By Miguel Rivera
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, who guides the career of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), is really high on a potential fight with WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs).
Their mutual promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has been mentioning that fight for the fall.
At the moment, Lomachenko is competing at 126-pounds - but plans to head up to the lightweight limit of 135 in April.
The fight would likely take place at the junior welterweight limit of 140 - if a deal is put together.
At the moment Pacquiao is being geared to a ring return on April 14th at Madison Square Garden in New York, in what would be the Filipino fighter's first bout since losing a twelve round decision to Jeff Horn in July 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. The rumored opponent is Mike Alvarado.
Lomachenko was in the ring back in December, when he dominated and stopped Guillermo Rigondeaux, who was moving up from 122-pounds.
Roach is confident that Pacquiao still has enough in the tank to beat Lomachenko.
"I thought we won the last fight. Manny is still a very good fighter. He looked really good in training for our last fight. I really like the Lomachenko fight for him. I would take that fight if they offer it. I think Manny beats him. I think I got the better guy. Who has Lomachenko really beaten? I really like our chances in that fight," Roach said.
Roach does admit that his boxer will always have a tough time in scheduling his future fights, because he's juggling a boxing career and his career as a senator back home in the Philippines.
"Having two jobs is very difficult, being a world champion and being a senator may be a lot for him. Manny has always been a very busy person. He has always been singing or dancing, he has always been a busy person. But being a senator and being a world champion, I think it's a lot for him these days," Roach said.
Roach is not exactly sure who his boxer will face in the fall, as there have been stories about fighting Lomachenko and there have also been stories about fighting the winner of Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford.
"I really wanted him to fight with Horn but I do not think it's going to happen because he's going to face Crawford. I think Horn owed us a rematch. I have heard stories where we are going to face Lomachenko and Crawford but there is definitely nobody [finalized]. I have not heard anything from Manny, I have not heard from Michael Koncz [Pacquiao's adviser]," Roach said.