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Roach wants rehydration limit for Canelo vs. Pacquiao

Canelo Alvarez Freddie Roach Manny Pacquiao Timothy BradleyBy Dan Ambrose: While many boxing fans are talking about this Saturday’s fight for Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) being potentially the last of his long 21-year pro career, his trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank have been talking up a storm about a hoped for fight between Pacquiao and Golden Boy Promotions star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs).

Pacquiao is facing Tim Bradley (33-1-1, 13 Kos) this Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view. However, Roach and Arum have been stoking the fires of a big money PPV fight between Pacquiao and Canelo by talking about wanting to make that fight happen. However, Roach took it to another level today in saying that he would push for a rehydration limit for the fight if takes place.

Roach obviously doesn’t want Canelo to walk into the ring weighing 175 against Pacquiao, who may not be any heavier than 150. Roach says Pacquiao has always done well against bigger fighters, and he obviously means Antonio Margarito and Oscar De La Hoya. However, neither of those fighters were anywhere near as big as Canelo in terms of weight.

“It’s a challenge. He’s a good fighter,” Roach said to esnewsreporting about Canelo. “I know he’s big. We might have to make a few stipulations on the weight. How much he can weight at. Arum offered me the fight. I didn’t say no, but I didn’t say yes either. But I want to see how he [Canelo] does with Amir Khan first,” said Roach.

Canelo, 25, seems to be getting to the point where he’s difficult to negotiate with due to him seeing himself as a star, so it might be difficult if not impossible for Roach and Arum to get Canelo to agree to a rehydration limit for the Pacquiao fight.

The thing is unless they do get Canelo to agree to a upper limit of say 165, it’s going to put Pacquiao in an impossible situation in that fight. Pacquiao beat a slow as molasses Margarito at a catch-weight of 150lbs in their fight six years ago in 2010, but Margarito was just a string bean and not a fighter that rehydrated to the mid-170s like Canelo.

We don’t even know what Canelo weighs now because he wasn’t weighed before he stepped into the ring for his last fight against Miguel Cotto last November. Roach estimated that Canelo had rehydrated 30 pounds after making weight at 155lbs for his catch-weight fight against Cotto. If Canelo did rehydrate 30 pounds, then that put him at 185lbs.

Sadly, that’s a very believable weight given how much bigger Canelo looked against the 164lb Cotto. There was definitely more than 10 pounds that separated the two fighters on that night. If Pacquiao has to fight someone 25 pounds heavier than him in Canelo, then it’s game over for Pacquiao. The fight will be won on the weight alone. It won’t even take Canelo at his best to win that fight. He can just make the weight of 155, and then come into the ring and literally squash the lighter Pacquiao with his huge bulk.

Roach wants to see how Amir Khan does against Canelo first in their fight on May 7 before he gives the 84-year-old Arum the green light to go ahead and try and make the Pacquiao-Canelo fight if Roach can talk Pacquiao into not retiring after his fight against Bradley this Saturday night. You can make an argument that Khan is the guinea pig in the Canelo fight. If Khan can make it through the fight without getting totally obliterated by the heavier and stronger Canelo, then we could see Roach convince Pacquiao to take the fight against Canelo.

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The thing is it’s not exactly the bravest thing for Roach to do. If Khan is willing to stick his neck out and risk bodily harm against Canelo by trying to do what Floyd Mayweather Jr. did three years ago in beating Canelo, then Roach should be willing to let Pacquiao to try the same thing. We all remember how Roach said for years that he thought that Pacquiao would beat Mayweather if the two of them ever fought each other. We heard the shoulder excuses from Roach after Pacquiao lost to Mayweather last May.

Roach believes that it would have been a different outcome if Pacquiao wasn’t hurt. Well, if Roach really believes that Pacquiao is a better fighter than Mayweather, then he should have no problems letting Pacquiao fight Canelo at a catch-weight without a rehydration limit. Mayweather didn’t ask for a rehydration limit because he didn’t want to put Canelo in a situation where he would have an excuse to use after the fight when he lost the fight, and Mayweather wanted to get full credit for the win, which is what he ultimately received from the boxing fans.

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Canelo might actually agree to a rehydration limit. I could see him doing it because he’s got to know that his future earnings are going to hit a wall once Pacquiao retires. There aren’t any more Pacquiao and Mayweather level fighters in the sport. Gennady Golovkin isn’t a big PPV star, and he may never get to that level.

There’s no one at welterweight for Canelo to fight that will bring him the kind of money he can make against Pacquiao, and the same thing at 154 and 160. Canelo pretty much has to take the fight against Pacquiao with a rehydration limit attached if he wants to get his final shot for a huge money fight.

If Canelo gets stubborn and says no to the rehydration limit, then I can see Pacquiao either retiring or moving on to someone else that he can make big money fighting. He may not find another Canelo level fighter for a payday but it doesn’t matter because Pacquiao has made a ton of cash already in his career and he doesn’t need to get that kind of money again for him to do really well. Pacquiao doesn’t blow his money on fancy things like some fighters do in throwing away their money.

Pacquiao gives a lot of his money away to the poor. Roach and Arum might be able to get Canelo to agree to a rehydration limit of 165lbs if they give him a big enough cut of the revenue.

Canelo would just need to focus on more cardio during his training camp to melt down in weight. Canelo is surely not going to be able to do this unless he really works hard in training camp and lays off the carbs. He can’t pig out and think he’s going to make the 165lb limit. Pacquiao will need to make sure that there’s a huge weight penalty involved in the contract to keep Canelo from blowing off the rehydration clause.

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