By John F. McKenna (McJack)
Trainer Freddie Roach is a five time Trainer of the Year and Hall of Fame trainer as well. Roach is also known to be a great ring tactician and a master at exploiting the weaknesses in opponents his fighters face. Roach trains eight division titlist WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) and even after his controversial win over WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KO’s), Freddie still believes that Manny is the best pound for pound fighter in the world.
Roach however is under no illusions. He recently warned Pacquiao that when it comes to speed, WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KO’s) is his equal.
Pacquiao’s blazing speed and power are part of the reason that The Ring and many other respected boxing observers feel that he is the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world.
It is thought by many that behind the scenes talks may be going on to put together a Pacquiao – Mayweather fight, possibly in May 2012. The rumors that were running rampant as recently as a week ago have suddenly dried up. If any discussions are going on the powers that be are understandably staying mum on the subject.
Obviously Roach has given considerable thought to how he would go about preparing Manny for what would be his ultimate test. Roach was quoted by ABS-CBN news.com saying the following:
“I will bring in a whole new crew of sparring partners, guys that can imitate Floyd well. There aren’t a lot of guys that are like Floyd, so it would be tough to find them.
“We would prepare for his counter punching ability, and his speed, which is maybe equal to Manny’s, if not better.
Despite his praise for Mayweather, Roach believes he has flaws in his style which Manny will be able to exploit.
“I think we can take advantage of those habits. He does have some bad habits that can be exposed.”
Of course Roach is not willing to share with anyone what Floyd’s bad habits are. It is also thought by some that Mayweather has not been tested for a couple of years. Victor Ortiz was not a real test. When Floyd began to apply pressure Ortiz predictably self destructed and launched his infamous head butt. After the head butt Victor foolishly left his hands at his sides after time was called back in by the referee. Not a wise move when you are fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. It is unknown how Floyd will react after his long periods of inactivity against a viable opponent who takes him deep into a fight.
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