Freddie Roach has been detailing some of his strategic training approaches to prepare Manny Pacquiao for Floyd Mayweather. Specifically, Roach states that he wasn't happy with the way Manny was following Chris Algieri around the ring in their fight, and that he's making a concerted effort to ensure that Pacquiao doesn't do the same thing against Mayweather.
"The first thing in the gym here, we go back to cutting the ring off and how he's going to fight Mayweather and not fall into traps," Roach said. "Mayweather does set traps. When he's moving along the ropes and you follow him, he will set you up for the right hand. That is something we had to work on. We work on it every day. And Manny knows the answer to that puzzle every time. Every time I set the trap, he steps away and puts himself in a neutral position. That's the smartest thing to do against Mayweather at this point."
The traps Floyd sets off his lateral movement, especially when he notices opponents beginning to chase him, is one of the specific things I mentioned as a great strength of Mayweather. I believe I even captured some video footage of him executing such a trap against Robert Guerrero in an article several months back, if any of you are interested in seeing an example.
Aside from working on keeping Manny from walking into the right hand, Roach is also working with Manny on not staying in the pocket for any extended period of time, because he knows that Floyd will throw back and exchange if Manny is there to be hit.
"I'm having Manny working on not staying in the pocket too long and getting out before Mayweather hits you back," he said. "Because Mayweather, when you hit him and fight him, he will fight back. When he does take a rest on the ropes and his legs start to fade a little bit, Manny will dominate him at that point. Manny is really fired up for this. I've never seen him more excited for a fight."
We're now in April and just a few weeks away from the fight itself, where all the conjecture and speculation will end, and the combat will begin. The only downside is, it may prove to be a long month of April ...