Roach: Pacquiao-Mayweather must happen
Manny Pacquiao wouldn't talk much, but Freddie Roach had plenty to say about the potential fight with Floyd Mayweather. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)
LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao is not much of a talker.
Never has been, never will be.
It’s not his nature. Where Floyd Mayweather is outspoken, Manny Pacquiao is reserved. Where Mayweather is boastful, Pacquiao is modest.
Those around Pacquiao like it that way. They don’t want him to change. Not his promoter, Bob Arum. Not his trainer, Freddie Roach. Not his P.R. man, Fred Sternburg.
OK, maybe not Sternburg.
The point is, Pacquiao isn’t in the sound bite business. So while the dozen or so media gathered in a private room at the MGM Grand on Tuesday practically pleaded with Pacquiao to call Mayweather out, Pacquiao wouldn’t bite.
“I’m not interrupting Bob’s negotiations for the next opponent,” Pacquiao said. “After every fight I’m just waiting for the next fight, the next opponent that he can get me.”
Fortunately, Pacquiao has Roach, who after Mayweather’s (sort of) public declaration last week that he wants his next fight to be against Pacquiao, has decided he has had enough.
“Manny is who he is,” Roach said. “I’m not going to ask him to change his personality. I’ll talk sh--. Because I’m kind of tired of Floyd to be honest with you. Just take the fight or shut up. He wants to make the rules, he wants to dictate everything. Who the fu-- is he to make the rules? We’ll fight him any day of the week. There will be a question mark after his undefeated record because he only fights guys he can beat. He only fights little guys. He sends Leonard Ellerbe, his go-fer, to make a speech. Who the hell is Leonard Ellerbe? Why doesn’t Floyd say it himself? I’m just kind of tired of it.”
Should Pacquiao dispose of Juan Manuel Marquez -- who Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against on Saturday (9 p.m., HBO PPV) -- there will undoubtedly be a strong push to make a fight with Mayweather. And despite his frustrations, Roach says he is all for it.
“There is no one else I’m really interested in,” Roach said. “I don’t see any other challenges. I think that fight needs to happen. It’s the only challenge out there.”
• Pacquiao says he is expecting more than 60 Filipino Congressman to be in attendance at the fight. “We’re going to do a roll call here,” said Pacquiao.
• While Marquez has had tremendous success counterpunching Pacquiao in their previous two fights, Roach expects the lightweight champion to take a different approach.
“His style has become more TV-friendly,” Roach said. “He likes to exchange more and he’s not simply a counterpuncher anymore. I don’t think with all that muscle he put on he is going to revert back because it will slow him down too much. I think he will start quick and kind of go for it.”
• Spotted Joel Casamayor walking through the hotel lobby. A very old looking Casamayor. Casamayor, 40, isn’t looking like a guy who stands much of a chance against an elite fighter like Tim Bradley.
-- Chris Mannix