Roach tells Mayweather: Shut up, fight us
And yet, what seemed like a farcical adaptation of the adage during Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s knockout victory against Victor Ortiz last September managed to reverberate into the looming match between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand here.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Pacquiao said when asked if he was capable of doing to Marquez what Mayweather did to Ortiz.
The undefeated American, who remains forever linked with Pacquiao despite a match between the two still an improbability, knocked Ortiz out with a combination while the Mexican-American was still looking at the referee after a head butt.
“I don’t want to disappoint the fans,” added Pacquiao.
The reigning pound-for-pound king said he wasn’t questioning the legality of Mayweather’s move. After all, Ortiz was partly to blame for failing to heed the common-sense boxing rule. In fact, after Ortiz was knocked out, “Protect yourself at all times” became a trending topic in Twitter.
“There’s nothing wrong with [Mayweather’s move],” Pacquiao said. “What he did was legal. The problem is, we’re talking about professionalism and sportsmanship.”
Pacquiao did not further comment on the controversial knockout punch, saying he didn’t “want to hurt someone’s feelings.”
Saturday’s official welcome hosted by the MGM Grand further proved how intertwined the names of Pacquiao and Mayweather are. But while Mayweather was pissed at questions regarding the non-fight between him and the Filipino icon, Pacquiao didn’t back out from questions regarding Mayweather.
In fact, to further bolster the claim that the drug testing protocols Mayweather keeps using to avoid negotiations for a fight between the two superstars is already a non-issue, Pacquiao said the purse split is what’s hampering talks for the fight.
“I think one of the reasons why that fight won’t happen is because of the guaranteed purse and the pay-per-view shares,” said Pacquiao.
Still, it’s the fight “that needs to happen,” according to trainer Freddie Roach.
“I don’t see any other challenges out there,” said Roach, who called out Mayweather during the interview.
“Just shut up and fight us,” said Roach. “He wants to make the rules, he wants to dictate everything. We’ll fight him any day of the week. Who is he to make the rules?
There is speculation that Mayweather is ducking Pacquiao purposely to protect the zero in his loss column. After all, a mark there will blow away the only legacy Mayweather has in the sport.
But Roach said that legacy will remain in question until he validates it with a victory over Pacquiao.
“I think there’ll be a question mark on his undefeated record because he didn’t fight the best,” said Roach. “He fights little guys. I’m just getting tired of it. If that fight doesn’t happen, I’m not going to regret it.”
Pacquiao, on the other hand, has everything to gain and hardly anything to lose against Mayweather. A victory will cement the title the sporting world has conceded to him anyway: Pound-for-pound king.
And a defeat won’t hurt his boxing portfolio much, not with the history that’s beyond rewriting.
“For me, eight titles in different weight divisions is hard to accomplish,” Pacquiao said. “I’m not comparing my achievements in boxing to any boxer. But if we look at the record, eight different weight divisions and how many divisions did he capture?”