MACAU: Freddie Roach denied media reports published on Friday that he had ordered armed guards to protect Manny Pacquiao at his Hollywood gym.
The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper reported that Roach had personally ordered security guards at his Wildcard gym in Los Angeles to carry guns “so people respect them” as Pacquiao trains in the build-up to his May 2 megafight with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas.
But Roach, in Macau to supervise the corner of China’s Zou Shiming as he challenges for the IBF flyweight world title against Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand on Saturday, told Agence France-Presse: “Yeah I heard something about that. It’s not true.”
“We have our normal security. To say they are armed and are patrolling outside the gym is bullshit.”
Roach’s gym, where he has trained 34 world champions in an illustrious career that has seen him inducted into boxing’s Hall of Fame, is renowned for being open to all so fans can catch glimpses of their favorite fighters.
But Roach said that the doors would be closed to media and fans during most of Pacquiao’s training sessions, so his opponents don’t get any clues on their preparations.
“Yes we will work with Manny in private to prepare for Floyd — that’s normal. But to say I’ve ordered armed security is absolute bullshit,” Roach said.
Philippines eight-weight world champions and undefeated welterweight Floyd Mayweather will finally go glove-to-glove in May to decide who is the best fighter of their generation in a contest expected to break all records and generate in the region of $300 million dollars.
Tyson weighs in on Pacquiao-Mayweather bout
Mayweather’s usual conservative style might not be enough to hold off Pacquiao, former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson has warned.
Tyson is just the latest big name to weigh in with an opinion on how the long-awaited showdown between the two pound-for-pound greats might go when they step into the ring in Las Vegas on May 2.
“He has to fight,” Tyson said this week of Mayweather, in a video posted on YouTube.
“If he’s not going to score, he is going to lose the round. Also, if he is laid back, he is going to lose the round.”
Tyson says the fighters who have troubled Pacquiao have been prolific punchers.
“Floyd doesn’t throw nowhere near 100 punches a round,” he said. “He’s more, you know, scientific about it. He really plots a lot. And he sits around and he poses. And this guy [Pacquiao] is all over-fading, moving.
“I just don’t think [Mayweather] is going to be able to play that plotting, skill . . . Floyd’s got to fight the first couple of rounds.”
Tyson isn’t the only former heavyweight world champion who has his eye on Pacquiao-Mayweather.
Rap star bets big on Floyd
Curtis Jackson, the rap music star better known as 50 Cent, says he will bet $1.6 million (1.47 million euros) on pal Mayweather to beat Pacquiao in their May boxing showdown.
The much-anticipated bout will be staged May 2 in Las Vegas and could be the richest payday in boxing history for undefeated Mayweather.
“Champ is going to do it. He’s going to smoke him,” Jackson told radio station Power 105.1. “It’s going to look like he pumped up for no reason.”
Asked if he would back up his confidence with a bet, Jackson replied, “Probably like 1.6 (million). I’ve been thinking this out. “I’m going to make a real bet. He’s focused right now.”
Jackson last year taunted Mayweather’s reading ability after a radio station aired audio of the fighter struggling to read a promotion transcript. He challenged the US fighter to read a page from a Harry Potter book in exchange for a $750,000 donation by Jackson to charity.
Mayweather responded with a Twitter posting featuring a photo of two massive paychecks saying, “Read this $72,276000.00 God bless.”
Jackson compared his spats with Mayweather to a married couple taking out frustrations over other things on each other.
“We can both get madder when we’re not speaking to each other,” he said.
Filipino southpaw Pacquiao is 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts while Mayweather is 47-0 with 26 knockouts.