LAS VEGAS - Manny Pacquiao is most dangerous when his opponents underestimate him.
Better believe Chatchai Sasakul when he says that. The Thai, afterall, was talking from experience, having lost his world title to Pacquiao 17 years ago in a match where he came in not thinking much about the Filipino ring hero.
Now Sasakul sees Floyd Mayweather making the same mistake.
“(Mayweather) should not be that confident against Pacquiao. No boxer should underestimate Pacquiao because he is special and I learned that the hard way,” Sasakul told Spin.ph through his interpreter Tia.
“Pacquiao is a very confident man. That was my biggest mistake when I fought Manny in 1998. I even trained for him for only one month,” he added, recalling his eighth-round knockout loss to Pacquiao in their WBC flyweight fight.
“I think Mayweather will lose, if I am right in what I see, that he thinks he is better than Pacquiao. It was my biggest mistake before.”
Sasakul, now 46 and working as a boxing trainer, also shared how he suddenly lost focus during that eventful 1998 fight the moment he started absorbing the heavy punches of Pacquiao.
“He was very strong and very forceful. I think it (same fate) will happen to Mayweather, too,” he said.
In contrast, the Thai doubts if Mayweather has the power to take down his Filipino rival.
“Mayweather, he is not a strong puncher, he will not be able to take Pacquiao down. But Pacquiao can and will take down Mayweather,” he said.
“I think (Mayweather will be kayoed) in the eighth round or so,” Sasakul added.
The Bangkok native was Thailand’s biggest boxer before he agreed to fight a then unknown Pacquiao, in barely his third year as a professional, with his WBC 112-pound crown on the line in Phuttamonthon, Thailand.
“From that fight, I realized that Pacquiao is bound to become bigger. And when this Mayweather fight was realized… I wasn’t surprised,” said Sasakul as he waited for a chance to personllay send off Pacquiao at the Wild Card Gym.
Watch video of interview with Sasakul: