LATEST UPDATE: Pacquiao vs. Diaz video and round by round analysis
People know what Manny Pacquiao have accomplished. They still remember the humiliation Pacquiao inflicted upon Barrera during his first meeting and a lot more saw the lopsided 2nd match that had the latter refusing to engage. And then there were others, the most notable of which are his victories over Marquez and Morales who on their own are boxing greats.
Digressing a bit, people remember Morales for moving forward, refusing taking a step back, making good an earlier word- Nunca! That made him a darling of the Filipinos who mobs him like a hometown hero. Juan Miguel Marquez, on the other hand, is now being remembered for his bad talk more than his technical fighting abilities. Riding all over town, crying over what he perceives was a bad loss, going to Pacquiao's bout and stealing the show by informally issuing challenges in front of fight fans is a trait that fat middle-aged housekeepers in comedy films do. Well, he may actually have been one in a previous life, if not heading towards that direction in the next one. Let's consult the Tibetan monks about it.
Back to regular programming, not as many people know WBC World lightweight chamion David Diaz and a lot of commentators probably think that he is a small fry. However, one should take note that Diaz is naturally a bigger man, who started in a heavier weight division and is now dominating a lighter category. In contrast, Pacquiao started as a skinny 110 lbs fighter that that like most people maturing becomes heavier and heavier. Diaz therefore, by the scheme of things, seems to be more at home in the territory that the Pac will attempt to encroach.
David Diaz started his career fighting in the heavier welterweight division and fought for the US Olympic boxing team. Later, he moved to the literally lighter Lightweight division to become a world champion. As a lightweight, he has only been beaten once and has declared to have learned from it. He then continued to win all succeeding bouts. The string of victories may have made him complacent, reminiscent of a Manny Pacquiao after his first victory over Barrera. But that is probably not the case. Diaz himself declares the upcoming bout as the biggest in his career, one that will take him to the pinnacle of greatness.
Pacquiao's camp likewise thinks Diaz is a multi talented fighter based on the different weapons that he used in taking down various opponents. Diaz has both speed and power that he uses depending on the opponent of the day. Filipinos can only hope that the Pac can withstand his power the way he took Marquez and Morales. If not, Pacquiao should rely on better speed and footwork that is naturally expected from lighter fighters.
One thing though, Diaz had difficulty defeating Erik Morales whom Pacquiao defeated a bit easily on their last outing. Then again, Morales seemed to have difficulty making the weight and looked severely dehydrated prior to his last bout with the Pac. During their first encounter, when Morales was in top form, Pacquiao was the one in trouble.
To top it all, Diaz is evidently the hungrier of the two. In press interviews, he dismisses any talk of a 3rd Pacquiao- Marquez fight and declares that it is his turn. He also agreed to take home the lower purse despite being the title holder in the upcoming fight. Looking at it from a business perspective, Diaz is investing, knowing that a pay cut today, will mean much bigger purses if he will win. The guy is evidently thinking way beyond the upcoming fight.
What strategy can this column dish out for the Pac? For starts, he should test his opponents punch absorption capacity. If the Pac thinks that he can knock Diaz out, he should go for it after softening him up a bit with head and body combinations. If not, he should just box his way around Diaz and keep scoring points to win the bout with a convincing unanimous decision.
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