Omnipresent Freddie Roach was in NYC today, in the famed Gleason's Gym down under the Manhattan bridge overpass in Brooklyn, counting down with his boxer, the 140 pound titlist Ruslan Provodnikov, who seeks to chew up Long Islander Chris Algieri like raw moose liver on Saturday night at Barclays, and on HBO.
“The Siberian Rocky” and Algieri, a pressman's delight for his amiable demeanor and introspective persona, chatted with media, and were filmed in hits which will appear on BoxingChannel.TV.
I cornered Roach, and asked Dedham Freddie, still buzzing some from his Saturday night triumph, the win by Miguel Cotto over Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden.
We are all wondering who will be Mannys' next, so I asked Freddie if he knew whether promoter Bob Arum had a planned meeting with Juan ManuelMarquez, the Mexican legend who has faced Pacman four times already. Did they meet? What happened?
Indeed they did meet, Freddie told me. But the meeting didn't result in a meeting of the minds, the setting of the framework for a fifth tangle between the two rivals for eternity.
Marquez asked for a boatload of money to do a fifth fight, Roach said, enough to sink a ship…or maybe the prospects of a fifth fight.
Hmm….think JMM does indeed want to go out on that high note, savor the memory of dropping and stopping Pacman in their last battle? “I think he wants to go out on that high note, I really do,” Roach told me. “Can he refuse that kind of money, though? Even though he wants more, it's still a big payday.”
Roach said Marquez asked for $20 million to fight Pacman again. And what does Freddie think is a reasonable ask? “Ten million,” replied the six time Boxing Writers Association Trainer of the Year.
Think he could get $15 million, I asked? “In the middle there somewhere, yes,” the trainer said. “The door isn't closed, I talked to Bob, the door isn't closed.”
Anyway, if Marquez' ask is too rich, maybe we see a Pacquiao-Provodnikov fight, provided Ruslan gets past the New Yorker on Saturday. Roach is open to it. He said he'd work Manny's corner, and no, his helper Marvin Somodio wouldn't jump ship to Team Ruslan for that one…not if he ever wanted to set foot in his native Phillippines again. Yes, Ruslan would have to secure a new training crew if he signed on to meet Manny.
Me, I like the thought of a Manny-Ruslan style clash. What does Freddie think of that style mix? “I've seen them spar a lot. I think I know what might happen. Ruslan is a very dangerous, dangerous guy. He has one punch knockout power. And Pacquiao has been knocked out before. It's not an easy fight.”
Roach said Arum asked him what he thought of a Pacman-Amir Khan fight, and, “I said no, how about Danny Garcia?” Roach stated. “If you're going to cross over, cross over and get me someone exciting. Someone who's going to make a good fight, that's what Manny wants.”
Isn't Khan sort of exciting? “He throws combinations and holds now, it's so boring,” Roach answered. “It's smart but not fun to watch. I don't want to stink the place out. And Ruslan wouldn't do that, and Danny Garcia wouldn't do that, Garcia would fight back. If they can cross over and get Khan, why not cross over and get Garcia.”
Lots to digest there folks. Talk to me. Will Marquez reduce his ask? Will the Cold War arctic ice shift result in more options for Pacquiao? Is Danny Garcia ready for a Pacman? Weigh in, in our Forum.
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