By Keith Idec
PHILADELPHIA — Freddie Roach wasn’t the least bit surprised when he learned Floyd Mayweather Jr. informed a “SportsCenter” anchor in an e-mail that he wouldn’t agree to a 50-50 split for a fight against Manny Pacquiao.
“Typical Mayweather,” Roach said to BoxingScene.com. “He doesn’t want to fight us. He’s been running for two years now. What’s new?”
Pacquaio’s trainer doesn’t think there’s any way the fight will happen May 5, despite Mayweather making it appear prior to his phone conversation with Pacquiao last week that the Filipino superstar is the only opponent the undefeated five-division champion is interested in facing next. Roach is instead preparing for Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) to fight one of four proposed opponents June 9 in Las Vegas.
“It’s the biggest fight in the world,” Roach said of facing Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs). “It’s the biggest challenge for us. It’s the fight we want. But if he doesn’t want 50-50, there’s a lot of guys out there [for Pacquiao to fight]. So it’s not a problem. … We’ve got [Lamont] Peterson, [Timothy] Bradley, [Miguel] Cotto and [Marquez] all on the table right now, and Bob [Arum] is going to make the deal with one of those four.”
Roach said he doesn’t have a preference among those four foes.
“I don’t care,” Roach said. “Just give me an opponent and I’ll get him ready.”
If Mayweather wins May 5 and Pacquiao beats one of those four fighters five weeks later, the Hall-of-Fame bound trainer doesn’t think the biggest fight in boxing will occur in November, either.
“No way,” Roach said. “He’s scared. He doesn’t want to take a chance. He wants that zero so bad on his record, so that he can say he’s better than Sugar Ray Robinson and all these great fighters, because he’s never lost. Losing makes you a better fighter. He’s not better than those fighters and he never will be.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.