Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roach thumbs down March fight for Pacquiao

Freddie Roach is definitely thrilled with a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. showdown.

But he’s definitely not hot on a possible March 13 face-off between two of boxing’s most popular fighters today.

Roach readily thumbed down the proposed March gig being dangled by Top Rank Promotions’ big boss Bob Arum following a series of negotiations he had with Golden Boy Promotions’ CEO Richard Schaefer, representing Mayweather.

Freddie Roach
"March 13 is too fast a turnaround," said Roach from Europe, where he is currently preparing reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) light-welterweight champion Amir Khan for his Dec. 5 title defense against Dmitriy Salita.

The unbeaten Mayweather had already agreed to the fight contract, which Arum hopes Pacquiao would also approve.

As of posting time, Arum has been waiting for Pacquiao for hours at the New World Renaissance Hotel in Makati to discuss about the fight. The Filipino boxing icon was busy completing the final scenes of his action picture Wapakman to be shown on Dec. 25.

Other than Mayweather, who boasts of a 40-0 ring record, with 25 KOs, Roach is also concern about Pacquiao’s physical health, having gone 12 rounds of war with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto just four weeks ago for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title.

Although the Filipino boxing pride scored a late stoppage against the 29-year old Cotto, Pacquiao emerged out of it bearing bruises on both eyes and an injured right ear.

"Manny has a broken (right) eardrum," Roach said. "So I’d like to have more time."

Bob Arum
Arum agreed to book Pacquiao’s mega-bout with Mayweather on March 13 as the seven-time world champion is set to seek public office in the province of Saranggani in the May 10 national elections.

But Roach said the proximity of the fight and the date of election is too close for comfort that he’s not discounting distraction in training camp to come along the way.

For the three-time Trainer of the Year, it would be better if Arum and Schaefer, would be able to put off the fight at a later date, preferably shortly after the elections.

"I’d say he (Pacquiao) rest for a while, enjoy the holidays, run for elections, and Congressman Manny Pacquiao will kick Mayweather’s ass," said Roach.

Stressing the 32-year old Mayweather is a different kind of animal, Roach added Pacquaio should come in for the bout in his best possible shape.

"I hope the fight happens, yes, but I want us to be in the best possible shape," he said.

"We need time to get ready for that (fight). We have to come out with a real different style. It’s a whole different ballgame." – GMANews.TV

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