MANILA, Philippines – Although he will be working in Manny Pacquiao’s corner on May 2 (May 3 in Manila), Freddie Roach gave a straight-from-the-heart analysis of his valued fighter’s chances against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Roach, who has been Pacquiao’s trainer since his title-winning performance against Lehlo Ledwaba for the IBF super bantamweight belt in June 2001, broke down the heavily-hyped showdown into nine categories, which are power, speed, footwork, stamina, ring I.Q., heart, chin, experience and x-factor.
The seven-time BWAA “Trainer of the Year” awardee believes Pacquiao has the leverage in punching power as the Filipino boxer has scored 38 knockouts out of his 57 victories.
On the other hand, the unbeaten American fighter has gone the distance in 21 of his 47 wins.
“His punching power is really, really great. Floyd doesn’t have a long list of knockouts, and he has more decision wins. Manny is much better puncher,” Roach told Fight Hub TV.
However, Roach surprised the interviewer when he stressed that Mayweather is faster than Pacquiao, who is recognized for his busy pace in the ring.
“We are talking about movement, not just hand speed. I think he is more than a runner than Manny Pacquiao,” he stated.
Even though he gave the speed advantage to Mayweather, Roach asserted that Pacquiao’s footwork could offset his opponent’s quickness as the 36-year-old southpaw’s feet allow him to move in all angles.
“Manny uses his footwork in-and-out and side-to-side. His opponents always try to guess where he is coming,” he said. “Mayweather has never seen this kind of speed before.”
Meanwhile, the 55-year-old boxing coach has a draw when it comes to stamina as both pugilists have never appeared to lose their steams in all of their bouts.
“These are dedicated people who train really hard. Manny is a machine. It’s the same with Mayweather,” Roach mentioned.
In the “Ring I.Q.” category, Roach awarded it to Mayweather, who rose to stardom with his distinctive brand of defensive guile and ring generalship.
“He is a little smarter and more experience to me,” he quipped.
Despite Mayweather’s in-ring intelligence, Roach sided with his treasured pupil in terms of showing heart inside the squared-circle.
“He has the biggest heart in the world. He will die trying. Look what he’s gone through his life just to survive,” he shared.
Roach immediately switched his stance, suggesting that Mayweather has a durable chin that has been tested by several hard-hitting boxers such as Marcos Maidana, Miguel Cotto, Arturo Gatti and Jose Luis Castillo.
In addition, Mayweather was only knocked down once in his career when he broke his right hand during the 12-round junior lightweight title tilt against Carlos Hernandez in May 2001 and then went down in pain after being caught off-balance by a glancing punch in round 6.
On the opposite end, Pacquiao has been knocked out 3 times and has been dropped to the canvas on 8 occasions.
“Manny has been shot a couple of times, and Mayweather hasn’t. I think we should give him a benefit of a doubt because even though he may not get hit that much, you could get hit along the way,” Roach pointed out.
Roach also agreed that Mayweather has more experience than Pacquiao due to his stellar amateur boxing run and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics stint.
“He won a lot of amateur fights and went to the Olympics to win a bronze medal,” he said.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, Roach affirmed that Pacquiao has the ability to set the tone of the marquee match-up.
“Manny Pacquiao has the left hand, and he is very dangerous. When he hits you with that, the fight will be over,” he ended. – Rappler.com