by Ronnie Nathanielsz
With all indications pointing to pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao defending his WBO welterweight title against undefeated WBO light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley on June 9 in Las Vegas, trainer Freddie Roach is a little concerned about whether Pacquiao can fire himself up for such a fight.
Roach told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard and Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN in an interview in San Antonio, Texas.
"It looks like Bradley at this point but the thing is - I worry about that some times, because can Manny really get up for guys like that."
Roach noted that Pacquiao steps up training for "exciting, big fights to motivate him of course. But Bradley is the one in the way right now and we'll take care of business and hopefully that other guy - whatever his name is - will come to the table" in an obvious reference to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The celebrated trainer was obviously disappointed that Mayweather didn't accept the challenge pointing out "when you call somebody out and then you offer a 70-30 split you know that is a deal-breaker. So who is really wearing the dress."
He said "50-50 is the only way that fight is going to happen. Both guys are superstars and they both have big egos and they won't settle for anything less."
A meeting is scheduled to take place today in San Antonio between Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, his stepson and Top Rank president Todd duBeof, Pacquiao's adviser Michael Konz and Bradley's manager Dunkin who told us "hopefully will put this thing to bed." After the meeting Arum told us they would contact Pacquiao for him to sign off on the fight.
Dunkin said "if everybody is on board we are ready to go."
He said Bradley "is very excited and very respectful of Manny and that he's a great fighter. He appreciates the opportunity. He is a real class guy, a very nice person and he's going to act like a gentleman and he's going to fight his butt off."
Dunkin said Bradley has fought at 147 pounds before and it's not going to be a problem moving up.
The manager recalled that Bradley had fought WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson who was one of four fighters being considered as possible opponents for Pacquiao along with Miguel Cotto who has decided to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr, Juan Manuel Marquez and Bradley and that Bradley "beat him easy, dropped him and won eleven of the twelve rounds and dominated Devon Alexander and made him quit. Tim Bradley is a real, tough fighter."