MANILA, Philippines – Former world champion Antonio Tarver believes that Manny Pacquiao’s qualities as a fighter would give Floyd Mayweather Jr. a difficult time when both men collide in the ring on May 2 (May 3 in PH).
The 46-year-old Tarver stated that although Mayweather has been successful to keep his unblemished record intact for 19 years, he stressed that boxing’s current pound-for-pound king has not faced any opponent akin to Pacquiao yet.
“I’m not going to sit here and say this is not a dangerous fight for Floyd Mayweather. Everybody knows that this is a dangerous fight for Floyd, especially Floyd Mayweather,” he said in an interview with On The Ropes Boxing.
A left-handed fighter like the Filipino pugilist, Tarver asserted that Pacquiao’s southpaw stance and speed would play a factor in the long-awaited encounter against Mayweather that is scheduled to take place at the 16,800-seater MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“He possesses the type of style and from a southpaw stance we cannot lose sight of that. Pacquiao is a tremendous southpaw, something that Floyd Mayweather hasn’t seen a whole lot of, and Pacquiao is moving at light speed,” he assessed.
Pacquiao’s busy pace was one of the key factors of his success in boxing, capturing 12 world titles in eight different weight classes.
Meanwhile, Mayweather has battled eight southpaws in his professional career, including DeMarcus Corley and Zab Judah, whom he tapped recently to be his sparring partners for his bout versus Pacquiao.
Tarver views Mayweather as the quicker man, but he assumes that Pacquiao is fast enough to land his shots on the defensive specialist, citing his three matches with Roy Jones Jr. as an example.
“I don’t think Pacquiao can match Floyd’s speed, but I think he’s fast enough. I couldn’t match Roy Jones’ speed, but I was fast enough to offset his speed,” he shared.
The 6-foot-2 native of Tampa, Florida is giving his nod to Mayweather to take a decision victory if the fight goes the distance, but he did not rule out Pacquiao to win by knockout.
“I think Floyd wins a decision, but if this fight doesn’t go the distance, you have to lean toward Pacquiao landing that shot within the distance,” Tarver ended. - Rappler.com