If Manny Pacquiao wants to have a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in the future, he must come up with an impressive win against Australian challenger Jeff Horn in their July 2 world title fight in Brisbane.
Though he does not see it to happen soon, Pacquiao’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach said his ward has to deliver a stellar performance Down Under and a knockout victory over Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts) is one way to prove that he’s still relevant in the boxing scene.
The 38-year old Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) is currently in the middle of his preparation for his defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) belt while Mayweather is reportedly interested in fighting mixed martial arts (MMA) icon and Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion Connor McGregor.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen but I do know this, to get a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, he (Pacquiao) should be impressive in the fight [against Horn],” Roach, 57, told The Manila Times in an interview. “I told Manny he should win and get a knockout too.”
“That is what I’m telling Manny, he should be impressive,” he added.
The undefeated Mayweather scored a unanimous decision win over Pacquiao in 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mayweather is currently retired while Pacquiao is still active and has scored unanimous decision victories against American Timothy Bradley in April and Jessie Vargas in November of last year.
Roach said the undefeated Mayweather went twice to his gym and discussed the possibility of a Pacquiao rematch but the latter seemed more interested in facing McGregor at this point.
And if the match with the latter pushes through, Roach said McGregor stands no chance of beating Mayweather (49-0 record with 26 knockouts) as the MMA champion, according to Roach, will need five years of training to acquire competitive boxing skills.
Pacquiao, again, reiterated his willingness to fight Mayweather for the second time.
“Yes I will fight him again. As long as the fans wants it, I will go for it especially my shoulder is now fixed and okay,” said Pacquiao, who underwent a surgery on his right shoulder after losing to Mayweather.
Roach, meanwhile, said he’s happy to see Pacquiao improving on his third day of sparring last Thursday.
“Happier today than the last sparring session,” said Roach.
JOSEF T. RAMOS