MANILA, Philippines – Now more than ever, Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach is confident that Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao has what it takes to deal American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. with his first loss.
"Manny is just a bad combination for Floyd to fight," Roach said in a Boxing Scene interview.
The five-time Trainer of the Year admitted that he did not watch Mayweather's fight against Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto last Saturday in Las Vegas, which Mayweather won via decision.
"But I do know that Floyd's slippery defense is now better outside the ring than inside the ring," Roach said. "But that is the path he has chosen."
"Would Manny beat Floyd? You bet. The way to beat Floyd is to outwork him every minute of every round," Roach added.
Cotto had some success against Mayweather, especially in the middle rounds, when he pressured the unbeaten boxer and pushed him against the ropes.
But Mayweather was able to take control of the fight in the later rounds, and clinched the victory with a dominant 12th round wherein he wobbled Cotto with an uppercut.
Roach has said before that he has a "game plan" for defeating Mayweather.
"Activity kills Mayweather. You need to stay busy against him and not let him dictate the pace by slowing down the fight," Roach said.
"Manny is the only fighter capable of executing that game plan," he added.
Moreover, Pacquiao has one more natural advantage against Mayweather: he is a left-handed fighter. “Southpaws are (Mayweather’s) other weakness,” Roach said.
Roach is so confident that he will even let Pacquiao fight Mayweather at an orthodox stance.
"If it would bring Floyd to the ring, I’d agree to have Manny fight him right-handed," the trainer offered.
Pacquiao, for his part, commended both Mayweather and Cotto for putting on an entertaining show.
"It was a good fight and everyone was happy," Pacquiao said.
Both Pacquiao and Roach maintain that they are focused on the boxer's upcoming title defense against Timothy Bradley Jr. on June 9.
"We are ready to work very hard in preparation for Timothy Bradley. Bradley is strong, undefeated and young. I have a great deal of respect for his talents and his accomplishments," Pacquiao said.