Leonard Ellerbe: I Really, Really Expect Floyd To Knock Pacquiao Out”

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FIGHT PRESS CONF13As the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe was essentially pinned against a wall by a sea of reporters asking him questions in the gym over this past week. May 2nd is fast approaching when Floyd Mayweather Jr(47-0, 26KO’s) and Manny Pacquiao(57-5-2, 38KO’s) will do battle at last but there are still countless media obligations to tend to. He spoke with ‘Dontae’s Boxing Nation’ amongst the rest.

Ellerbe was being as even-handed as possible, giving credit to both Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach for their accomplishments and abilities, but he did not let diplomacy cloud his message when he was asked how he thought the fight would turn out.

“I really, really expect Floyd to knock him out.”

And when asked why he feels so certain.

“I see a knockout because Floyd will be able to go in there and execute the game-plan.”

“Manny Pacquiao’s style, it dictates a great fight and he makes a lot of mistakes. He has a terrific trainer, the trainer can’t get in there and fight for him, and I think when it comes to exploiting one’s weaknesses and mistakes, Floyd Mayweather is the best in the business at doing that.”

There lies the difference between the two fighters; Floyd is a calculated, conscious fighter who puts safety first, and waits for his moment to strike. Pacquiao, on the other hand, has been known to let his instincts take over and push the fight when it may not be to his advantage. It should be noted that that mindset has only really cost him once – against Juan Manuel Marquez two and a half years ago.

They represent opposing ideologies as well as fighting styles, Fire and Ice if you will, and when you combine these factors with the long build-up you get the richest prizefight ever.

Having touched on Freddie Roach a little bit, Ellerbe was asked why the Mayweathers -Floyd Sr and Roger- have not received the ‘Trainer of the Year’ award during a time period where Floyd Jr has been the ‘Fighter of the Year’ several times.

“It’s all politics. The Mayweathers are the ones that are outspoken. They’re both terrific trainers, they’ve been the best in the sport for a number of years and a lot of the times what happens is they get overlooked because there’s a lot of politics in the sport. I think Freddie Roach is a terrific trainer but you have other great trainers out there. You got Virgil Hunter, you got Barry Hunter, there’s a number of great trainers out there. A lot of the accolades have gone to Freddie Roach. He happens to be a popular guy amongst the boxing writers and I have nothing bad to say about him because he’s a great trainer.”

Roach received the award in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. That is a hell of a run. However much backslapping was going on between Roach and the writers it’s clear that this streak coincides with Pacquiao’s ascension to stardom. Often all it takes is one fighter to make a trainer’s name, as the Mayweathers would probably agree.

It must be pointed out that Roach was well regarded before he and Pacquiao teamed up. He also brought Amir Khan along by leaps and bounds after Khan was knocked out for the first time against Breidis Prescott. Roach also took Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on the best run of his career, so far.

You could argue the toss for hours but at the top of the game most trainers have significant knowledge to impart. In the end, it seems to come down to who has the fighter with the highest profile. And if there are two fighters running parallel on the summit of the sport as Floyd Jr and Pacquiao have been, politics can make all the difference.

If Ellerbe has his prediction, right there is no amount of politics in the world that will save Pacquiao on May 2nd. He feels Floyd is looking to make a definitive statement against the man some fans have dared to consider his equal, or worse, his superior.

“Floyd Mayweather is gon’ try knock Manny Pacquiao’s head off; you can count on that happening. He’ll do it in a manner where he’ll follow a game-plan but Floyd Mayweather is looking to finish him off. I strongly believe that will happen.”

Hype or real talk? It doesn’t matter. The Fight is a little over a week away.