Top 10 boxing tricks of Manny Pacquiao

Carlos Cinco

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Rappler's boxing contributor Carlos Cinco breaks apart the fighting style of Manny Pacquiao, who has evolved over the years into a complete fighter

THE PACMAN. Under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao has evolved into a complete fighter over the years. October 28, 2011. Nico Puertollano.

MANILA, Philippines – 

Last week, we analyzed Floyd Mayweather’s top 10 boxing techniques. 

Boxing is a science after all, and we here at Rappler love to break it down for you. 

This week, we look at our own boxing hero: Manny Pacquiao.

At 54 wins and only 3 defeats with the only notable loss to Erik Morales, Pacquiao has been on a winning streak for the ages, defeating a string of all-time greats including Oscar Dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley.

He’s used the same formula to beat them all — punch as much as you can, as hard as you can.

And it’s been effective to say the least.

He’s stopped three of the five fighters within 12 rounds with the exception of the iron chinned Antonio Margarito, and Shane Mosley who opted to run instead of fight back once he tasted Manny’s thudding power.

To the untrained eye, it may seem as though Pacquiao just likes to throw punches in bunches and hopes something significant will land.

What we all tend to forget is that Pacquiao has been cultivated over the years into a two-fisted monster by hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach. 

It is under Roach’s tutelage that Manny Pacquiao has become the beast that he is today.

Pacquiao has developed into more of a boxer-puncher with unique counter-punching abilities over the years.

Along with his improved defense, he is no longer the face-first fighter he was before. He has evolved into a complete fighter with extraordinary offensive skills and seemingly infinite stamina.

In no particular order, let’s take a look at the top 10 boxing tricks of Manny Pacquiao.

Watch them here.

1. Tap block, tap jab

Pacquiao likes to counter with a lightning fast jab after blocking a shot from an opponent.

It catches opponents off-guard.

Pacquiao launches that jab like a piston and is very effective at causing damage that piles up over the course of a fight.

With a high guard in place, Pacquiao blocks an opponent’s jab and immediately counters with his own, which most of the time finds the mark.

2. Right hook counter over left jab

This next technique carries deceptive power.

Pacquiao instinctively throws “Manila Ice” over an opponent as he anticipates the incoming left jab.

‘Manila Ice’ is a punch Pacquiao developed when he was training for the 3rd Morales fight — and it’s power is immeasurable.

Freddie Roach claims it’s as strong as Manny’s straight left. Case in point: Pacquiao sent Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto down with this punch.

Indeed, a right hook counter over an opponent’s left jab is also a testament to Pacquiao’s lightning fast reflexes.

3. One-legged lead left

Pacquiao is known for using unorthodox angles when he throws punches, which results in opponents not knowing how to defend against his attacks.

He likes to throw a one-legged lead left hand, without setting his feet.

Fundamentally, this is not how to throw a punch due to the lack of power behind it (the power comes from the base of the legs).

Manny is able to get away with it because of the speed and velocity at which the punch travels. Coupled with an unpredictable pace and a punch angle, and you have yourself a damaging straight left.

4. Double-left sneak

After landing a thudding straight left hand, Pacquiao follows it up with, guess what? Another straight left hand.

This double left hand technique is so sneaky, that it almost always hits the target.

Opponents think the flurry is over but Manny sneaks in another left for good measure.

He peppered both Oscar Dela Hoya and Antonio Margarito with this technique.

The result was a grotesquely disfigured Dela Hoya face and a fractured right orbital bone for Margarito, nearly ending his career.

5. Triangle guard


Not something Pacquiao is known for, but over the years, he has improved all facets of his game including this one.

Pacquiao’s modified high guard is set up into a triangle which protects him from straights, hooks and uppercuts to the head.

He also uses the triangle guard to bait opponents into opening up and attacking him by laying on the ropes. This provides opportunities for Pacquiao to counter.

6. Left step, left counter

This is the most vaunted punch Pacquiao has in his arsenal.

Pacquiao likes to let his opponent come at him, and then out of nowhere throws a picture-perfect left cross aimed square at the chin.

It’s the most devastating punch he’s ever thrown and is responsible for knocking down and knocking out Erik Morales twice in their trilogy bout.

It’s the punch that stopped David Diaz and left him in a bloody mess.

It’s responsible for decking Miguel Cotto, sending him to the canvass on spaghetti legs.

And who can forget, perhaps the most memorable KO of Manny’s career — his total annihilation of Ricky Hatton.

This counter left hand nearly took Hatton’s head clean off his shoulders.

7. Vertical jab

This next punch is another example of Pacquiao’s unorthodox angles.

He likes to throw a stinging right jab at a 45 degree angle. At this angle, the jab penetrates an opponent’s guard like a hot knife through butter.

Pacquiao uses this punch as a part of his combinations.

8. Forearm defense

Pacquiao likes to block flurries with his forearms — it keeps his opponents at a distance.

He takes his forearms and sticks it in an opponent’s face when they get too close.

This prevents opponents from stringing together an effective combination. It usually also prompts the referee to reset the action at the center of the ring.

9. Rear overhand left

This punch comes from behind and over the top so opponents can’t see it coming.

Even with the far distance at which the punch is thrown, it is still able to land accurately due to the speed that Pacquiao operates at.

Launching the punch from the rear rather than from the hip gives this punch an element of surprise.

They say the punch you don’t see is the one that knocks you out. The rear overhand left is one of Manny’s most dangerous punches.

10. Left high, left low

Truly, Manny Pacquiao’s strength lies in his ability to throw bunches of power punches without tiring, as he draws from a seemingly infinite reservoir of stamina.

This left high, left low combination confuses opponents as it digs powerful shots to the body and proceeds to send piercing lefts up top to the head, and back down again.

With the way Pacquiao likes to mix it up, opponents are confused and cannot predict his movements. –

Click on the links below for more on Manny Pacquiao.

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