Roach: Mayweather fight could be Pacquiao prep
Freddie Roach has suggested that Floyd Mayweather Junior’s next fight could be a warm-up for a much-anticipated showdown with his fighter Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather, who will have gone 16 months without a fight when he steps into the ring in September, announced this week that he will next fight WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz.
And Roach said that the fight appears to him to be a tune-up for an eventual fight against Pacquiao, currently rated the best pound-for-pound boxer in the sport.
“Of course, that’s the first thing that came to my mind,” Roach said.
Ortiz’s southpaw stance and naturally attacking approach have drawn comparisons with the Filipino great, and Roach believes that Mayweather will not have things his own way when the fighters collide on September 17.
“I’m just figuring he’ll give us a good blueprint to fight him, how Floyd handles fighting a southpaw,” Roach said of Ortiz.
“Some left-handers have given him trouble. [Zab] Judah gave him trouble but couldn’t maintain the pace. Guys like Victor Ortiz, Manny Pacquiao, they can maintain that pace. And I do think the southpaw stance gives him trouble.”
Ortiz’s promoter Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions was quick to dispel the idea that the 24-year-old was merely a chance for Mayweather to prepare for bigger challenges ahead.
“If you want to get ready for Manny, of all people, you’re not going to fight Victor Ortiz,” Schaefer said. “You would be shooting yourself to pick someone as tough, as physical, as strong, as young as Victor to prepare for Pacquiao.”