Roach wants Pacquiao to fight Sergio Martinez – Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen
By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Freddie Roach likes the idea of his fighter Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO’s) taking on World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KO’s) as soon as possible, according to fightnews.com. This is a big surprise because Roach has said recently that he doesn’t want Pacquiao to keep fighting bigger and bigger guys. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum is having Pacquiao move back down to welterweight to fight 39-year-old Shane Mosley next year on April 16th at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arum doesn’t appear to be at all interested in matching Pacquiao up against Martinez because he sees him as too big for Pacquiao to fight. Martinez, 5’10”, is actually shorter than Pacquiao’s last opponent welterweight Antonio Margarito, who Pacquiao beat by a 12 round decision on November 13th to capture the vacant WBC junior middleweight strap. Martinez, 35, had fought exclusively at junior middleweight until recently defeating WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik by a 12 round decision earlier this year to capture his two middleweight belts. Martinez isn’t a big middleweight and is more of a junior middleweight fighting at middleweight. The argument that Martinez is too big for Pacquiao seems flimsy given that Martinez is shorter than Margarito and has a much shorter reach than him. Martinez is, however, a better fighter than Margarito and has speed, power and movement – the ingredients that would make him a very tough opponent for Pacquiao.
Roach isn’t the one that picks Pacquiao’s opponents. That job belongs to Arum, and he’s not likely to put his cash cow Pacquiao in anywhere close to a fighter like Martinez. Arum would like to match Pacquiao up with Floyd Mayweather Jr. because even if Pacquiao ends up getting schooled by Mayweather, it would still be a huge payday for Pacquiao and his management. Arum is likely to put Pacquiao in with Mosley next. He hasn’t made it official yet, but that’s who he keeps talking about and that’s a good sign that Mosley has probably got the fight in the bag unless Mayweather speaks up and takes the fight. After that, there is talk of Arum matching Pacquiao up with the winner of the Miguel Cotto vs. Margarito bout tentatively scheduled for next year in June.
Although Pacquiao has already easily beaten both Cotto and Margarito, there is still money to be made in putting Pacquiao back in with those fighters. The casual boxing public would certainly buy the fight and it would be a better deal for Arum because he promotes Cotto, Margarito and Pacquiao. It’s not the fight that hardcore fans would like to see, though, because of how easily Pacquiao already beat Cotto and Margarito. But then again, hardcore fans hate the idea of Pacquiao facing Mosley right now and that likely won’t stop the fight from being made. Pacquiao hasn’t faced an interesting opponent since his fight with Cotto last year. He beat little known Top Rank stable fighter Joshua Clottey in March, and then defeated Margarito last month. Neither of those fighters were popular choices with hardcore fans.
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