Freddie Roach's kid Zou Shiming didn't get the nod in his Saturday title fight, but Dedham Freddie isn't fixated on the scrap, as he has bigger fish to prepare for frying. Namely, one Floyd Mayweather, a master pugilist whose record stands at 47-0. The Massachusetts-born, seven-time BWAA trainer of the year has been spending much of his free time studying Floyd and also day-dreaming about ways to beat him. Night-dreaming too, I dare say..
Roach, who turned 55 on March 5, told me on Monday night that he and Pacman worked together for the first time at Wild Card Gym, and results were encouraging. One thing that struck Roach mightily was that he really believes Pacman has been doing extra homework on how to beat Mayweather. Usually, Roach says, Manny lets Freddie do the game-planning, lets him do the video dissection. But Freddie strongly suspects that this time around, Manny has been on the YouTube, watching Floyd fights, looking for patterns of predictability to exploit. “We did six rounds on the mitts,” said Roach. “And we have the same ideas on how to fight Floyd. Usually I come up with something. But we're on the same page.”
As much of the world knows, boxing's two mega stars collide May 2. Roach said that the gym will be on lock-down more than usual in the lead-up, with nobody but relatives, basically, being able to get a peek at Pacman during sparring. That should start next week, for the record.
“We want to keep it private as possible,” the tutor said.
Fight fans know that over in Mayweather camp, things can sometimes get dicey, interpersonally. Floyd and his dad sometimes rub each other the wrong way. (That's not to say that friction is neccesarily negative. Roach himself thinks that Floyd basically trains himself by now, anyway, so even if my little one was Floyd's trainer, something tells me that “Money” would still be his usual halcyon self.) Roach, conversely, says him and Pacman are jelling tremendously. “We are so close, so comfortable. Usually, I tell a guy to do something, make an adjustment. But Manny, if he can't adjust to something, he will tell me, and we throw it away. He's the best guy in the world. He said to me, 'How much do you want to get paid for this fight?' And I said, 'Whatever. You've always been very generous to me. He offered me a lot. I said, 'You're the best effin guy in the world.''' They figured out Freddie's take-home in about twenty seconds, it sounds like.
I admit I like the sound of that, as I see money as being the root of if not all evil, a goodly portion of it. “I'm happy he's happy,” Roach said, in summation.
So far, so good. Camp in USA started out on the right foot. No drama surrounding money, or personalities, or such. It seems like both men are confident they have some insights which can get them the W. Readers, talk to me…what do you think they saw on tape that they can exploit?
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