Manny Pacquiao is a special boxer, and no doubt about it. Few fighters are more divisive--among casual fans, Pacquiao is a beloved action fighter with a charming personality. Among hardcore fans, he is either a technical genius or an overblown amateur.
I think you can get a good sense for the whole gamut of feelings by watching a selection of Pacquiao fights through the years. Back in 2005, the HBO team were apt to call him a wild brawler, and criticize him for his apparent lack of balance and control. As time went on and Pacquiao began putting together a truly impressive unbeaten streak, the commentators accepted his style for what it was: effective. As the legend grew even more, the men calling Pac's fights became incapable of seeing wrong in anything that the 8-division champion did.
When Pacquiao fought Bradley the first time, the commentary team inexplicably had him ahead by 11 rounds to 1, despite the fact that Pacquiao clearly lost the last three rounds, and had potentially given away many of the earlier ones with sheer inactivity. The judges gave the bout to Bradley, much to the commentators' (and Pac's) chagrin, but Bradley had indeed given him a tough fight, particularly in the later stages of the bout.
Regardless of public opinion, let me assure you that Pacquiao is a rare talent, and one honed to near perfection by Freddie Roach. Now that Pacquiao is set to rematch Bradley there is little question that he will take his opponent more seriously this time around, but what tools might he use to reclaim his belt? To answer that question, today's video examines some of Pac's most creative techniques from the first fight, including his clever southpaw jab and unorthodox but highly effective combination punching.
For more analysis, as well as fighter and trainer interviews, check out Heavy Hands, the only podcast dedicated to the finer points of face punching. On tonight's new episode, Connor answers listener questions with boxing trainer Luis Monda.