‘Pacquiao better equipped to beat Mayweather’
The pair came close to agreeing a big-money bout five years ago but it eventually fell through, leaving the boxing world waiting and wondering whether they would ever meet. But after half a decade of speculation, the pair will finally go head-to-head in Las Vegas djokoon May 2 – and Roach believes his man will have the advantage at the MGM Grand.
Asked whether the 2010 or 2015 version of Pacquiao would have a better chance of victory against the unbeaten Mayweather, Roach told boxingscene.com: ‘That is an interesting question because there are obviously trade-offs between the two versions of Manny. But I am convinced that the 2015 model is the more formidable fighter for a few reasons.
‘Back in 2010, Manny was still growing into a welterweight. His first two welterweight fights were against Oscar De La Hoya in 2008 and Miguel Cotto in 2009 where he only weighed 142 and 144 pounds respectively, and in between he dropped down to 138 to fight Ricky Hatton.
‘Floyd has been campaining as a welterweight since 2005 and weighed 150 in his fight against De La Hoya so that might have given Floyd an advantage. I still like Manny’s chances in that fight but I think the Manny of today has a lot more in his favour.
‘In 2010 the two-year age difference between the fighters was not significant to either, but that’s not true today. Floyd at 38 is doing things he didn’t do in the past. Floyd is a defensive genius but he has always depended on his legs to perform and you can see now that his legs do not have the same spring or fluidness of his earlier years.
Mayweather remains the bookmakers’ favourite for the $300 million mega-fight next month, but Roach is adamant that Pacquiao is primed to cause an upset.
‘The 2015 version of Manny is more mature, smarter and less reckless than the 2010 version,’ said Roach. ‘He will be treating the ring like a chess board anticipating Floyd’s moves – ready to cut him off and attack every time he creates an opening.
‘I have all the confidence in the world that Manny is going to knock Floyd out on May 2.’
On Saturday Filipino-fighter Pacquiao tested his fitness against the steepness of some mountain roads.
It is now less than a month until both boxers meet in Las Vegas for what is being dubbed as the richest fight in boxing history.
The fight on May 2 is expected to break the pay-per-view record of $152 million set by that fight in 2013, and is also expected to surpass the 2.5 million buys that Mayweather’s fight against Oscar De La Hoya accumulated in 2007.