Saturday 23rd February 2019,
Sports Alchemist

Manny Pacquiao and Sun Tzu’s Art of War

Manny Pacquiao and Sun Tzu’s Art of War

Sun Tzu who lived between 544 BC to 496 BC authored “The Art of War” a definitive work on military strategy and tactics. For two thousand years, Sun Tzu’s work served as an inspiration for known leaders of society, like Mao Zedong, Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur and the Imperial Japan when it conquered Asia in World War two. This could be an interesting blue print for Manny Pacquiao on his up and coming mega bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this May 2. Everything starts with a strategy and what better way to do it using a proven and tested ancient military treatise.

“Quickness is the essence of the war.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s last fight against Marcos Maidana had a 51 percent landing accuracy, he toyed with Maidana most of the time. However, what statistics failed to show is Floyd has already lost a step or two. His legs isn’t that fast anymore and Manny can surely exploit that.
Speed kills, that’s what Bambam Rios felt when he fought Manny last 2013. “Well when I fought Manny, that [expletive] was fast. He was so fast he makes super-fast people look not-fast,” Rios said via In order for Manny to win this fight he was to go out relentlessly, and not let Mayweather get comfortable.

“Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

With all the talks about Manny struggling with his sparring partners, and Coach Freddie Roach not happy with the way Manny is handling them, this could already be the tactic they are employing. They are pushing themselves to be weak so Floyd can grow arrogant and relaxes in training. Contrary to reports, Manny’s team have a different take on Pacquiao’s training.

Former boxer Rodel Mayol:
“For this fight it is amazing,” Mayol said via USA Today. “I see he doesn’t get tired, not like before he fought (Chris) Algieri, (Shane) Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez – then he took it easy. This time he is very motivated.”

“He’s better than I’ve ever seen him,” Bob Arum told assembled international media. “I really think Manny’s going to stop him [Mayweather].”

“I admire Manny’s dedication to training. It’s still a long way to go before fight night, but I already see his strength and speed back as when he was still an up-and-coming fighter.,” – Jimmy Zuno, Member of Pacquiao’s security group (quote from Philboxing)

“We don’t want anything about what we do inside the gym appearing anywhere, but the preparation so far has been perfect,” – Justin Fortune (as quoted in the courier)

“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances”

When Manny Pacquiao was knocking out opponents in the feather weight division, Eric Morales exposed his weakness – Manny is a one-sided fighter who only has power on his left hand.
Manny re-invented himself and developed his right hand and conquered 8 different division weight titles. Manny should mix angles with speed and accuracy, something Floyd is not accustomed to. Bringing an element of surprise, something different can really alter Mayweather’s strategy.

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”

Never divulge any strategy to the media because it will spread like fire. For sure Freddie Roach has already formulated a secret formula in beating Floyd. Something that developed when Freddie was preparing Oscar de la Hoya against Floyd eight years ago. It’s like a slow cooking food, the best thing about it, is the longer its cook the better it taste.

“Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots.”

Floyd doesn’t like to be bullied around, his defense is close to perfect, and goes out unscathed on most of his fights. That’s why he calls himself Pretty boy, because his face still looks fresh after every fight. However, he also has some close moments. The first Maidana fight, when Sugar Shane Mosley hurt him, when he fought southpaws like Zab Judah and Demarcus Corley, when he fought a game but over the hill Oscar de la Hoya, those were fights when he almost lost his composure but still sneaked out a victory at the end. My point is you can get the best out of Floyd when he is losing. Since Floyd starts slow, Manny should pound Floyd right from the get-go… no rest, no breaks.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Manny believes he could win. He even announced it on live television that he doesn’t feel scared or worried against Floyd, in fact he said he is much worried when he fought Antonio Margarito and Oscar de la Hoya. There was actually a very interesting article in Philboxing explaining that Manny just by looking at his opponent’s eyes can already tell if his opponent is nervous or not. Manny revealed that this happened most of his victory except for Marquez. “I could see in his eyes that he hates me so much for knocking him down thrice during our first encounter and for handing him the defeat in our two succeeding fights,” Pacquiao said.
When Manny faced Mayweather on their kick off press conference this is what he said.
“I could see fear in Floyd’s eyes. His downfall looms on the horizon. This coming May 2, God will deliver him into my hands,”

“To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

Manny doesn’t have to do Floyd’s shoulder roll defense. Floyd is a tactician and a defensive artist, however when he wants to slug it out, he can still do it with gusto. In short, Floyd is a complete fighter. All Manny has to do is think like Floyd. If he traps him in the rope, what would Floyd do? If he goes to his shoulder roll, most likely he is into counter punching. Manny has to be a step ahead of Floyd most of the time.

Manny Pacquiao is still the underdog going to the May 2 fight. A lot of doubters think that Manny has no business with Floyd, it will just be a walk in the park and another pay day. That’s what they say when he fought Oscar de la Hoya, that’s what they say when he fought the game Marco Antonio Barrera in Texas. “Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust.” Sun Tzu wrote this thousands of years ago… Nothing is impossible, it’s all written in the stars, and of course Sun Tzu’s Art of war.

Jess Matthew Beltran

Jess has contributed a thousand plus articles to various international and local sports sites. He is still finishing up an e-book which talks about basketball and life. Message him at [email protected]

Jess Matthew Beltran


Jess Matthew Beltran

Jess Matthew Beltran

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About The Author

Jess has contributed a thousand plus articles to various international and local sports sites. He is still finishing up an e-book which talks about basketball and life. Message him at [email protected]