Roach says no to March bout for Pacquiao

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — LIKE the rest of the world, Freddie Roach is aching to see Manny Pacquiao take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an exhilirating super-fight many has began to draw comparison to the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight.

But please, please Roach pleaded, not an early meeting as soon as March 13, as Top Rank Promotions’ Boy Arum wants to happen.

As the veteran promoter tries to convince Pacquiao to agree to the proposed fight contract with Mayweather in a scheduled meeting at the Renaissance Hotel in Makati Thursday, Roach, speaking a thousand miles away, readily thumbed down a March date for the Pacman.

Not on that month and definitely, not against an opponent as highly-caliber as ‘Pretty Boy.’

“March 13 is too fast a turnaround,” said Roach from Europe, where he is currently preparing reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) light-welterweight champion Amir Khan for his Dec. 5 title defense against Dmitriy Salita.

Other than the unbeaten Mayweather, who boasts of a ring record 40-0, with 25 KOs, Roach is also concern about Pacquiao’s physical health, having gone 12 rounds of war with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto just four weeks ago for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title.

Although the Filipino boxing pride scored a late stoppage against the 29-year old Cotto, Pacquiao emerged out of it bearing bruises on both eyes and an injured right ear.

“Manny has a broken (right) eardrum,” Roach disclosed. “So I’d like to have more time.”

Arum agreed to book Pacquiao’s mega-bout with Mayweather on March 13 as the seven-time world champion is set to seek public office in the province of Saranggani in the May 10 national elections.

But Roach said the proximity of the fight and the date of election is too close for comfort that he’s not discounting distraction in training camp to come along the way.

For the three-time Trainer of the Year, it would be better if Arum and Mayweather’s representative, Golden Boy Promotions Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Schaefer, would be able to put off the fight at a later date, preferably shortly after the elections.

“I’d say he (Pacquiao) rest for a while, enjoy the holidays, run for elections, and Congressman Manny Pacquiao will kick Mayweather’s ass,” said Roach.

Stressing the 32-year old Mayweather is a different kind of animal, Roach added Pacquaio should come in for the bout in his best possible shape.

“I hope the fight happens, yes, but I want us to be in the best possible shape,” he said.

“We need time to get ready for that (fight). We have to come out with a real different style. It’s a whole different ballgame.”