On March 19, 2005, these two great fighters fought, and Manny Pacquiao lost the 12-round match to Morales via a unanimous decision. Flimsy excuses like poor socks, poor gloves, etc., etc., were given by the Pacquiao camp but I knew it was poor strategy that did him in. Pacquiao's style is the "shock-and-awe" blitzkrieg technique which is useful only if the opponent has a glass jaw. Erik Morales, the tough Mexican, has jaws of steel. Pacquiao needs more strategy than to merely "shock-and-awe" an opponent like Morales.
In boxing, the key to victory is sustaining one's strength until the last round --- usually the 12th. The reason why Muhammad Ali (the greatest) defeated Sonny Liston was because he was able to sustain his strategy of "floating like a butterly" and "stinging like a bee." When you float like a butterfly, you try your best to dance around your opponent without getting hit, and when you sting like a bee, your intention is not really to knock out but to give significant punches that will eventually weaken your enemy. I know, I know. 'Easier said than done.
If you analyze it well, what will make Manny Pacquiao (or Erik Morales) win is not the diet, the gloves, the socks, or the training, but the ability to think while fighting. The problem with boxing is once you get hit in the head, it becomes hard to think clearly. A good strong shot to your head can make you dizzy and see stars. Gone will be your opportunity to analyze and formulate a strategy that will work against your opponent. Even the greatest boxer (Ali) wasn't able to sustain all the punches he took in his career when the beatings took its toll and manifested as Parkinson's Disease.
Summarizing, I think these are the factors which will help Manny win:
- a conditioned body - one that can sustain running around and taking punches from Morales for 12 rounds
- good electrolyte balance - all those running and punching can make him perspire and lose vital electrolytes, which in turn can weaken him
- balanced nutrition - some say a protein diet is best for fights but I think he needs carbohydrates, too; balance is key here
- being able to think clearly while fighting - most important of all; this will determine if he will win or not
- a vigilant coaching corner - when all else fails, guidance should come from people in his corner who are spared from getting hit and can analyze what proper strategy to apply
UPDATE at 3:01pm - Manny Pacquiao won! He scored a knockout in the 10th round. Congratulations!