Since their mega-fight was announced amid much fanfare on Feb. 20, neither Floyd Mayweather Jr. nor Manny Pacquiao have had anything bad to say about the other. But Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, isn’t as interested in playing nice.
In a telephone interview with Yahoo Sports from Macau, China, where he is preparing Zou Shiming to challenge Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF flyweight title in Cotai Arena, Roach blasted Mayweather’s father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., and said Mayweather Jr. would be far better off with his uncle, Roger Mayweather, working his corner.
Roach said Roger Mayweather is a better trainer than Floyd Mayweather Sr., and said he believes he’d face a more challenging battle when the welterweight title fight happens on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas if Roger Mayweather were the one giving Floyd Jr. the instructions.
“My whole thing is, Floyd’s not going to have his best cornerman in his corner because there’s no question in my mind that Roger is the better trainer,” said Roach, who turns 55 on Thursday. “Floyd got 90 percent of his wins with Roger working with him. Roger is way better. I think Floyd Sr. is a terrible cornerman, I really do. That’s going to work to our advantage on fight night because in the corner, I’m not going to be nervous and I’ll be able to calmly talk to Manny and make whatever adjustments we have to make.
Mayweather Sr. has had great success in his career, but most notably with his son. Mayweather Jr. is 47-0, the long-time pound-for-pound champion and one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport. But Roach, a six-time winner of the Eddie Futch Award as the Trainer of the Year, disputed a contention that Mayweather Sr. deserves a lot of credit for his son’s development.
“Look, Floyd was in the gym when he was five and the guy was born to fight,” Roach said. “Everyone who has been around this sport knows that. You have to give him a ton of credit. He has great talent, but he’s extremely smart in the ring and he knows what he’s doing. He’s training himself now. I know that. He’s a self-made guy.