Manny Pacquiao watched Floyd Mayweather score two victories over Marcos Maidana last year and liked what he saw.
Mayweather was far from perfect.
Especially in the first bout on May 5 where the unbeaten American escaped with a majority decision over the rugged Argentine.
The rematch on Sept. 13 was clearly won unanimously by Mayweather, who’ve adjusted to Maidana’s brawling style.
In both instances, Pacquiao’s sharp eyes discerned some flaws, which he plans to pounce on in their megabuck welterweight showdown on May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I saw his weaknesses in the Maidana fights,” Pacquiao told ANC News Monday. “Yes, I’m confident I can catch him.
“All I need to do is train hard,” added Pacquiao, who finds no need to overhaul the training regimen charted by chief trainer Freddie Roach in his preparations for Chris Algieri last November.
That time, Pacquiao thoroughly dominated Algieri, knocking down the bewildered New Yorker six times to retain his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown by lopsided unanimous decision.
Of course, Pacquiao knows Mayweather will be in far better form when they tangle for the unified 147-pound crown and, more important, the pound-for-pound king label.
That’s why the Filipino eight-division world champion admits he needs to step up further to raise his chances against Mayweather, a 2 1/2 to 1 favorite.
“More than that (performance against Algieri),” said Pacquiao. “I must improve some more. I need to be in 100 percent condition.”
To do that, Pacquiao said he intends to “apply exercises that we were unable to apply before.”
The focus, according to Pacquiao, will be on gaining “more speed.”
That’s why, the Sarangani representative is intent on playing basketball as long as Roach allows it.
“It’s good for my cross-training,” said Pacquiao, before he sweated it out at his MP Wild Card Gym in Gen. Santos City under the guidance of assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez. “Basketball enhances my footwork and balance.”
Earlier, Pacquiao did his early morning run.
Though he took a break in training on Sunday, Pacquiao still played billiards and basketball in the evening.
Pacquiao, also the playing coach of KIA Carnival in the PBA, bared that he’ll see action in the Carnival’s game against Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters Wednesday.
He’s set to leave for Los Angeles, where he’ll hold training camp at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, on Saturday.