Freddie Roach has been with Manny Pacquiao for a long time now, barring one short semi-split, and the acclaimed veteran trainer says the 41-year-old fighter still has a desire to be seen as the best boxer in the world.
Roach talked with DAZN’s Chris Mannix about what could be next for Pacquiao, who holds the WBA welterweight title.
“One thing about Manny, he doesn’t wanna beat just anybody, he wants to fight the top guys,” Roach said. “Like, Mikey Garcia called him out a couple times; I think that’s a good fight for him, of course. Robert (Garcia, Mikey’s brother and trainer) called him out on one of your shows. It made me smile, because I like that fight for Manny, I think it’s a great fight.
“But the thing is, Manny might wanna go a little bit higher and fight GGG or one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best guy in the world today, because Pacquiao still desires to be the best there is.”
Mannix’s eyes lit up at Roach suggesting a fight with Gennadiy Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO), the 38-year-old Kazakh who holds the IBF middleweight title, and they should have. Pacquiao has never fought over a 150-pound catchweight, and while he decimated Antonio Margarito in that fight, Manny knew then that even 150 was too high a weight for him to fight — mostly to allow an opponent to be that much bigger than him. And that was 10 years ago.
Roach did clarify that he doesn’t think Pacquiao should fight at 160 pounds.
“No, I would not advise him to go to 160. Not when you’re getting old,” he said, before leaving a bit more of a flirtation with the idea in the air. “But putting him at 147 was a risk at one time. Everyone told me, ‘Why are you moving him up to 147?’
“He can make 140 pretty easy, he can actually make 135 if he digs down. But to fight the biggest guys at 147, where the money was, it made good sense to all of us to fight the great Oscar (De La Hoya). It was a great deal and it worked out really good for us.”
Pacquiao vs GGG isn’t likely to happen, but just for the sake of discussion, Golovkin has said over the years — though not particularly recently that I recall — that he could make 154 if he needed to do so. You have to wonder, if Gennadiy would risk boiling down to 154 — or even a catchweight at, say, 152 — would Pacquiao take that gamble? Maybe, maybe not. He probably shouldn’t, as there are big welterweight fights to be made, but sure, Pacquiao-GGG would certainly be an event.