Holyfield Says Mayweather Will Have To Try Something New To Beat Pacquiao
It took five years and countless he-said-she-said public arguments, but Floyd Mayweather's inevitable fight against Manny Pacquiao finally has a definitive date.
And even if some suggest the sport, and the fight, lost some luster because of that, former Undisputed World Heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield says none of that will matter come May 2.
He told Elite Daily:
The fact of the matter is, you know that everybody wants to see it, 'cause they waited this long. They want to see it.
Though Pacquiao is the underdog, Holyfield says Mayweather is the one who might have to adjust his game to get the win.
The man they used to call "The Real Deal," now 52 years old, says he can see a unique punching power taking Mayweather to a place he's seldom been. He said,
You got a lot of people that slap. Pacquaio don't slap. He uses his whole body... Pacquiao's gonna throw so many punches from different angles, which is going to make Mayweather have to punch. This may be [Mayweather's] first time not leading the fight.
Mayweather has typically been able to find success with an exceptional defense that allows him to evade hits and attack on the counterpunch.
But, Holyfield noted even guys who "cover up" still have to absorb hits and Mayweather may not be able to afford to take those hits against Pacquiao. Holyfield continued,
He's used to winning all these rounds. But when [Mayweather] fights this guy, if he covers up a little bit and stays covered up too many times, this guy is gonna just throw more punches, which will cause [Pacquiao] to lead the fight.
Holyfield, though, was quick to point out the fight is likely to bring something new out of both fighters, not just Mayweather. He asked hypothetically:
What if Pacquiao has to stop and say, 'I can't go in there 'cause he's catching me?' Then how does he fight?
And while he placed the most emphasis on his belief Pacquiao could force Mayweather into a different type of fight, he made it clear such a scenario wouldn't necessarily put Mayweather in an unfavorable position.
While insisting Floyd punches "way harder" than people give him credit for, Holyfield said:
What people don't know about Mayweather is what they haven't seen. It's doesn't mean that he can't do it. He's just never had to do it... A lot of times you don't know how good a fighter is because of the fact that he never had to fight anybody that could bring it out.
Holyfield spoke to Elite Daily at Delta Air Lines' Passport to Madison Square Garden, a private showcase held this week to celebrate the airline's long relationship with the world's most famous arena.
Delta, the official airline of Madison Square Garden, hosted sports legends like NBA champion Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, US Open champion John McEnroe and Stanley Cup winner Mark Messier.
Former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton of "Boomer & Carton" show were also in attendance.
The pair hosted a Chalk Talk during the night and retold some of MSG's most famous stories with the help of the icons who lived it.
One of the highlights that stands out most in MSG's history is Holyfield's own fight against Lennox Lewis in 1999. As for who will win the big fight come Cinco de Mayo weekend, Holyfield says he has no favorite. He said,
I just know the guy whose hand they raise is gonna win. And I'm going to the fight just like everybody else, because I wanna know.
Just like the rest of us.