By Rick Reeno
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is convinced that his star pupil, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38KOs), will score a knockout victory over Floyd Mayweather (46-0, 26KOs), the WBC/WBA champion at welterweight and junior middleweight - if they ever step in the ring.
Roach has studied Mayweather's recent performances and believes the undefeated fighter has physically declined.
"I think Mayweather is shot, his legs are gone and Manny will knock him out. If he wants to get knocked out - sign the contract. He says he's sitting down [and not moving as often] to please the crowd. he don't care about pleasing no crowd, I don't think. He just can't move no more. His legs are shot. He's done," Roach told BoxingScene.com.
Making the fight is easier said than done. Both sides have failed to reach an agreement for several years. If the fight fails to happen by next year, Roach says the contest will never happen.
Both fighters have tough defenses lined up. Pacquiao defends his title against Chris Algieri on November 22nd at the Venetian in Macau, China. Mayweather faces Marcos Maidana in a rematch on September 13th from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"I think this is it. I think if it doesn't happen after this fight - forget about it. We've done everything possible on our side to make that fight happen, everything possible. We agreed to a 60-40 split at one time. We agreed to drug testing, everything," Roach said.
"All the fights [involving Manny now] have drug testing, and Manny is used to the drug testing, because at one time it was Manny who wouldn't do the drug testing in the beginning and that's why the fight didn't happen the first time around...supposedly. But the thing is, since then Manny knows what the drug testing is, it doesn't affect him that much to take a little bit of blood out of him. You hear rumors about the TV stations getting along, wanting to do the fight together....Arum said that and that encourages me."