Freddie Roach discusses Jeff Horn, who’s next for Manny Pacquiao
Freddie Roach has been staying busy, picking up clients, like Scott Quigg, and also getting his ducks in a row to start digging down and helping his ultra-A-listers Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto get into fighting trim for their upcoming and potentially violent waltzes.
I chatted with the Wizard of Wild Card, “Dedham” Freddie, and touched base on his all-stars “Pacman” (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) and Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs).
First off, Roach didn’t have deets and intel to offer on Miguel. BoxingScene.com reported that Cotto will be gloving up against Japanese junior middleweight brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai (age 34; 27-3-2, 24 KOs) near the end of June, venue TBD/TBA.
Roach did confirm he will be training Cotto for whatever comes next. He also made clear that his kid is willing and able to get into it with Canelo Alvarez and/or Floyd Mayweather Jr. again, if those two A-listers are in need of partners. “He will fight them both the same night,” Roach said of the Puerto Rican, whose scheduled fight on Feb. 25 against James Kirkland in Texas was scrapped due to an injury sustained by Kirkland.
And as for the Senator…He will be fighting Aussie Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs, age 29), in Australia on July 2. I had to ask: Does Roach know why that one is going down?
“Money,” he answered and spurred me to think to myself. DUH. A money package was presented to Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, making the relatively unknown Horn option A, so that’s why. OK, I got it.
Can Freddie pick Horn out of a lineup, though? Who is this guy? “I got his last three fights on tape; yes, I can pick him out,” the Massachusetts native stated. “A 50,000 seat arena, it will be a good crowd. He’s a little bit of a puncher. We will go in in great shape, put on a good show. In his last fight (a WBO welterweight title-winning effort over Jessie Vargas last November), we saw the old Manny and I think we will see that again.”
For real, though, will Manny have trouble getting up for an unknown? No, Roach said, Pacman trains like a maniac for each and every foe. “If he fought you, Mike, he’d come in in great shape!”
We all assume that Manny gets by Horn, though, of course, we also concede that, in theory, Father Time’s talons could grab the 38-year-old and render him more mortal. But after Horn, any ideas? “(THE RING Magazine/WBC/WBO junior welterweight champion) Terence Crawford? (WBC lightweight titlist) Mikey Garcia? It will be a big fight,” said Roach.
Along those lines – Robert Garcia recently came to visit the Wild Card Boxing Club and talked to Roach. “Would Manny fight Mikey?” asked Robert. “Of course, we’d love that,” Roach told Mikey’s brother/trainer.
My take: Let us not get past ourselves. Horn hasn’t elevated himself to that A-lister place. Perhaps he needs the opportunity…and will catch Manny on a dip. Stranger things have happened, this being boxing. But if Pacman downs the Aussie, what would you rather see next, Pacquiao versus Crawford – in a battle of Top Rank’s past and present versus Top Rank’s present and future – or a grudge match, Top Rank’s one-time-future Garcia against Top Rank’s all-time icon, the Slugging Senator? Talk to us in the comments section!
Hey, just know that Michael Woods ain’t anyone’s tune-up here. If Manny chose to fight Woodsy, he’d come in in great shape. And Woodsy would come in in great shape too…but he probably has some sort of appointment that evening. You know, to host a podcast or take a selfie or hang out at a political rally. Don’t worry, Woods don’t duck nobody!!
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