It feels good to be back blogging after a few days away, i have been trying to drop my thoughts on the Mayweather/ Pacquioa fight and how i felt, my BBM and Facebook page saw a lot of traffic after my comments on the poor fulfillment of the expectations of the match, but apparently I needed a bit to know on the game of boxing.
My big buddy Akpo’s Adonkie filled me in with this write up, thought I should share it..
I still don’t remember ever staying up all night for a boxing match except for this one. Not even when Mike Tyson was at his ‘baddest’. I was fascinated by two things: the hype surrounding the event with the possibility of the two fighters taking home a pay of about $100m each and the person of Manny Pacquiao. To me, he is quite an interesting character. He is a politician, having been elected to the Phillipines House of Representatives, a basketball player, an actor and a musician. He is the head coach of a basket ball team as well as oldest rookie drafted and the shortest player in the Phillipines Basketball Association. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserve Army of his country. He is the first and only eight division world champion in boxing. So I rooted for him as I usually do for the ‘under-dog’.
As for Floyd Mayweather, I didn’t think much of him except that he is a ‘showman’ through and through. My heart was with Manny Pacquiao all through the match but there’s no denying the fact that Mayweather won fair and square.
So what are my take-aways from this match and how can we apply it to real life situations? Here we go:
MAKE EACH PUNCH COUNT
Mayweather threw 435 punches to Pacquiao’s 429. Out of these, 148 punches connected for Mayweather while Pacquiao could only connect 81. Implication is that while both fighters threw almost equal amount of punches (Mayweather threw only 6 more punches than Pacquaio), the rate of connection for Mayweather was almost twice that of Pacquaio with the former having a 34% success rate while the latter had 19% success rate. Success in life goes beyond mere efforts. Nobody rewards you for efforts but results. Anyone can throw punches but only the truly successful will connect. The reward never goes to the one who made more efforts. The difference between success and failure can simply be the fact that you throw a bit more punches than competition.
Mayweather threw 267 jabs to Pacquiao’s 193- out of which he landed 67 with Pacquaio managing to land a paltry 18. Success rate for Mayweather was 25% while Pacquaio’s was 9%. In big things as well as in small things, Mayweather was ahead. He even took the small things more serious as he achieved almost thrice what Pacquaio achieved. Life is a combination of the big things as well as the little details. Don’t ignore the little jabs- the little details- if you want to go far in life. Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.
Amazingly, Pacquiao threw a very significant number of power punches during the fight- 236. For a man who usually throws about 100 power punches per round, this was still far below his usual standards but it was much better than that of his opponent- Floyd Mayweather- who threw only 168 power punches during the fight. Ironically, Pacquiao only landed 63 to Mayweather’s 81. That means Mayweather landed twice as many power punches as Pacquiao on the basis of their efforts. During the fight, Manny did things right but Floyd did the right things. And effort isn’t worth a thing unless it achieves results. No one pays for efforts- they pay for results.
Don’t just count the punches- make each punch count.
The goal of any fighter is to win first. Hit and run if you must. Be clinical in your approach. Success doesn’t usually come from breakthrough innovation alone but from flawless execution. You must be methodical if you want to be a champion. Champions are not arbitrary. Champions don’t just swing punches anyhow. You can’t afford to be care free or careless. Challenges must be approached in an organized and systematic manner. Methodical work brings results. Life must be approached in a very systematic manner in order to get tangible results.
BRAWN IS GOOD BUT BRAIN IS BETTER
In boxing, like in real life, IQ rules. 90% of boxing is mental while only 10% is physical. There is a difference between working smart and working hard. There is a way strategy thumps aggression. The man with the brain will always be ahead of the man with only brawn. The man who thinks will always be the master of the man who can only do. There must be something to Floyd Mayweather that he’s not being given enough credit for. A dummy cannot be 48-0. John Tuskin said, “Quality is never an accident. It’s always the result of intelligent efforts”. Boxing is not just about physical strength but about anticipating the next move of the opponent. You must be able to pre-empt your competitor’s next move. Better still, you must be able to be one step ahead and dictate the pace. Dictate the pace. Don’t ever fight at the opponent’s level. Take them out of their element and ensure they fight in yours. It takes brain power to do this.
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
One thing Mayweather did was to take away everything that Pacquiao does well away from him. Mayweather made Pacquiao fight his own fight. Amir Khan, who hopes to be Mayweather’s next opponent, told Sportsweek: “The mistake Manny made was drop to Mayweather’s pace. To fight Mayweather you have to stick to your own pace, and that’s something a young fighter would do.”
Pacquaio usually throws an average of 100 punches per round but he only got to throw an average of about 30 punches in this fight. According to expertboxing.com, if you want to fight a southpaw (and Pacquiao is one), “do not stand still. You will need stamina to keep moving the entire fight”. That is why Mayweather was accused of dancing in the ring. Mayweather also exploited the weakness of his opponent. Still quoting from expertboxing.com, “You can also put him in a head lock. Just hang your arm over him, don’t close your arm or you’ll get penalized”. This is because the southpaw always has his head leaning forward.
Mayweather has fought 8 southpaws in his career and he defeated each one of them. Manny Pacquaio was the ninth one. During his preparation for the match, Mayweather turned to DeMarcus Corley as his sparring partner. Corley is a southpaw with a body frame that resembles Pacquaio and whom Mayweather had defeated via a unanimous 12-round decision in 2004. He was also his sparring partner when Mayweather trained for the bouts with Sharmba Mitchell and Zab Judah who are also notable southpaws.
In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote, “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle”. Know your opponent and you have the battle well defined. Knowing your competitors in your industry or sector will place you at an advantage. Exploiting their weaknesses will give you guaranteed success.
NEVER CHANGE A WINNING STRATEGY
Boxing is all about strategy. Muhammed Ali had the ‘rope-a-dope’. Floyd Mayweather is a counter- puncher. Mike Tyson was a ‘slugger’. Find what works for you and improve on it. Mayweather adopted the same strategy in beating Mosley. He used the same approach in canceling out Ortiz. He didn’t change the strategy when he defeated Canelo. He employed the same tactics to trump Hatton. Both Maidana fights went down owing to the same strategy. There’s no point changing a winning strategy. If it works, use it. Re-use it. Then use it some more. It may look dull and boring but victory is the main goal. There’s no point playing to the gallery. Everyone cares more about the results than about the strategy it takes to achieve the results. So, it’s results first- we can examine the strategy later.
UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF YOUR GAME
The objective in boxing is to hit while not getting hit. That’s the simple rule of the game- every other thing is just an icing on the cake. The more you hit, the more you score. The more you avoid getting hit, the better your chances of winning. Follow the rules of the game or you will either be defeated or disqualified.
Life has rules and guiding principles. You defy them to your own peril. Some of the rules are so basic that they tend to be ignored. There are rules guiding career, marriage, health and other areas of life. Like loving your neighbour as yourself. Like being diligent at work. Like having a perfect work-life balance. Like eating healthy. Simple but yet profound. When you understand and follow the rules, it makes for a happier and more successful life.