Originally Posted by dangerousity
On paper, Pacquiao should win this fight, he's faster, more powerful, more athletic, arguably bigger and equally skilled in their own respective styles. That is the key thing here, if Pac is better on paper, why does he struggle so much with Juan, when he would run over guys Juan himself would struggle with ie MAB, Juan Diaz, Casamayor etc. The answer is Styles, so by changing styles, Pac improves his chances drammatically.
There are 2 styles that seem to trouble JMM and I think this is true of most counterpunchers. Its either the guy who can cut off the ring and force their will on the "boxer", ie Juan Diaz OR a fellow counterpuncher who forces the counterpuncher to lead thus forcing him out of his element, ie MAB, Chris John, Floyd. Unfortunately for Pac, he is neither of the 2, he can't cut off the ring and he does not box off the back foot.
My opinion of what Pacquiao's strategy should be:
Box off the backfoot. He doesn't do this because its not his style, however I think even he knows he would make life easier for himself if he forced JMM to come forward. In interviews I have heard Pac say "I know how to fight a counterpuncher, to fight a counterpuncher you have to be a counterpuncher yourself, but it would be a boring fight". Quite simply, he needs to allow for a boring fight if he wants to win. Now I'm not simply saying to box with JMM as JMM would win that, but to literally go on the backfoot so that JMM would have to alter his style to something he's not accustomed to.
JMM is a counter-puncher, what do counter-punchers need? Punches to counter punch, and that's what Pac provides him. Pac is coming forward, look at the dynamics in the ring and controlling distance. If you're moving back, you control when you wanna be in range of your opponent or not, ie you don't want to be, you step back when your opponent steps forward, you want to be in range, you stay in there when he steps forward. When your moving forward, you don't necessarily control the distance, when you move forward, your opponent can move back, its a constant chase. Think of it as running and chasing after someone. The guy your chasing can engage you at any time by slowing down and letting you catch up. You who's chasing may never catch that person your chasing if he keeps outmaneuvering you or runs faster. Usually Pac's feet are fast enough to close opponents down and he attacks so fast opponents cant counter-punch him so this is not a problem for him, usually. However, JMM is a different animal, he's fast enough to react instantly to Pac's advances and when pac does rain flurry's, JMM knows exactly whats coming and counter-punches him.
This is the great disadvantage that Pac is giving away when he tries to keep pressing the action with JMM, by allowing JMM to control the range by following him, JMM can hit Pac at will and can read Pac well as soon as he knows Pac jumps in, he knows an attack is coming. If JMM is the one coming forward, Pac is in control, he can keep moving back to stay out of range and soon as he wants to hit JMM, all he would need to do is allow JMM to close the distance and then he can land his punches. Most of the time in the 3rd fight when Pac was missing, he was missing by inches as JMM calmly backed away from the punch, it is much harder to "back" away from a punch when you're the one coming forward.
I have seen the Chris John fight, with Floyd I can excuse JMM for that, but John doesn't possess any of Floyds craft or athleticism yet he was able to get a controversial decision. IMO, Pac can emulate John's style fairly easy and do it better.
The possible outcomes I see for this fight depending on fighters strategy:
1) JMM becomes more aggressive. I don't know what JMM means by this, whether its taking advantage of more opportunities or actually be the guy coming forward. If he tries to get too greedy with punches during openings, I can see him getting dropped again and that will swing the fight in Pac's favour. If he's the guy coming forward, he will get outboxed wide decision as well as probably get knocked down along the way. This is a very unlikely tactic for JMM. JMM says he will be very aggressive but I seriously doubt it, I think he saw what happened to Pac-Bradley and he now knows that if he fights like he did previous fights and edge a decision, he will get the decision.
2) Pacquiao becomes more aggressive. This is possible and may be the only way Pac can alter his tactics, I'm not sure this is the best option though. JMM is a counter-puncher, to counter-punch you have to have punches coming at you, Pac being aggressive will provide JMM more opportunity to counter-punch. Pac can hope to possibly overwhelm JMM but given that he was overly aggressive in the 1st fight and got a draw despite 3 knock downs, I'm not sure he could stop JMM. JMM has never come close to being stopped and with JMM's new found physique, I got a feeling he will probably be just as strong, if not stronger than Pac.
3) Pacquiao fights JMM exactly the way he has last 3 fights. IMO if he does this, he doesn't lose a close decision, he loses a wide decision. JMM knows him even better, JMM "S&C" is looking better and Pac himself has slowed down. By fighting the same as before I mean, neither all out assault or completely fighting off the backfoot. So just playing the usual boxer-puncher role which JMM eats up, its the perfect style for JMM, gives him time to think, not much pressure and he doesn't have to come forward. Any style that allows JMM those luxuries is gonna fall short.
4) Pacquiao fights off the backfoot as I discussed in the beginning. - Pac wide UD.
IMO, JMM has been fighting as perfect fight as he can, any changes to strategy would be great disadvantage to him. It is Pacquiao who needs to force the style changes.
I'm usually quite confident in betting on Pac fights, for this fight I have no idea who is gonna win, logically I favour JMM and I don't know why bookies have Pac as favourite. IMO the fight outcome depends entirely on their fight strategies which we can't predict at this point so you might as well toss a coin. The reason I'd favour JMM is because more than likely, both will use the same strategy as they have in their last 3 fights as its what they're most comfortable with, in that scenario, JMM outboxes Pac to a clear UD.