Saturday, December 03, 2022  |



No trash-talk from Roach, but he says Pacquiao can stop Mayweather


Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank

One element of boxing’s Super Bowl being made which bears watching is the trash-talk, or lack thereof, between the principals and parties affiliated with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

Hardcore fans know that Pacman, a most devout Christian, is more inclined to tell us that he’s praying for a poor soul who has busted his chops publicly. Mayweather, they also know, is unafraid to sling it, bring it hard in the smack-talk arena. His dad, Floyd Sr., ain’t afraid to rumble with words, either. He told me last month that he thought when his son and The Congressman fought, Floyd would beat the excrement out of Pacman.

I asked Pac’s trainer Freddie Roach about that possibility when we chatted on Monday night. And yes; I was aware of the possibility that Roach, who often acts as the stand-in chops-buster, or the designated responder, if you will, for Manny or another of his quieter boxers, might return fire hard on Senior.

“They can have that opinion,” said Roach, who informed me that Pacman will be hitting the Wild Card on March 8, to begin his in-the-U.S.-training. “If I was his father, I might say that too! But I think Manny beats Floyd, breaks him down, and knocks him out before it’s over.”

No small task, considering how adept Floyd is as a defenderand also because while Manny showed pop galore in his last outing, against Chris Algieri, his last stop came in 2009 (vs. Miguel Cotto). Freddie explained further his reasoning.

“In watching Floyd’s career, he’s definitely slowed down somewhat,” the trainer said. “Manny has also some, everyone ages. But I think Manny’s legs are fresher than Floyd’s. Against Algieri, Manny boxed really good, good rounds the whole time.”

Indeed; his stamina tank was remarkably level the whole way through.

“When Floyd sits down and rests, Manny will catch him. Floyd is a defensive master. But he takes rests. And the only place to do it is on the ropes. If Manny catches him on the ropesÔǪFloyd can look at Manny, think he has pretty fast hands, punches pretty hard. But you don’t really feel it until you’re in there with him. He has devastating power, and he jumps in so suddenly. He still has the power and speed to get a KO.”


Michael Woods has been editor of since April 2007. The ex ESPN The Magazine writer lives in Brooklyn; you can follow him for boxing news on Twitter.