By Greg Heakes
LAS VEGAS, May 6, 2011 (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, says he wants the Filipino southpaw to force the action enough to throw challenger Shane Mosley off his guard in their world title fight on Saturday.
“Most older fighters go forward well but they can’t go backwards in the ring,” Roach said. “They can be aggressive but if you can get them on their heels and they are kind of lost. The legs don’t get them out the way like they used to.”
Pacquiao is a 6-1 favorite against 39-year-old challenger Mosley in their World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout.
At Friday’s weigh-in, Pacquiao tipped the scales at 145 pounds and Mosley was 147 pounds.
Roach insists this has been one of their best training camps ever for a title fight. He is hoping “Pac-Man” can do something no other boxer has ever been able to achieve and deliver the first knockout of Mosley in his 18-year career.
Mosley has rarely even been knocked down in a career that has seen him win four world titles.
Roach said one of the keys to beating Mosley is for Pacquiao to keep throwing punches at the end of exchanges instead of resisting the temptation to clinch.
“Shane likes to hit and grab. When he grabs he is reaching for you and that leaves him open for a punch,” Roach said. “We worked on that a lot.
“I think that is where we are going to beat Shane — down the middle.”
Boxing fans started lining up outside the front doors of the arena eight hours before Friday’s weigh-in.
Americo Canque flew in from Manila to see the fight. This is the fourth time he has travelled to the United States to see the Filipino congressman fight.
“I think Manny will knock him out in seven rounds,” said the 55-year-old electrician. “Manny has too much speed he is very strong. Mosley has the experience but he is too old.”
Rose Regino was first in line Friday and part of a group of about 20 Pacquiao fans that showed up at 7 in the morning.
“Manny is going to fight like Bruce Lee,” said the 40-year-old banker, who lives in Las Vegas. “We are so excited.”
Las Vegas’ Keo Moya is pulling for Mosley to win but he was definitely in the minority of the fans waiting to get inside to watch the weigh-in live.
The 10-year-old from Las Vegas said the longer the fight goes, the better it is for Pacquiao.
“If Mosley has a chance, it is in the first three rounds,” Moya said. “He is older so he needs to attack first. If that doesn’t happen then Pacquiao will win.”
Mosley’s trainer, Naazim Richardson, said people shouldn’t be fooled by Pacquiao’s height because he has the body type to fight with power at the welterweight division.
Mosley has a 3 1/2 inch height advantage and a 7 1/2 inch reach advantage over Pacquiao.
“Pacquiao’s not a small welterweight; he is a short welterweight,” Richardson said. “But when you look at his legs and how thick and strong they are, that shows you Pacquiao’s a legitimate welterweight.
“He reminds me of Mike Tyson in that regard. Tyson was a short heavyweight, but he was still a heavyweight and he had great strength in his legs.”