By Dennis Principe
They still have to deal with Miguel Cotto but Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach just couldn’t hold back in talking about Floyd Mayweather, Jr. The day he arrived in Baguio City to hook up with his prized fighter Manny Pacquiao, Roach told Fightnews that Mayweather missed the chance of gaining enough bargaining leverage in his latest fight against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez. “The fight was there for the taking but he just couldn’t finish Marquez because he doesn‘t have the balls to finish him off ,” said Roach. “The only way that he could have benefited in fighting Marquez was by knocking him out and doing something Manny couldn’t do. He’s a great boxer and I can’t take that away from him. But he’s not exciting. He doesn’t make me jump off my seat. That’s what boxing needs.”
As for Mayweather’s chances against Pacquiao, Roach admits its going to be a difficult fight but quickly adds the Filipino multi-division world champion’s skills would eventually lead them to a victory.
“Mayweather’s not the bravest guy in the world so you got to take chances. He’s a very difficult style for anyone but with enough punching power and pressure I think my fighter can get him because I’ve got the best fighter in the world,” said Roach.
Roach thinks the most difficult aspect of dealing with Mayweather is not inside the ring but on the negotiating table.
“It’s what the world wants to see. But the thing is, can you get him sign the contract? I don’t know. It’s going to be difficult because he thinks he’s going to get all the money,” said Roach. “If he thinks he’s going to get equal money with us, he’s crazy. He needs us, we don’t need him.”
Roach justified his assessment of Mayweather’s marketability by describing the American’s 12-round decision win against Marquez last weekend at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
“Let’s face it, the guy that puts asses on the seats is Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather doesn’t draw. Against Marquez the venue was 80% Mexican,” said Roach.
Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 knockouts) will battle Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs) over 12-rounds for the Puerto Rican’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Both combatants agreed to fight at a catch weight of 145 lb.
Next week, Pacquiao shifts to higher gear as he gets to face
four sparring partners led by undefeated A merican boxer Shawn Porter . All are capable of simulating the style of Cotto, according to Roach.
“Porter is my main guy right now. He’s 11-0 with 10 knockouts and is a light middleweight who’s got a strong left hook,” said Roach.