American superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. may very well retire undefeated, but his legacy will always bear a question mark unless he fights Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao.
This, according to Pacquiao’s trainer, Hall-of-Famer Freddie Roach.
Fight fans have been calling for a Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown for years now, but it never came close to happening as neither side can agree on key issues.
“Yes, there will be a question mark,” Roach told On the Ropes Boxing Radio when asked if Pacquiao and Mayweather’s legacies will be affected if they never fight each other.
“Mayweather wants to retire undefeated, and there will be that question mark of why didn’t he fight Pacquiao” the trainer explained. “And the thing is, we’ve done everything possible to make that fight happen on our end.”
Roach believes that Mayweather’s legacy will suffer more than Pacquiao’s.
“You might get some people being skeptical about why they didn’t fight, but I think it will hurt Mayweather more than us,” said Roach.
“He’s the one that’s so proud of his undefeated record, but he didn’t fight the best challenge, and that’s Pacquiao,” he added.
That being said, Roach believes a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight may still happen as the American is “running out of opponents,” even as he still has three fights to go in his lucrative contract with Showtime.
“I think somewhere before the last fight in his contract, he’s gonna have to cross over and fight Pacquiao,” said Roach.
“So you know, Top Rank, Showtime, Golden Boy, HBO, and all that – the pool’s getting small, so someone’s gonna have to give in pretty soon because there are no opponents in the future.”
“Pacquiao is available and waiting, and if he doesn’t have an opponent, we’re definitely willing to fight him,” he added.
Asked if it is possible for Pacquiao to become a free agent at the end of the year, Roach said: “That’s a great idea and so forth, and I think it could work very well.”
“But then, going into a fight with Mayweather, negotiation-wise, we need someone real professional, and (Top Rank chief executive Bob) Arum is the better deal I think for Pacquiao,” he was quick to add.
At the end of the day, it will be Pacquiao’s decision, Roach stressed.
“That’s really Manny’s decision which way he wants to go with that, and after this fight, we’ll have an option of going on our own or re-signing with Top Rank,” he said.