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Roach still wants Pacquiao vs. Canelo fight

Canelo Alvarez Freddie Roach Manny Pacquiao

By Chris Williams: Freddie Roach, the trainer for Manny Pacquiao, still is very interested in having him fight Mexican middleweight Saul Canelo Alvarez in a mega-fight despite Pacquiao having recently said that he’s too big for him. Pacquiao didn’t want to keep fighting junior middleweights after his win over Antonio Margarito six years ago. That fight turned out to be a grueling one in some ways for Pacquiao. Roach seems to want the Canelo fight for Pacquiao. He wants it before Pacquiao fights other guys like Terence Crawford.

Roach says there would need to be a rehydration clause in the contract to keep Canelo from rehydrating up to 200 pounds. Roach is joking about Canelo rehydrating that heavy, but he likely doesn’t want Canelo rehydrating into the 170s or 180s for the fight because that would put Pacquiao at a huge weight disadvantage. Pacquiao rehydrates to around 150. If he has to fight a 180lb Canelo, he’d be giving away 30 pounds and it would be nearly impossible for him to beat him. It would be like Jack Dempsey vs. Jess Willard all over again.

Roach said this to

“The biggest thing I’m worried about is the weight gain after the weigh-in. That’s the biggest issue,” said Roach about Canelo rehydrating for Pacquiao fight. We’re going to have to put a cap on that, and him coming into the ring. He’s not going to be 200 pounds heavier than Manny. It has to be [a weight clause]. We have to work that out.”

Canelo and Golden Boy would likely jump at the chance of making a fight against Pacquiao, because it would give them an excuse not to fight Gennady Golovkin.

What’s more important than weight for the Pacquiao-Canelo fight is getting Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum on board to making the fight happen. Arum seems to be VERY interested in matching Pacquiao against his Top Rank fighter Terence Crawford next after he faces one of Arum’s other fighters in WBO 147lb champion Jessie Vargas on November 5.

I think Arum would probably prefer to make the Pacquiao-Crawford fight while Pacquiao is still winning his fights so that Crawford can become a little more popular from the fight. If Pacquiao gets beaten to a pulp by the hulking Canelo, then a fight between Pacquiao and Crawford won’t do much in terms of increasing the popularity of Crawford.

Arum might not have many more chances to turn Crawford into a star before Pacquiao retires. If Arum can stick Pacquiao and Crawford in with each other three or four times, it might make Crawford a star in boxing. It might also make him another Tim Bradley in being popular, but not a pay-per-view attraction. I think that’s more of the case.

Instead of Roach thinking about Canelo, he should be worried about Pacquiao getting past WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas for their fight on November 5 on Top Rank pay-per-view. Pacquiao might lose that fight. He’s facing a much taller and younger fighter in 5’10”, 27-year-old Vargas, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he loses that match.

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