If you were to approach a random fight fan, point to a Mayweather vs Pacquiao poster, and ask “which one has good defense?” there’s no question that they’d answer “Mayweather,” without missing a beat. And while it is true that Floyd is known for his superb defense, Manny Pacquiao has a subtly effective defense all his own, one which can be traced back to Marlon Starling, a superb technician who ruled the welterweight division for one brief but beautiful year in 1989.
Starling was known for his airtight defense, all based around a tight but flexible high guard like that of Winky Wright. When Starling achieved the height of his success, a young Freddie Roach was working in his corner. And as it turns out, there’s a lot more of Starling in Pacquiao than you might expect.
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