Freddie Roach agreed that the rumors about a supposed mega-fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather are not true. However, the five time Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year insists that he will be pushing for that fight and that it’s “closer now than ever.”
"I think we're closer and closer to a Mayweather fight," Roach said in an interview with Michael Woods of The Sweet Science. "It's only rumors now, but I think the rumors will come true. I don't think either Manny or Mayweather has anywhere else to go."
Pacquiao and Mayweather still do not have opponents for their upcoming fights in April and May. the Filipino has narrowed down his choices to Timothy Bradley and Ruslan Provodnikob while the American has his sights set on Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana. However, all of these possible fights pale in comparison to a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in terms of the money that could be generated.
Mayweather has often said that he will not deal with Pacquiao if Top Rank Promotions boss Bob Arum is involved. This forced Pacquiao to say that if Mayweather wants a fight, he can wait until 2015 when his contract with Arum expires. However, Roach thinks there’s a work-around possible in this situation.
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"Manny has time left in his contract but I think if he calls Bob and tells Bob what he wants, and that's Mayweather, Bob will give him what he wants. Bob will let him go do that fight," Roach said. "I'm being optimistic that a Manny-Mayweather fight is closer now than ever."
Roach echoed the opinions of Pacquiao's attorney Franklin Gacal who went on record to say that Arum should step aside to give the boxing fans what they want and that this will be Arum's "greatest contribution to boxing history."
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“You've got to give the fans what they want and most important, you as the promoter have to give the fighter what he wants," Roach continued. "I think Arum being the promoter and the professional that he is, will give Manny that fight. I like that September date, I'm pushing for it."
Prior to Pacquiao's fight against Brandon Rios, Roach said that he still think Pacquiao would win over Mayweather. He admitted that Pacquiao is not the fighter he was three years ago but added that Mayweather also lost a step and that losing some speed is more pronounced for Mayweather as he is the more defensive fighter.
"I'm gonna call Manny this afternoon," Roach ended. "All he has to do is call Bob, tell him who he wants, Mayweather, and I think it'll get done."