There are varying opinions on just how much a trainer helps his fighters, but this much we can all agree on: Manny Pacquiao became a noticeably better, smarter and more dangerous boxer once Freddie Roach took him under his wing.
Over the past few days, Roach’s close relationship with Pacquiao has come under intense scrutiny. A lot of people feel as though, because they’re as close as they are, Roach has neglected his other big time fighter – Amir Khan. That neglect, according to Roach’s critics, has manifested itself in the form of two consecutive defeats for Khan.
Of course, if that’s true, if it’s true that Khan’s recent losses are the byproduct of Roach paying too much attention to Pacquiao – then the opposite should be true as well. Pacquiao should be gaining immeasurably from all the extra love he’s getting from his trainer.
And if we continue to extend that theory, all the extra Roach attention should also benefit Pacquiao if he were to ever fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. Right? Not exactly, according to Floyd Mayweather Sr.
Check out his recent comments on the subject (via ABS-CBN):
In an interview with Fight Hype, Mayweather boasted that his son Floyd Jr. would easily beat Pacquiao because the Filipino champion has Roach for his trainer.
“He was never a good defensive fighter, so how can he teach someone to be one?” Mayweather said referring to Roach’s boxing career.
To survive Floyd Jr., Mayweather said Pacquiao would have to overhaul his fighting style.
“You gotta be able to throw triple hooks and all that stuff to the body, to the head, up and down, sideways, in and out, and he ain't got all of that, and you gotta be able to get out of the way of shots while you doing all of that,” the outspoken boxing trainer said.
“All he got is coming straight forward, and that's why Pacquiao knows what he's going to get when they fight Floyd!”
Sure, if a Dream Match between Pacquiao and Mayweather came down to who the better defensive fighter was – then Mayweather would probably win. Even now at his advanced age, Mayweather is still quite clearly the better defensive tactician. (He always was.) But that doesn’t necessarily make him the better overall fighter.
Mayweather could be the better overall fighter, too, nobody can say for certain that he isn’t; however, it’s hardly etched in stone that he would wreck his Filipino counterpart in a potential showdown.
For what it’s worth – Vegas still has Mayweather as the odds on favorite to win if these two ever throw down. Maybe they don't have faith in Roach either. Make of it what you will.
(Vegas has been wrong many, many times.)