by Jesse Ian Lardies
10. Start out strong – don’t use the first round as a feeling out process. The longer you try to ascertain your distance, range and timing, the longer Floyd has to adapt to your micro-adjustments. Make him uncomfortable, crowd his space and don’t give him a chance to figure out your timing.
9. Don’t lay on the ropes, it will give Floyd too much opportunity to launch combinations to the body, arms and head – Spin him to the ropes, attack the body and get out of range. In the fight with Manny Pacquiao you had the Filipino pinned on the ropes several times but were hesitant to throw the body shots that you’ve always found success with. Floyd Mayweather injured his ribs ahead of his 2009 scrap with Juan Manuel Marquez, postponing that bout. Attack the body — “Chun Li is weak in the gut”.
8. Do not chase Floyd Mayweather around the ring, he is a master at luring his opponents in and setting up traps accordingly. Floyd nearly took Victor Ortiz’s head off on two separate occasions using the same ‘check-hook’ he crippled Hatton with. He will make you think your aggressive tactics are working and at the very moment you launch your attack, he will be out of your range but well within his own to administer punishment.
7. Remain calm. The last thing in the World you want to do is lose your cool and let your adrenaline levels spike in a bout of frustration; this will lead to impaired vision and judgement. Floyd baffles nearly every fighter he faces with his capability to keep you missing and second-guessing yourself, all-the-while you’re absorbing his quick counters. Keep your punches in combination and have multiple back-up plans.
6. Listen to your trainer, Pedro Diaz, for advice and opinion, but don’t forget that you are the fighter, you’re not his puppet. Take what he has shown you in training camp and commit it to muscle memory. If you have to think to implement a new tactic, then it will never work. Use your given instincts and situational awareness to adapt and continually shift strategies throughout the fight.
5. Take it round-by-round. Don’t get ahead of yourself and try to take the fight into deep water. Fight each stanza always keeping in mind to throw in combination and don’t resort to searching for one big shot like Shane Mosley did in his bout with Mayweather. Don’t allow Floyd to control the tempo, he’s one of the best ring generals in the sport, you must smother his work in order to succeed.
4. Among other attributes, speed will be key for you on fight night. The odds-makers have you listed as a long shot, likely because of the perceived gap in punching velocity between you two; surprise him with your underrated quickness. Use deception and feints to get to his ribs and head; Mayweather keeps a low guard at distances he feels comfortable in. Be first and time your jab to offset Floyd’s rhythm, much like you did in the first round with Joshua Clottey.
3. Be hungry. Keep your family in your heart but not on your mind. You must be able to think clearly and without hesitation. At the same time, over-thinking will impede your decision making ability; your mind must be blank but ready to absorb like a sponge. Be the ball but at the same time, don’t let him be the bat.
2. Change your plan of attack every round, and sometimes multiple times in each frame. Try to keep Mayweather guessing, if you become too predictable in the early going he will dissect your game-plan and neutralize your offense with intelligent counter punching. The only feasible adjustments that will work will be to augment your existing fighting habits, it’s too late to change. Use your natural hunting ability but don’t get caught-up in a rhythm.
1. Be Miguel Cotto. Be the first person to use measured intelligence to fight Floyd instead of using power without thought. Keep your fists educated and your feet fleet. Be first, Mayweather is a reactionary fighter. If you telegraph anything you do he will see it and make you pay. Use your sharp jab to interrupt his ring dynamics and by all means, don’t forget to pray…
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