Macau: Two days after his ward Manny Pacquiao successfully defended his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt, six-time Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year Freddie Roach called on American Floyd Mayweather Jr. to finally fight his prized pupil next year.
Roach, 54, who trained Pacquiao en route to his 57th win on Sunday against American Chris Algieri in Macau, said that boxing fans deserve to see that mega bout.
“Manny really wanted to fight Mayweather and in my case that’s the fight that I really wanted since the last four years, but he’s avoiding us,” Roach told The Manila Times on Monday in an interview. “We’re challenging him to fight Manny next year and even Manny likes to fight him.”
Even the 35-year-old Pacquiao (57-5-2 win-loss-draw card with 38 knockouts) issued a public challenge to the 37-year-old Mayweather (47-0 record with 26 knockouts) after beating Algieri (20-1 record with eight knockouts).
Pacquiao and his team in two chartered planes arrived on Monday in General Santos.
“I’m ready to fight Mayweather next year. I’m ready,” Pacquiao told The Times during his victory party. “That fight [Pacquiao-Mayweather] needs to happen because the people deserves it. It’s been a long time. I hope they won’t deny the fight this time. They always deny it.”
If ever the reigning World Boxing Council welterweight champion Mayweather declined to fight which he always does, Roach said that reigning World Boxing Association and WBC super light welterweight champion Danny Garcia (29-0 record with 17 knockouts) is the next best opponent for Pacman.
But he reiterated that Pacquiao should fight first Mayweather before anyone else.
“Danny Garcia is okay but I really like Mayweather to fight Manny. He is the best second option now, but Mayweather is our priority,” said Roach. “We will call him [Mayweather] a chicken everyday unless he agrees to fight Manny.”
Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum also said the same thing during the post-fight interview with reporters.
“I think that fight should happen. I think the boxing fans deserve that fight. If boxing is to be considered a major sport the fight has to happen and all the nonsense has to cease,” said Arum.
“Everyone should work together to make it happen. There are no more excuses. None. I’ll be by my phone; Manny will be by his phone. We’re ready.”
“We’re tired. Everywhere we go they ask when is it going to happen? When are they going to fight,” Arum added. “I say enough is enough. Just make the fight happen. Let’s get it done and let’s get it done the next fight for each fighter, sometime in the first six months of next year.”