Monday, December 05, 2022  |



Freddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao mentally dialed in for Floyd Mayweather Jr.


It’s getting real people, the fight that you thought wouldn’t happen is getting closer and closer to reality. It edged in that direction today, when Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao worked together at Roach’s famed Wild Card gymnasium in Hollywood, California, and Roach reported to that he was mightily impressed with Manny’s strength and speed…but also something more.

It was Pacman’s mindset of strategy and gameplan that stood out for Freddie, who was in China last week with his flyweight contender Zou Shiming, who scrapped Saturday in a title bout. “We are on the same page,” said Roach, who turned 55 on March 5, and was happy to get birthday best wishes from Miguel Cotto, among many other well-wishers. “I told Manny, ‘You’ve been watching tapes of Floyd!’ And he tells me noÔǪbut the look on his face maybe tells me yes!”

Usually, Roach said, he does the studying of tape, and imparts knowledge gleaned to The Congressman. But this time around, with the stakes, monetary, legacy, et al, so immense, Pacman is of a different mind, apparently. Roach has picked up on some Mayweather moves that are predictable, that can be exploited, he told me, and Manny is also armed with some blueprint tidbits. “He is crafty,” said Roach of the 38-year-old pugilist/specialist. “Dedham” Freddie wouldn’t tell me specifics about what he saw, but it’s something about the way Floyd sets one of his traps which Manny will be on the look-out for, the trainer told me.

“It’s a good move, but come fight time, as we work on it, when he makes that move, Manny will be totally ready for it.”

The gym will be on lock-down when sparring occurs, more so than ever before, with really only family allowed in. Kenny Sims from Chicago is in town, and Rashidi Ellis will arrive if and when his Saturday fight goes smoothly. A third name is 24-1 Kosovar Edis Tatli, the sort of team-player who is eager to learn and help the cause. Oh, and there is a fourth name in the mix, but Freddie wouldn’t say who.

“I can’t say. He’s trained at Mayweathers’ gym. When they find out, he’s afraid a little. I told the guy he can always work here!”

Oh yes, it’s game on, friends. Getting ready physically – they did six rounds of mitts today, did Manny and Freddie – and also mentally. Jockeying is being done, what with us getting word Floyd is ultra-aggressive in sparring, and me hearing that an exploitable pattern has been discovered in the Floyd-bot.

Expect much, much more as we count down to May 2, The Fight of this young century, and if Pacman wins, the most meaningful finish in a fight since Mike Tyson in 1990 was proved to be fallible.


Woods is on Twitter, and also posts on, the site he has edited since 2007.