Lem Satterfield

Roach talks Khan-Peterson, Mayweather-Pacquiao

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RingTV.com caught up with five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach to discuss his busy schedule as well as an upcoming event. 

The 51-year-old hall of famer is in the midst of preparing Amir Khan (26-1, 18 knockouts) for the WBA/IBF 140-pound titleholder’s HBO-televised clash with Lamont Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Last month, Roach was in the corner of THE RING’s pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) for his controversial majority decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12.

A week later, Roach worked with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (44-0-1, 31 KOs) for his fifth-round knockout triumph over Peter Manfredo Jr.

This past Saturday, Roach made his commentating debut on the EPIX/EpixHD.com broadcast of the eighth-round knockout by Alexander Povetkin (23-0, 16 KOs) over Cedric Boswell (35-2, 26 KOs).

On the Povetkin-Boswell undercard, young heavyweight contender Robert Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs) scored a split-decision victory over Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs).

Roach discussed Khan-Peterson, as well as his thoughts on the future of Pacquiao as it relates to a potential clash with WBC welterweight beltholder Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs).

Roach also addressed his desire to see an all-Mexican clash between Chavez and WBC 154-pound titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (39-0-1, 29 KOs).

Golden Boy Promotions’ CEO Richard Schaefer handles Mayweather and Alvarez, and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao and Chavez Jr.

RingTV.com: How has preparation gone for Khan for his bout with Peterson?

Freddie Roach: Well, we’ve peaked in sparring on Friday [Nov. 26,] 10 rounds against three strong guys, three sparring partners. Roberto Garcia worked out really well for us on the strength side of it, because he’s a big, strong guy, and I know that Lamont Peterson is a really strong guy in the pocket and in the middle of the ring. So, that worked very well for us. Roberto’s last day was Friday.

So we’ve got the speed guys for the rest of the week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Then we’re head to Washington on Saturday, and the sparring will be done. The last week is just maintaining and staying in shape.

RingTV.com: Do you have a prediction?

FR: I think that you can expect a really good fight, because this is the No. 1 contender fighting the world champion. My champion loves to fight and he loves to exchange.

Amir is not shy. He will go out there and he will try to exchange with Lamont. Lamont is a strong fighter, so I have told Amir not to stay in the pocket for too long. Lamont is very, very crafty in the pocket. That’s where his game is.

RingTV.com: Where does Peterson rank as far as the opponents Amir has faced?

FR: I think that this is our toughest test. This is first guy in the weight class who is really going to be as big as Amir, and he’s strong and maybe even a little bit stronger on the inside and in the middle.

When he’s in the pocket, he’s very, very physical. I’m not saying punching-wise, I’m just saying strength-wise where he moves you with his shoulders and forearms and so on and so forth. I know that he’s very, very physical.

RingTV.com: Your thoughts on Peterson’s trainer, Barry Hunter?

FR: I know Lamont’s trainer, Barry Hunter, very, very well, and he’s a great coach. We respect him as a friend also. I don’t like always going against friend, but it happens. 

Hopefully, the best man is going to win in the end, but the thing is that I really think that this is going to be a great fight. That’s the bottom line. 

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