By Keith Idec
Freddie Roach reiterated on a conference call Thursday that Chris Algieri “is in over his head” on Saturday night in Macau, China.
Manny Pacquiao’s trainer also predicted Pacquiao will knock out Algieri in the third round of their WBO welterweight title fight at The Venetian Macau (HBO Pay-Per-View; $69.95 in HD). On second thought, though, Roach reasoned that annihilating Algieri in such a way wouldn’t be good for landing the fight Pacquiao and Roach really want – an ever-elusive showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“I’m going to have to tell Manny not to beat Algieri up too bad because Mayweather is just going to run a little bit more,” Roach said. “He’s scared of us now, and he’s going to be scared of us after we destroy this guy. Mayweather, you know, show some balls and step up to the plate.”
As he has said many times the past several years, Roach doesn’t think Mayweather wants to fight Pacquiao, despite recent insistence by Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum that negotiations quietly have begun for boxing’s two biggest stars to finally fight next year and claims from those who work with Mayweather that he, too, is open to it. Roach only knows for sure that Pacquiao wants it.
“He’s been talking more and more about Floyd,” Roach said. “The more time goes by, the more he talks about it. He wants the fight badly. And after seeing Floyd’s last couple fights, he wants him even more. He just wants to prove he’s the best fighter in the world and he will take that zero and give him his first loss.”
Roach also explained why he has been so pessimistic about the odds of the biggest boxing match that can be made actually occurring.
“It’s been 3½ years,” Roach said. “I’ve been waiting for this fight for a long time. I’m anxious to get ready for this fight. I like challenges. Mayweather, he is a challenge. He’s a good fighter. But obviously I’m tired of people asking me about if the fight’s going to happen and so forth. Because I can’t give them a real, true answer because this guy keeps running away and running away and running away. I mean, if he’s the best fighter in the world, step up to the plate.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.