Manny Pacquiao is one of the most complete fighters to ever fight in the 147 lb. division. His combination of power, speed and quickness is seldom seen in the lighter weight classes and even more so by someone of his height. With that being said, there are still limitations to Manny’s skill set and there are weaknesses that he’s shown over the years.
Here’s a list of some of Manny Pacquiao’s most glaring weaknesses.
1. Lack of Reach
Manny’s height doesn’t limit his ability to close the space on taller fighters but it does stop him from landing easy punches. Manny has to work harder to out point opponents due to his lack of reach and it forces him to fight in close quarters. If Manny was to fight a true power puncher in the 147 lb division he’d have to take punches to deliver punches, which leaves him susceptible to taking damage.
2. Wide Looping Punches
Manny Pacquiao isn’t known to have a quick snap jab. That’s because his lack of reach and his stature have made him into a volume puncher. When he throws these 6-8 punch combinations he throws them from wide angles, leaving himself open to quick counter punches and uppercuts. Mayweather is one of the best counter punchers in the history of boxing and it wont take him long to pick out that flaw.
3. Head Movement
Pacquiao has never been accused of being the most defense minded fighter and his shortcomings are evident in his movements. While Mayweather has his famed shoulder roll, Pacquiao rarely moves his head or changes levels. He falls into long periods of time where he stands flat-footed in front of his opponent and uses his punches as defense.
4. Wide Stance
We touched on Pacquiao’s feet in the last section but his problem isn’t the speed of his feet, he’s as quick as any fighter in the division, it’s his wide stance. His stance is built to get the most power out of his small frame and not for avoiding contact. Pacquiao uses his wide stance to generate power throughout his body and roll into punches, but that leaves him rooted to one spot and incapable of bouncing around the ring when necessary.
His most glaring flaw is also one of his best strengths. Pacquiao’s killer instinct is the reason he is a household name and it’s also why he has been one of the most feared welterweights for over a decade. That same quality gets the bets of him from time to time and led to his most memorable defeat, a KO loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. That was a fight that he had well in hand and he felt that he could finish off Marquez in the final seconds of a round. A less-aggressive boxer would’ve sat back and waited for his opponent to come at him or to inflict more damage in the coming rounds; Pacquaio opted to charge Marquez and walked into a crushing right hand.
The fact remains that we are nitpicking at the flaws of the two greatest welterweights of the century. Both fighters will challenge each other in ways that neither have seen before and the one to adjust first will win the fight. New strengths will appear during the fight and new weaknesses will be exposed, it’s just the nature of the fight.