MANILA, Philippines – Even though mixed martial arts is a different turf compared to boxing, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight fighter Alistair Overeem also had a share of opinion on the highly-anticipated bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr on May 2 (May 3 in Manila).
Overeem is giving his all-out support to Pacquiao as he admires the Filipino boxer’s humble character.
“I’m going for Pacquiao. I met him once and he is very respectful. He’s very calm. I appreciate his values more than his opponent,” he told Rappler.
Due to both men’s contrasting fighting style, the 34-year-old Dutch believes that the super-fight would go full 12 rounds.
“Technically, the form and the style are going to be a factor. They are both tremendous athletes. If we have two fighters that good, it definitely goes to a decision,” Overeem shared.
Known for his distinctive brand of defensive guile, Mayweather last scored a knockout when he defeated Victor Ortiz in September 2011.
After an intentional head butt by Ortiz in the fourth round, Mayweather took advantage of his opponent not having his hands up by connecting a left hook and followed up with a flush right hand to the face.
Despite the knockout drought, Mayweather managed to keep his professional boxing record unblemished with decision victories over the likes of Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Marcos Maidana.
On the other hand, Pacquiao has not stopped an in-ring counterpart since he routed Cotto via twelfth-round technical knockout in November 2009.
Pacquiao, who rose to stardom with his speed and power, was seen gunning for a knockout five months ago as he dropped previously unbeaten pugilist Chris Algieri six times before cruising to a lopsided decision win.
Overeem is the country to promote UFC’s first Philippine event on May 16 by spearheading a meet-and-greet session and public workout at SM Megamall’s Event Center in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila on Sunday, April 19.
“I am looking forward to meet my Filipino fans. I expect to have a great time with everybody,” he said. – Rappler.com