.
But perhaps, one item is largely undervalued in terms of providing him with the ultimate advantage over his opponents and that is the fact that Pacquiao enjoys a considerable psychological edge! While other boxers have to wait for the sound of the opening bell to gain the lead in a boxing match, Pacquiao’s offensive often starts even before he laces his gloves. He knows no fear whomever he shares the squared circle with, while his foes succumb to the bludgeoning pressure of his reputation. Nothing beats that… not even his speed and power.
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