Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My take: On the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao superfight

Why Manny Pacquiao will win.
by rick olivares

This is the one fight that he has been looking forward to in the past five years. Short of calling Floyd Mayweather Jr. out WWE-style, Pacman has looked forward to this. In the intervening years, he has had to endure taunts and accusations about PED use not to mention being repeatedly frustrated at stop-starts in fight negotiations. Now the fight is on and Pacquiao is like a kid in a toy store.

Following the two unexpected losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny’s been fed fighters remotely in his class. I thought that they were to get him in the winning groove again to feel good and confident once more.

In a turn of previous fight protocol where it would be trainer Freddie Roach weighing his own knock out predictions, it is Pacquiao who has been taunting and throwing verbal jabs at Mayweather this time around. You never heard this from Manny before.

If Mayweather is hoping that Manny’s many distractions from commercial shoots to playing in the PBA and how work as a congressman as well as age slow him down then he is mistaken. Manny is used to this work rate outside the ring. He is bristling with confidence. He used to be like a shark that glided in quietly for the kill. Now, that predator’s fin is up and sailing at breakneck speed towards Money and a chance to put his name back among the sport’s greatest. Pacman lost some of that lost with back-to-back losses but right now, this match is for their everlasting legacy.

I wrote before Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Marquez that he shouldn’t have agreed to the fight because he was fighting a man who had nothing to lose and whose daily dose of motivation was that he was robbed several times. Heck, Marquez would have fought for free. All he wanted was redemption. And he got it. In spades as Pacquiao kissed the canvas in embarrassing fashion.

Now, Manny reminds me of that time when Michael Jordan was whistling on his way to Game 3 during the 1998 NBA Finals. The Utah Jazz split their road games in Chicago and looked confident to be going back home. But if you followed Jordan throughout his career, you would have noted that he was even more comfortable on the road with fewer distractions. Hence, the whistling. He relished the challenge. What home crowd? He swished that game winner for the ages.

And I get that feeling from Pacquiao.

He’s excited. He’s happy. He’s been looking forward to this for quite some time now.

Manny has that rare combination of power, speed, and volume punching. While he hasn’t knocked out anyone in a while, his foes have always come away battered from those fists of fury. And Mayweather can sting then float away then wade in for a flurry before disengaging. Try to frustrate Manny with a catch-me-if-you-can fight plan. It is in Manny’s best interests to end the fight early as he tends to slow down in the later rounds.

Manny? He’s the smiling assassin. He’ll knock you on your butt but help you up. Floyd has never faced a force of nature of this sort.

Why Floyd Mayweather will win

There’s this line from Marvel Comics’ “Daredevil” where scribe Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) once wrote, “A man without hope is a man without fear.”

The once-fearless Floyd Mayweather Jr. now knows fear. And I think that is good because he will make him even more of a canny fighter.

Nevertheless, when have you known Floyd Mayweather Jr. to be all business? His pre-fight routine consists of a lot of trash talking. But once inside the ring, Money is more of a calm and thinking fighter. One who prefers to be tactical in his fight pattern. One who thinks with his head before letting his fists do the talking. Brains and skill is how he has amassed that spotless fight record.

Now for the first time in his professional career (at least not for quite some time), he’s calm before the fight.

After years of taunting Manny Pacquiao from a distance that distance has closed to an arm’s length away.  And Money is uncannily silent. He has opted to keep quiet and train. The only thing that he has said that has gotten a lot of media mileage is that he is the greatest of all time eliciting even a response from the great Muhammad Ali. And I think just because Floyd knows fear at this point, he is preparing for it like he should. 

He knows he is in the fight of his life. Most likely, this is it for both fighters. A fight to close out their celebrated careers. This isn’t when he sent Ricky Hatton to the canvass in 2007. Even a loss at the point didn’t mean it’s all over. This is a legacy fight. He’s 47-0.

He has to be smart when fighting Pacquiao. Let that over-eagerness of the Filipino make him careless when he wades in. He will wait for Pacquiao to make that mistake then take his chances.

But that isn’t going to be easy because he hasn’t fought anyone as fast or maybe faster than him.

He may had diverged from his pre-fight trash talking but for my money, he will go to his routine come fight time. If he can win those rounds that is money in the bank in the eyes of judges. That style will force Manny to go for the kill and try to knock him down to earn serious points. When fighters press forward in desperation that usually makes them susceptible to mistakes. It is in his best interests to prolong the fight. Make it go the distance.

If Floyd can do that then he will have won his greatest victory.


  1. i don't agree it's a superfight. many have labeled it as such even before the fight commences but superfights in my opinion depends on who the fighters are and more importantly how they fought. and to me this clearly isn't. i'll take a castilllo-coralles fight than this one. sure this is a big fight but superfight it ain't. cheers

    1. With all due respect… that is your opinion? So it depends on how the fight goes? So a summer blockbuster movie isn't a blockbuster movie if you didn't like it?
      A superfight is when it is between two superstars whether it is for a title or not. Whatever the outcome, it is still labeled as a superfight.