Michael Rosenthal

Roach: Mayweather-Ortiz could be prelude to Mayweather-Pacquiao

Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, sees the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Victor Ortiz fight as more than just Mayweather’s return to the ring and a compelling matchup.

He sees it as a potential prelude to the biggest-possible matchup in boxing sometime soon: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, which could everyone involved untold millions.

 “It might mean that he’s getting ready for Manny because he’s fighting a southpaw,” Roach said Wednesday at a news conference to promote the July 23 fight between Amir Khan, his fight, and Zab Judah. “That’s interesting. I think Victor is a big, strong guy who is gonna come to fight.

“I hope Victor wins the fight. If he doesn’t, it will give me a lot better blueprint of how to fight his guy [Mayweather].”

He continued: “Right now the best fight to watch for how to fight Mayweather is Zab [in 2006]. Zab had success for four rounds. Once Mayweather decided to go offensive in that fight, though, he ate him up. And that gave me a good look at Zab for this fight [Khan-Judah].”

Roach is a big fan of Ortiz. The trainer predicted he would upset Andre Berto to win the WBC welterweight title in April, which became reality.

And he believes Ortiz has a shot against Mayweather.

“I think he does,” Roach said. “He’s a big, strong kid. He’s fighting a guy who hasn’t fought in a year and a half. I think he has a real shot. The southpaw stance could give [Mayweather] trouble.”

Roach also had advice for Ortiz.

“Don’t walk in with no caution,” he said. “He’s a good counter puncher. Don’t fall into that trap like Ricky Hatton did. Don’t be overconfident. He will actually give you confidence to bait you in. He’s that smart.”

If Mayweather proves to be too good for Ortiz, of course, that would open the door to a fight with Pacquiao if they can come to terms in a third round of negotiations.

Could we actually be only one step away from the fight we’ve been waiting for?

Around the web