Picture from Mightyfighter.com

Picture from Mightyfighter.com

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ONE of the reasons why attorneys usually sweat out a jury’s decision is because two people can frequently see the same set of facts in vastly different ways.

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And that’s what is happening, in a sense, during the build-up to the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

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Pacquiao has made a number of changes to his normal routine as he prepares to face Mayweather, the man widely regarded as the top fighter in the world.

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Pacquiao has watched a great deal of video of Mayweather, which he often doesn’t do.

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He shut off media access for the last month when he’s normally very open and accessible.

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And he’s made all of his sparring sessions off-limits to everyone but to those approved by his trainer, Freddie Roach.

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In addition, Pacquiao has decided not to participate in the customary “grand arrival” ceremony on Tuesday at the MGM Grand as he has typically done.

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Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, suggests that the pressure of preparing to face Mayweather is beginning to wear on Pacquiao.

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He went on at length about the issue to Yahoo Sports on Thursday.

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“It’s the first thing we’re doing on Fight Week that’s for the fans and they’re skipping it,” Ellerbe said.

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Roach, who will be honoured in absentia on Friday in New York by the Boxing Writers’ Association of America as the 2014 Trainer of the Year, laughed at Ellerbe’s comments.

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Roach praised Mayweather but said he remains confident and said Pacquiao is fully relaxed and ready to compete.

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“Your first problem is taking anything Ellerbe says seriously,” Roach said.

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“He knows nothing about boxing. He couldn’t spell box. He’s just talking to talk.”

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Roach said Pacquiao knows the significance of the fight and took to watching video as a result.

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He said, “Mayweather has a very complicated style,” and that Pacquiao needs to recognise when Mayweather is setting traps.

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He shut off the media, he said, because he had done so many interviews in the first part of his camp.

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Roach said Pacquiao “got a bit tired of it,” and asked him to take over. And Roach said Pacquiao probably doesn’t even know at this point that he’s not doing the grand arrival.

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Roach said that was a decision made solely by promoter Bob Arum. It was Arum who abruptly cancelled a Pacquiao conference call earlier in the week, Roach pointed out. Roach said he had a good laugh with Pacquiao about it after listening to Arum erupt.

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Pacquiao hasn’t had a knockout since he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round in 2009. He has a career knockout percentage of 59,4 but that’s hurt by just one stoppage in 10 fights above 140 pounds. The bout with Mayweather will be at the welterweight limit of 147.

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Subtracting his bouts above 140, Pacquiao’s knockout percentage is 68,5.

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But Roach said Pacquiao has worked on his power and said the fact that he believes Mayweather’s legs are short will make it easier for Pacquiao to land powerful, telling blows.

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“Look at what has happened in the last few fights Floyd has had, and he’s come out with a bloody mouth, a busted up lip and so forth,” Roach said. “He says he does that because he wants to please the audience more. (Expletive)! He doesn’t give a (expletive) about the fans. He does it because he has to. He’s not able to move like he did. And the more we make him use his legs, the more fatigued they’ll get.”

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The propaganda battle is going to continue unabated until they actually get into the ring and fight each other.

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That can’t happen too soon. — Yahoo! Sports.