By now, Freddie Roach must be accustomed to and tired of answering questions about Floyd Mayweather. In this interview with Graham Bensinger, he gives some interesting information on why he believes Pacquiao’s southpaw stance would be Floyd’s downfall if they ever fight.
“He doesn’t know how to fight southpaws. That’s the biggest reason he won’t fight us,” Roach declared. “Southpaw stance would give him so much trouble…[Mayweather] is a difficult fight and a difficult style. But at the end of the day, a guy who throws 85 punches a round is going to outwork the 15 punch guy. There’s no way he could deal with us.”
See the full videos below. In the second clip, Roach gives other reason why he doesn’t see Mayweather-Pacquiao ever happening.
Saying Mayweather doesn’t know how to fight southpaws is an exaggerated comment from Roach. But it would be accurate to state that Floyd does struggle early on in finding a rhythm against them. It’s one of the reasons that makes a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight intriguing.
Over the last six years, Mayweather has fought three southpaws in DeMarcus Corley, Sharmba Mitchell, and Zab Judah. Each fighter was able to tag Mayweather flush early on, due to Floyd being more aggressive. In the Corley and Judah fights, both men were able to visibly stun Mayweather with counter left hands. Judah even scored a missed flash knockdown with a counter right hook. This supports Roach’s belief that Pacquiao can have success against Mayweather.
The challenge is whether Pacquiao can keep it up if he can’t get an early knockout. CompuBox, which keeps punch stats for every fight, reveals some interesting data from Mayweather’s southpaw matchups. Against Corley, Mayweather outlanded his opponent 283-150 in punches, for an average of 24 punches per round to Corley’s 13. Over the last five rounds, Mayweather outlanded Corley 120-44 in power punches.
In six rounds, Sharmba Mitchell could only muster an average of five punches per round, being outpunched by a total of 85-31. In addition, Mitchell only connected with 11% of his power punches to Mayweather’s 43%.
Zab Judah received a lot of attention in 2006 for his early success against Floyd, arguably going into the fourth round with a 3-1 lead. But there are some glaring facts behind the CompuBox numbers. Mayweather outlanded Judah in power shots every round after the second. Mayweather outlanded Judah 205-89 in total shots, and 158-64 in power punches. In a fight that went 12, Judah was relegated to single digit connects in 10 of those rounds. Zab landed just 8% of 308 thrown jabs (25), and 36% of 177 power punches (64).
Now, everyone would concede that Manny Pacquiao is on another level from these fighters. But the odds do favor Mayweather the longer the fight goes. If Pacquiao can’t get him out of there early, his chances drop considerably.
In his southpaw fights, Mayweather is much more stationary and walks his opponent’s down behind a high guard. This would put him in danger with Pacquiao’s equal, if not faster hands. Could Pacquiao avoid being dissected like the previous southpaws? Does he indeed have a “money punch” that would neutralize Mayweather’s offense? Would he be able to keep until his near 100 punch per round output against Mayweather?
We’ll never know until the fight gets made.