Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs) defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision on Saturday in Macau and looked very good in the fight. It was his first victory in over two years, though that stat is really misleading; Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in my opinion, but the judges screwed him on that split decision. I also thought he looked pretty good against Juan Manuel Marquez until Marquez caught him with a huge shot in the sixth round to end the fight.
Prior to the Pacquiao-Rios fight, promoter Bob Arum said he was open to Pacquiao and Mayweather fighting. That was a change from his previous stances, as Arum always found ways to impede the fight (as did Floyd). It’s no surprise that Pacquiao’s side wants the fight now — he’s not as highly regarded as Floyd anymore, and he has less to lose. All that adds up to less leverage, which would ostensibly make negotiations go more smoothly.
If Floyd and Manny end up fighting next year as Top Rank Promotions hopes, Roach, who is Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, thinks Manny would win the fight.
“Mayweather in his last two fights has been slow, he doesn’t move as much as he used to,” Roach told AFP. “I think Manny’s speed will overwhelm him. Mayweather is not good against southpaws. And he has trouble with speed.
“Manny Pacquiao, he’s back, but I never really had the thought he went anywhere.”
Roach has been talking a lot of trash lately. Maybe calling Mayweather slow is his way of trying to goad the undefeated boxer. Then again, Roach was talking trash when he said Rios was a punching bag who hits back, but his words turned out to be accurate. Maybe the same will be true of his prediction about Pacquiao-Mayweather. But there’s only one problem: I still don’t think Floyd will agree to the fight — facing Pacquiao is too risky for him.