London: Floyd Mayweather senses he landed a telling psychological blow on Manny Pacquiao during a decisive moment on their path to finally agreeing a May 2 superfight in Las Vegas.
Floyd Mayweather hits a speed bag as he works out in front of a poster of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao with his eyes and mouth taped over at the Mayweather Boxing Club on April 14in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The greatest boxers of their generation met accidentally in January when attending a Miami Heat basketball match, chatting briefly as they came face to face for the first time before exchanging phone numbers.
Mayweather called Pacquiao a few hours later and visited the Filipino in his hotel suite in what has since been described as the turning point in ending the five-year stand-off that had prevented the welterweight rivals from clashing.
It was during those discussions that Mayweather, who stands one and a half inch taller and possesses an extra five inches in reach, detected an element of concern in Pacquiao.
Manny Pacquiao. Pics/AFP, Getty Images
"You can read a guy's body language. When Pacquiao first saw me in Miami, he didn't expect to see me over there at the basketball game," Mayweather said.
"He looked shocked, like — 'damn, he's taller than me. He's bigger than what I thought he was'.
"Just by being in the sport for so long, you're able to read body language and to read a fighter's eyes.
"Normally when I face an opponent, they outweigh me by 17 to 20 pounds on fight nights.
"This has been going on for a good while now."
Mayweather starts as a strong odds-on favourite with a points victory the most widely tipped result.
Pacquiao must stretch his mind back to 2008 for the last time he was expected to lose, but on that occasion he responded by bewitching a weight-drained Oscar De La Hoya over eight one-sided rounds.