It’s always busy at five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., but the past two weeks or so have been particularly hectic.
Roach has had to juggle his time over the workouts of former WBC featherweight and WBA junior lightweight beltholder Jorge Linares (31-2, 20 KOs), WBA/IBF junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan (26-1, 18 KOs), pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KOs) and super middleweight prospect Peter Quillin (25-0, 19 KOs).
Linares suffered a substantial amount of facial damage during a Fight of The Year-caliber clash with southpaw Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1, 19 KOs), controlling the majority of the fight but eventually losing by 11th-round knockout in a failed bid to earn the WBC’s vacant lightweight belt on Oct. 15.
Quillin is set to face Craig McEwan (19-1, 10 KOs) on Nov. 5; Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) has an HBO Pay Per View-televised defense of his WBO welterweight belt against RING lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12; and a week later, Chavez Jr. has a scheduled matchup opposite Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6, 20 KOs) on Nov. 19.
Khan, THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight, then defends his belts against No. 6-rated counter part Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) on Dec. 10.
Roach said Khan has been sparring with 5-foot-11, 19-year-old junior welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez (13-0, 12 KOs), and will also be in against 26-year-old Nigerian prospect Wale Omotoso (19-0, 17 KOs) of Australia.
In this Q&A, Roach discusses the preparation of his fighters, as well as the potential for Pacquiao to face either Khan, RING No. 2-rated pound-for-pound WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs) or RING No. 8-rated pound-for-pound WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs).
Bradley faces former four-time titleholder Joel Casamayor on the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard, and Mayweather is coming off a fourth-round knockout that dethroned Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs) as WBC titleholder last month.
Negotiations to make a bout between Pacquiao, handled by Top Rank Inc., and Mayweather, aligned with Golden Boy Promotions, have twice-failed over the issue of drug testing.
In the meantime, Roach said Pacquiao is focused on Marquez, whom he battled through a draw and a split-decision when they competed first for Marquez’s WBA and IBF featherweight titles and then his WBC junior lightweight belt in May of 2004 and March of 2008, respectively.
RingTV.com: Who is at fault for the fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather not happening so far?
Freddie Roach: Well, the first time, Manny refused to do the drug test that Mayweather wanted. That drug test is not mandated by any commission in the world. Mayweather doesn’t make the rules of boxing.
So I would say that that’s Mayweather’s fault. The second time we agreed to everything, and he wouldn’t sign the contract and said that he wanted $100 million instead and turned down a $50 million offer.
I believe that Mayweather pulled out of that one also. And I haven’t heard a word from Mayweather’s camp since then. There has been no attempt at negotiations so there has been nothing.
They want no part of us, so let’s face it. I feel that in reality. The thing is that I wish that the fight would happen, because I would look forward to the challenge. I know that we want to fight Mayweather, but it’s not happening.
RingTV.com: When you say that Pacquiao agreed to the testing, can you clear the air on exactly what it was that he agreed to or the protocol and conditions there?
FR: I believe 14 days, but to be honest with you, I wasn’t a part of that part of the negotiations. I know that Manny and Arum worked that out. I do forget how many days that it was. It was either 10 or 14, but I really don’t know for sure.
RingTV.com: Do you believe that the fight will happen?
FR: No. It would have happened already.
RingTV.com: What happens in the fight if it transpires?
FR: Manny Pacquiao wins by knockout. How can a guy that averages 15 punches a round beat a guy that averages 85 punches a round? How is that possible? I can’t see it.
Mayweather doesn’t fight southpaws that well unless he sucker shots them like he did with Victor Ortiz. So Manny’s not going to be that kind to him, I don’t think.
I just don’t see him beating us. I don’t see that happening. Plus I really believe that I’m a better coach than Roger Mayweather is, so how is that for you?