Roach: Win over Rios key to Mayweather megafight

By Jonathan Carson, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 08 2013 02:20 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2013 10:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach believes a mega fight with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather will happen, saying both boxers are running out of big money opponents.

It’s the fight that all boxing fans want to see and if it never takes place there will forever be a question mark over both fighters’ careers – who really was the best of this generation?

Roach said, based on history, a fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather will happen if Pacquiao makes a successful comeback against American-Mexican brawler Brandon Rios in Macau, China, on Nov. 23.

“Every big fight that was supposed to happen in boxing happens somewhere along the way, I just hope this one isn’t going to happen too late when they’re both washed up and not the same. Then they’re just doing it for the money, anyway,” Roach said at a training session at Wild Card Gym in General Santos City this week.

“I still have hope. Mayweather’s in the same position (Pacquiao) is. You’ve only got eight fighters in the world that can sell on pay-per-view and make money. That’s why I give it a shot.”

However, Pacquiao’s chief adviser Michael Koncz said in a text message that he doesn’t believe the fight will be made “unless we are a free agent”, implying that promoters – Top Rank and Mayweather and Golden Boy – are unable to work together.

Pacquiao’s contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank expires at the end of 2014.

In the event that he beats Rios convincingly, finding another opponent capable of headlining a pay-per-view card and filling an arena would be a challenge, Roach said.

“I feel like opponent wise it’s difficult, because who’s next?”

It has been suggested that Pacquiao fights Miguel Cotto anew or takes on rising star Ruslan Provodnikov, but Roach doesn’t like those options because he trains both fighters.

“We’re all friends, that can’t work.”

A rematch with Timothy Bradley, who beat Pacquiao in a highly controversial points decision in June 2012, has also been considered.

Roach said Mayweather has avoided fighting Pacquiao for years, despite being offered a 60-40 purse split and agreeing to blood testing.

“That’s way too generous for me, I would never do that. That’s how bad (Pacquiao) wanted the fight, though.”

“Obviously I’d like to get any of my guys with Mayweather, but that may not happen because my guys are too tough I feel,” Roach added.

The hall-of-fame trainer said Pacquiao has two more good years of boxing left in him before retirement.