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Monday, May 4, 2009

Freddie Roach Says He Thinks Floyd Mayweather Jr Is Scared Of Manny Pacquiao

by James Slater - Will he or won't he? That's the question fight fans the world over are currently asking themselves when it comes to whether or not Floyd Mayweather Junior will fight the quite awesome Manny Pacquiao. In training for his next fight - a "comeback" affair against Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez - "Money" is under immense pressure to fight the lethal Filipino southpaw after that (assuming he beats Marquez, naturally).

Calling himself the greatest fighter of his era, if not of all-time, the unbeaten 32-year-old will not be able to go anywhere without someone or other asking him, 'when you gonna fight Pacquiao, Floyd?' This is almost certainly going to jar the multi-weight champ's pride, but will it jar it enough to make him take what could well be the most exciting and important fight of this decade..

Right now the most talked about and thrilling fighter in all of boxing, Pacquiao and his team are in the driving seat and are in a fine position to be able to call the shots.

Speaking to Ring magazine, trainer Roach made it clear whoever wants to fight "Pac-Man" will have to do so at 140-pounds, as this is the weight Manny feels most formidable at today. A few additional pounds aside - maybe 143 or 144 - Pacquiao will not look to box any higher, says Roach.

"You know what, we fight at 140," Roach told Ring. "These guys are going to have to meet us in the middle somewhere. Everyone wants to fight Manny Pacquiao now. He'll make you money."

Being more specific about the guys that want to fight Pacquiao next, Roach mentioned the Mayweather-Marquez winner from July, Miguel Cotto and reigning WBA welterweight king "Sugar" Shane Mosley.

"Mayweather could've fought Manny (in his comeback fight)," Roach said. "He just had to wait one day. I think he's scared of Manny..... We're not going to wait around. I want to keep Manny busy. A busy fighter is a good fighter. I'd like [him[ to fight in November or December.

"If Cotto wants to come down a few pounds, we can make that happen. If Shane Mosley wants to come down a few pounds, we can make that happen."

Either of the possible fights Roach mentioned would be hugely attractive match-ups, but it is the Mayweather fight everyone really wants to see. Freddie admitted to Ring that Mayweather's style would perhaps give Pacquiao some trouble.

"That's a style that would give Manny some trouble," Freddie said of Mayweather's boxing style. "Manny likes when guys come to him. He used to be just aggressive but now he's a good counter-puncher. He could do both, though. Mayweather would pose problems. But if Mayweather laid on the ropes, Manny would beat the shit out of him."

With Roach also claiming Pacquiao is now a more complete fighter than he was even as recently as the second fight with Marquez, the superb little fighter who has an entire country in his corner clearly represents Mayweather Junior with his greatest challenge.


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