Roach says Pacquiao “can take advantage of” Mayweather

Speculation persists that WBO world welterweight champion Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao and WBC world welterweight titlist “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather will meet May 5 in Las Vegas at a venue to be determined.

Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), the first pugilist in history to win 10 world crowns in eight separate weight divisions, earned an extremely controversial majority decision victory over WBA, WBO and The Ring lightweight king “Dinamita” Juan Manuel Marquez in their third fight last month at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

In stark contrast to Pacquiao, Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) badly outclassed, and essentially embarrassed, Marquez (53-6-1, 38 KOs) with a shutout unanimous decision triumph in September 2009.

Pacquiao, named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), is an extremely powerful puncher with lighting-fast hands.

Nevertheless, Pacquiao’s legendary trainer, Freddie Roach, told Wednesday that he cautioned his fighter that Mayweather may possess even slightly quicker fists.

“I will bring in a whole new crew of sparring partners, guys that can imitate Floyd well,” said Roach, 51, a native of Dedham (Mass.) who was voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by (BWAA). “There isn’t a lot of guys in the world that are like Floyd, so it would be tough to find them. We would prepare for his counter punching ability, and his speed, which is maybe equal to Manny’s, if not better.”

Mayweather, a spectacular talent who has captured nine world titles in five different boxing weight classes, has essentially dominated the sport of boxing since he made his professional debut with a second round TKO victory over Roberto Apodaca in October 1996.

“Pretty Boy” is a man whose ample abilities have primarily allowed him to avoid facing adversity in the ring.

In all likelihood, Mayweather is a better boxer than Pacquiao and he would be a decided favorite if the two ever clash in the future.

Still, Roach is confident that Pacquiao could exploit Mayweather’s flaws and overcome the dominant loudmouth.

“I think we can take advantage of those habits,” said Roach. “He does have some bad habits that can be exposed.”

One of Mayweather’s “bad habits” may not actually be a visual fault.

Unlike Pacquiao, Mayweather has never been in a violent struggle and his tenacity has been questioned by some critics.

To emerge victorious over the more complete Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao “can take advantage” of his oversized heart and attempt to vanquish “Pretty Boy’s” willpower as the rounds pass.

As 42 other prizefighters have discovered, such a simple plan may be prove to be utterly complex.