Armed guards patrolling the gym where Manny Pacquiao trains. Stealthy attempts to disrupt Pacquiao’s sparring. And a bit of trash talking just to spice things up two months before the big fight.
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach may be in Macau for a title fight involving China’s Zou Shiming, but he is making plenty of noise before his return to Los Angeles tomorrow to train Pacquiao for his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The talk is as old school as Roach, who seems to be giving early notice to the Mayweather camp that the buildup to the fight will be as intense as the bout itself.
“Floyd is so disrespectful,” Roach said by telephone from China. “Manny is the perfect role model for this fight and Mayweather is not. I told Manny we’ve got to beat him for the whole world. There’s no way we can’t win this fight.”
Roach does not much care for Mayweather, and believes that at age 38 he is slowing down. He thinks Mayweather might even be lured by the magnitude of the fight into doing things that will get him in trouble.
“Floyd’s legs don’t move like they once did,” Roach said. “He’s very clever, but the fight is so big he may feel like he has to take a risk and exchange with us. If he does that, that’s the best thing in the world for Manny in my mind.”
And if the fight comes down to cornermen, Roach believes Mayweather will be in real trouble if he is listening to his father, Floyd Sr, who took over as his son’s trainer from uncle Roger Mayweather last year.
“Going against Floyd Sr is a little disappointing,” Roach said. “He just isn’t very good, especially during the fight itself. One of our advantages is having him in the other corner.”
Roach, who played a big part in getting the fight made by bringing promoter Bob Arum and CBS chairman Les Moonves together for talks, said he and Pacquiao have a higher calling than just winning a fight.
“Manny will be performing a public service for boxing when he beats Floyd,” Roach said.
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