LOS ANGELES: Floyd Mayweather at 38 could be the perfect target for Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino ring icon’s trainer Freddie Roach said on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
As Mayweather and Pacquiao turned out for their only joint press conference in the build-up to their May 2 mega-bout, Roach said the unbeaten Mayweather’s vaunted defensive abilities are waning.
“His legs are little bit shot. He’s slowed down quite a bit,” Roach said, adding that he believes Mayweather would have had a better chance of beating Pacquiao five years ago, when attempts to make the fight fell apart.
“He is going to have to exchange more,” Roach added — with a pithy dismissal of the idea that Mayweather has recently become more willing to go toe-to-toe in an effort to please fans.
“That’s bullshit,” Roach said. “He doesn’t care about the fans. He has to exchange more because his legs won’t take him out of the way … if he has to exchange with Manny Pacquiao he is in trouble.”
Mayweather brings a record of 47-0 with 26 knockouts to the bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Although Pacquiao is two years his junior, it was the Filipino whose career appeared to be on the wane after back-to-back defeats in 2012.
Since then, however, the southpaw has won three fights in a row to take his record to 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts.
He’s the underdog, but said Wednesday that just adds fuel to his competitive fire.
“I like that,” Pacquiao said. “It gives me more motivation, more determination to focus on the fight and prove something.”