With six weeks to go before the “Fight of the Century,” Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, dropped by CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench to give a state-of-the-union address on Pacquiao as he prepares for his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 2.
“I think Pacquiao’s really on par right now,” Roach said. “I’ve never seen him train so hard for a fight. Everything’s going really well. We’re really, really happy this fight is finally happening. We’re ready for whatever (Mayweather) brings to the table.”
What Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) brings is an undefeated record, supreme confidence and the title of best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Pacquiao (57-5-2), meanwhile, doesn’t have the unblemished record, but he does have one of the most offensive styles in boxing – not to mention a ton of motivation.
Pacquiao, it seems, would have fought Mayweather years ago, but Mayweather “wants everything his way,” Roach said. Mayweather is finally getting what he wants, but he may regret it.
Why? Because Roach believes Mayweather, 38, is wearing down and doesn’t have much left in the tank.
“If you watch his more recent fights, he has to get on the ropes and take a rest,” Roach said. “He says he’s doing that to please the crowds (so they can) exchange more. But I think he’s doing it to rest because his legs aren’t there anymore. Believe me, when he goes to the ropes, Manny’s going to attack him and we’re going to throw a thousand-punch combination at him, I swear. Manny just really, really knows what he wants to do in this fight. He’s doing really well. The training’s been great. Beating Floyd, it’ll be a public service for boxing, I swear – because this guy is not a good guy.”
Pacquiao, 36, has won his last three fights by unanimous decision, including a win over Chris Algieri, 31, in November 2014.
“The thing is, Algieri is a young guy, so that really wasn’t a difficult fight,” Roach said. “But what I like about the Algieri fight is when you look at Manny’s legs, he was on his toes for 12 rounds. He never came down. Manny has better legs than Floyd. That’s going to be the difference. Floyd is lazy and he’s getting older. That’s the first thing you lose as a fighter. I remember when my legs went and I had to quit fighting. It’s just part of life. Neurologically getting hit in the head doesn’t help your legs so much. But the thing is, I think Floyd’s slowing down and Manny’s not.”
There’s also another factor to consider: Mayweather might not like Pacquiao, but Pacquiao really, really doesn’t like Mayweather.
“Manny doesn’t like Floyd,” Roach said. “Manny doesn’t say anything really good or bad about anybody, but I can just tell he doesn’t like this guy. He’s so fired up for this fight. He’s watching tape. Me and him are on the same page. He’s just really, really good.”