Manny Pacquiao is a man of many talents. Boxer, singer, actor, basketball player, politician… There is no endeavor he has not pursued.
But do you know he is also a magician? On the boxing ring, that is.
Pacquiao the pugilist sports a lot of tricks that leave opponents confused, wondering what hit them. We have covered some of the basics: his relentless speed, his unforgiving power, his thunderous left hand, and his amazing footwork.
To think he started as a one-handed knockout puncher early in his career; he was an absolute student of the game that he learned and picked up a lot of new skills as he matured, both as an athlete and individual.
M88 Mansion Ambassador 𝐌𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐲 ‘𝐏𝐚𝐜-𝐌𝐚𝐧’ 𝐏𝐚𝐜𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐚𝐨 continues his training with high-intensity mitt work, an effective way to improve boxing skills like hand-body coordination, speed, and punching power.
Here are six signature moves of Manny Pacquiao.
This move, which was taught to Manny by esteemed boxing coach Freddie Roach, has become synonymous to the Filipino icon. The Manila Ice is Pacquiao’s vaunted right hook.
It was this that made him a two-fisted powerhouse. The opposition already feared his left. Eventually, they also had to contend with his right.
Talk of a new move developed by the Pacquiao camp started gaining traction in the mid-2000s. It made its debut in the rematch against Erik Morales, leading to a 10th round TKO victory in favor of “PacMan”.
With the Manila Ice, what Manny does is throw the hook over the opponent’s jab as a counter. To prevent himself from getting hit, he moves his head back or beat it with a left cross.
Counter Check Hook/Left Step, Left Cross
Speaking of his left hand, anything he throws with it would sting the enemy. It was his left that floored Ricky Hatton in their epic battle in 2009.
A part of every southpaw’s arsenal against orthodox boxers, the counter check hook is employed by Pacquiao in combination with the Manila Ice or by itself when the situation calls for it. Sometimes he mixes it up by first unleashing a right jab.
Whichever punch Manny sets this up with, it is sure to rock the opponent when it lands square on the jaw or temple.
Double Jab Straight
The double jab straight is Manny Pacquiao’s go-to maneuver. In some cases, he would dish three jabs in succession, setting up his dangerous left straight. He can afford to do this with ease with his gifted hand speed.
In Pacquiao’s first meeting against Juan Manuel Márquez, it was his left straight that did most of the damage in the early segment of the bout. This caused the Mexican to get knocked down thrice on the first round. It was only Márquez’ resilience and his ability to adjust that made him last up to the end of the fight.
One-Legged Lead Left
If there is one thing that Manny became known for as his professional boxing career progressed, it was his skill in his use of sidesteps and angles.
His agility with his feet made him harder to hit and is an underrated and underappreciated facet of his game. Meanwhile, the way he can throw punches at odd angles made him a formidable and complete boxer.
Part of this growth in his skillset is due to Roach. The hall of fame boxing trainer inculcated in him proper foot and body placement so that he can evade punches and throw them with the same ferocity wherever he is. If not for Freddie, Manny would not have acquired the know-how on utilizing sidesteps and angles
This was exemplified in his combat against boxers larger than him, such as Oscar de la Hoya in 2008 and Antonio Margarito in 2010. He negated their advantage on bulk, height, and reach with his footwork.
A specific move of Pacquiao that applies angles is his one-legged lead left. He starts off moving around, and in one abrupt motion, will lean forward and heave a straight left while his foot is still off the ground.
This is something rare in boxing as most are taught to throw a punch when their feet are square on the floor.
Double Cross Combination/Double Left Sneak
Manny Pacquiao’s boxing style gives him the ability to fire a cross directly from the hip. Coupled with his quickness, he can throw two at a time with speed, power, and accuracy before the other side can react. In his clash against Floyd Mayweather, Jr in 2015, the former Philippine senator landed the most with his left straight and his patented double cross combination.
To pull it off, Pacquiao throws two left hands, sneaking toward his right-handed opponent’s front leg. His footwork is also at play as he steps to his right while the other boxer is throwing a left jab. With the latter’s arm blocking the way, Manny then uncorks the two lefts.
Unable to throw their right, the opponent is forced to cover up. Pacquiao then has several options depending on the situation. If he is in control, he can toss punches to the body. If he needs to create distance, all he needs to do is continue his side motion and step away. That way, this combination also doubles as an offensive and defensive tactic.
Triangle Guard/Forearm Defense
Up to this point, we have highlighted Manny’s offense and footwork. This time, we will talk about his defense.
Aside from his quick evasion, the triangle guard or forearm defense is a way for him to not get landed on while still remaining in front of his opponent and smothering them. To do this, he braces his fists against his head and points his elbows almost straight towards his adversary.
This is unusual since most boxers are trained to hold their elbows down to protect the body. In Pacquiao’s case, he lifts his elbows to push off punches as if parrying them. To give a picture on how it looks, this is similar to the stance of a muay boxer.
These are some of the signature moves of “PacMan”. Pretty sure there are more of them. What did we miss? Share them below.