Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |


Gerry Penalosa: Manny Pacquiao will kick Floyd Mayweather’s ass


Gerry Penalosa held world titles at junior bantamweight and bantamweight during his underrated pro career. He now trains and manages fighters in his native Philippines.


MANILA, Philippines – While Las Vegas betting parlors are favoring Floyd Mayweather’s technical mastery and undefeated ledger, one of the Philippines’ greatest boxers is placing his chips for May 2 on Manny Pacquiao.

Gerry Penalosa, a retired former junior bantamweight and bantamweight champion, says he thinks Pacquiao’s southpaw punching power and hunger to disprove critics will carry him to victory at the MGM Grand.

“Pacquiao will kick Mayweather’s ass for sure. He can’t handle Manny’s power, he’s very explosive,” said Penalosa, whom Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach calls the “greatest technical Filipino boxer of all-time.”

“I don’t think Mayweather’s style can give a hard time for Manny. It’s Manny’s style that will be difficult to adjust for Mayweather’s corner, especially in-between rounds. I am sure because Mayweather can’t handle southpaw, Manny’s punching power, and the volume power.

“Assuming that he’s at 200 percent in shape, in late rounds Manny can stop Mayweather.”

The 36-year-old Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts), of General Santos City, Philippines, closed to a +210 underdog at the Las Vegas SuperBook over the weekend while Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) remained a sold 2-to-1 favorite at -250.

Penalosa, 43, thinks Mayweather’s trademark defensive posture – where he places his chin behind his left shoulder and counterpunches – can be effective against Pacquiao, who has spent the past three years rebuilding his reputation following a sixth-round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Mayweather, who turns 38 on Feb. 24, has never truly been knocked down and has scarcely been challenged in his career, having lost just one scorecard (in a split-decision win over Oscar de la Hoya in 2008) since turning professional in 1996.

“If he stays on the ropes, for sure Manny will kill him early,” said Penalosa. “Mayweather should be in top shape so he can run and try to outbox Manny. Maybe in the early rounds, he can run. But in the later rounds, if he feels to get tired, I think that’s the time Manny will kill him.”

Mayweather, who has won championships in five divisions, has defeated six southpaws in his career but had rocky moments in his bouts with lefties DeMarcus Corley and Zab Judah.

Floyd Mayweather Sr., the trainer/father of “Money” Mayweather, tells MLive.com that he feels Floyd Jr.’s body punching and straight right hands will lead to a knockout win over Pacquiao in the welterweight super-fight.

“A southpaw is definitely geared to be hit with right hands. I’m going to say that, along with the body work, it’s going to be a good right hand and a left hook that’s going to put him down,” Mayweather Sr. said.

Penalosa disagrees with Mayweather Sr. about body punching, feeling it’d open Mayweather Jr. to Pacquiao’s combinations but expressed concern about the lead right hand of Mayweather Jr.

Still, he doesn’t think Mayweather Jr. can hurt Pacquiao enough to dissuade his aggression.

Penalosa says he knew ahead of Mayweather’s signed contract announcement on the Shots app that the fight was a done deal and asked Pacquiao how he felt about the fight. “‘Trust me, I know it’s hard, but trust me and I will let you see,'” Penalosa said Pacquiao told him.

Penalosa also disputes Mayweather’s claims that he forced Pacquiao’s team to make their fight after five years of stop-and-start negotiations, saying that public pressure forced him into the fight.

“He has no choice. I think he was listening to his people say ‘Yeah, you can beat Manny.’ But deep down inside, Floyd is scared.”


Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.