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Mayweather Sr.: I wouldn’t call Manny Pacquiao a good fighter

Both Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Oscar De La Hoya believe the jab will be key on Sept. 19

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Associated Press

Floyd Mayweather Sr. watches from a distance while his son Floyd Mayweather Jr. works out for media members at his Las Vegas gym. Mayweather Sr. is helping his son prepare for a fight for the first time in nine years.

It Is a Family Reunion

After a nine-year estrangement, Floyd Mayweather Sr. and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have reunited for Junior's September 19 fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.

One for the "Money"

Floyd Mayweather Jr. talks with the media as he prepares to come back to boxing for the first time in two years. Mayweather Jr. fights Juan Manuel Marquez Saturday, September 19th at the MGM Grand.

Mayweather Training

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, works on his timing with his uncle Roger Mayweather during a workout in his gym Thursday, June 11, 2009.  Launch slideshow »

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If You Go

  • What: Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs), 12 scheduled rounds
  • When: Sept. 19
  • Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena
  • Tickets: $150-$1,000, mgmgrand.com
  • TV: HBO pay-per-view, $49.95

Floyd Mayweather Sr. is back in the gym with his son for the first time in nine years in preparation for the younger Mayweather’s upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19.

What has been the focus of the reunited Mayweathers’ camp?

The jab.

“Lil Floyd’s timing is on, not only is his timing on, I’m back now,” Mayweather Sr. said. “He’s got his jab working overtime, so I’m pretty sure Marquez is going to get more than he’s looking for.

“If he can get past the jab, hey, he can make the fight hard. Or he can make the fight easy.”

It’s widely understood that the older Mayweather, who’s known for busting into the occasional rap from time to time, is never short on words.

But according to the softer-spoken Oscar De La Hoya, he may be right when it comes to the use of the jab playing an enormous role in determining a winner when the two fighters meet later this month.

De La Hoya said that it was the single biggest strategic move that cost him a win when he met Mayweather Jr. in 2007 and lost by split decision.

“Obviously when I fought Floyd, my jab was the key,” De La Hoya said during a teleconference Thursday. “It wasn’t that difficult, but I didn’t keep using the jab. I’m the one that stopped fighting.”

The former world champion added that it was a mistake he doesn’t expect Marquez to repeat.

“Styles make fights,” said De La Hoya, who recently visited Marquez’s training camp in Mexico. “I have a feeling, after watching Floyd and Marquez train, that Marquez is going to pull this off.

“I saw how seriously he’s taking this fight and I’m convinced he will win.”

Marquez will have to be the better technical fighter to pull off an upset, as many assume he’ll be slightly slower and weaker than his undefeated opponent on Sept. 19.

Taking those two disadvantages into consideration, ‘outjabbing’ Mayweather Jr. may be his only hope.

“Them are two great advantages right there, that he’s slower and Floyd’s bigger,” Mayweather Sr. said. “I saw Manuel’s last fight with Juan Diaz and he threw a lot of punches but his punches are very slow. He’s not a fast fighter and Floyd should capitalize on that.”

‘Lil Floyd’ on the other hand may feel a different kind of pressure in that simply winning the fight may not be enough.

Mayweather Jr. has been hearing earfuls of how a certain Filipino boxer by the name of Manny Pacquiao has defeated the same two previous opponents that he has in more explosive finishes.

Pacquiao forced De La Hoya to throw in the towel before the ninth round of their fight in December 2008 and recorded a knockout victory over Ricky Hatton in just the second round of their contest in May.

While Mayweather Jr. would probably never admit if he feels a pressure to knock out Marquez, De La Hoya said it for him on Thursday.

“The only way Floyd Jr. is going to be talked about amongst the best is he has to knock out some of the best,” De La Hoya said. “Starting with Juan Manuel Marquez, he has to make a statement. He has to do something that’s never been done and that’s knock out Marquez.”

With regard to Pacquiao, Mayweather Sr. said he believes his son would match up just fine if the two fighters ever meet in the ring.

“I know for a fact that Floyd is hitting harder than Pacquiao and I know that Floyd is smarter than Pacquiao,” said Mayweather Sr. at his son’s gym last week. “On all levels you can talk about right now comparing him to Floyd, Floyd will come out on top on every one of those attributes.”

During Thursday’s teleconference, Mayweather Sr., who trained Hatton in his loss with Pacquiao, took it a step further.

“Floyd is the pound-for-pound best, Pacquiao is not,” he said. “I wouldn’t call Pacquiao a good fighter at all, I wouldn’t. I mean, that’s my opinion because I see too many things he does.

“Speed means nothing if you don’t know exactly where to put punches. It don’t mean nothing. He’s got speed, he’s fast, but he’s got no skills with it so it don’t mean nothing.”

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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