Pacquiao could face Golovkin, says trainer Roach
MANILA, Philippines—Freddie Roach may not be the main man in Manny Pacquiao’s corner, but no one man knows the boxing legend any better.
The partnership started in 2001 and was slowly rekindled in 2019 saw Pacquiao become one of the all-time greats winning titles from the super bantamweight to the light-middleweight divisions, and now Roach is predicting that the Pacman could very well move up to another weight class against a foe who’s become one of the pound-for-pound sensations of the 2010s.
In an interview with DAZN’s Boxing With Chris Mannix, the Hall of Fame trainer said that Pacquiao is better off fighting IBF World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin instead of defending his WBA Super World welterweight title against Mikey Garcia.
“One thing about Manny, he doesn’t just want to beat anybody he wants to beat the best out there,” said Roach in the interview. “He wants to fight the top guys. I like that fight.”
Pacquiao’s chief trainer now is childhood friend Buboy Fernandez but Roach is still an influential voice in the boxer’s corner.
A fight against Golovkin is certainly an alluring prospect for Pacquiao who was already in a league of his own when he became a World champion in seven weight classes when he defeated Miguel Cotto for the WBO welterweight title in 2009, and he has since become an eight-division champion after defeating Antonio Margarito for the WBC super welterweight strap in 2010.
“But the thing is, Manny might want to go a little bit higher and fight GGG or one of those guys who’s supposed to be the best. I would not advise him to go to 160 pounds, no. That would be a little crazy. But putting him at 147 was a risk at one time … and it worked out really good for us.”
Pacquiao, who’s listed at 5-foot-5½ , started his career at the light flyweight division—the second lightest weight class at 108 lbs—and was able to gain enough heft to hold the 154-lb title when he beat the 5-foot-11 Margarito.
Although he’s won titles in so many divisions, Pacquiao’s sweet spot has been the welterweight division and at 41-years-old seems to have maintained his shape to stay in that weight class.
Nevertheless, Roach believes Pacquiao can give the 5-foot-10½ Golovkin a run for his money and the IBF’s 160-lb title.
“Pacquiao still desires to be the best there is,” said Roach, who even inserted a bit of campaigning for his former ward.
Despite being a career boxer, Pacquiao has become a politician, was voted into the Philippine Senate in 2016, and has aspirations of becoming the country’s president.
“He wants to make his country better, and he wants to improve everything … He works hard, and he’ll do the best he can for everybody out there. I think he’s good for the country, and I think he’d be a great president. I’d vote for him.”
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