I have had the pleasure of being around Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao several times over the last couple of years. Both are stand up guys, good guys in the sport of boxing.
If Roach and Pacquiao say they want to fight Floyd Mayweather I believe them. I also believe at this time Mayweather wants the fight to happen.
I think both Pacquaio and Mayweather realize the window is closing. Pacquiao dodged a huge bullet in beating Marquez, but it is just a matter of time before one of these up and coming young guys beats him. With Mayweather it is more of the clock ticking on when his remarkable skills will slip, we know in boxing it can happen overnight. I watched his fight closely with Ortiz again. He was brilliant, but that brilliance came from his intelligence. He isn’t quite moving the same as he was in his younger days.
Mayweather reminds me of Ali and Bernard Hopkins in that he is adjusting his style as he gets older. It isn’t that he is taking more risks it is just he knows he can’t do the same things he could do at 24 at 34. But seeing how Marquez befuddled Pacquiao he knows that he could probably dominant Pacquiao just by staying at distance and counterpunching him to death.
It is still the fight everyone wants to see and only one man is causing the hold up.
Roach, in a Wednesday phoner, told us that he is as eager as most fight fans are to see Pacquiao — who is coming off a controversial victory against Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday — fight Mayweather.
“The Mayweather fight is the one the whole world wants to see, everywhere I go fans tell me that,” said Roach, who is cornering Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday for his scrap in Texas with Peter Manfredo, a bout that will run on HBO.
“For me, Mayweather is the number one choice to fight next. I’m trying to get hold of Manny, to get his feelings on it. If the choice is $30 million to fight Marquez or Mayweather for $100 million in the biggest fight of all time, I’m sure he’d go for Mayweather. But I haven’t had the chance to talk to him.”
There has been talk that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is aiming for a fourth Marquez fight before he’s inclined to possibly get bogged down in another protracted negotiation session with Team Mayweather. The Mayweather crew has indicated they want to take on Pacquiao, and have targeted a May 5 date for this boxing Super Bowl. But the two sides have flirted off and on for so long, cynics wonder if they can ever find common ground. Roach is optimistic it can get done.
Roach told me that he is confident that Arum, who he said is superior at what he does, will deliver the fight that Pacquiao desires. “And I think that’s the Mayweather fight,” Roach said. “I will see Manny today. He’s in the U.S. and leaves for the Philippines tonight.”
I know for a fact that Mayweather has nothing against Roach or Pacquiao. He does though have major issues with Arum like a lot of people do.
Arum has said for years that it is Manny who picks his opponents.
We will see if that is really true.