Freddie Roach is counting down the days till his guy Zou Shiming does battle in Macau, and Freddie is fully foucused on the former amateur standout, who is making marked progress as a pro, but still is buffing off some of those amateur ways.
I chatted with Roach, who has been in Macau a week, on Monday night, US ET, and he told me that a most revered visitor might be present to see the 33-year-old Shiming meet 23-3-1 (13 KOs) Luis De la Rosa of Colombia at the Cotai Arena, in a fight you can watch on HBO2: Manny Pacquiao.
Yep, the age-36-in-December Congressman might be checking out the action, seeing if Freddie's kid, a two-time gold medallist and 4-0 since turning pro in April 2013, can handle a more seasoned foe.
And might they talk about Manny's next foe, the one who will step in with him on Nov. 22, at the Venetian in Macau?
Doubtless…especially since it's looking like Chris Algieri, the kid from Long Island who on June 14 snagged the WBO 140 pound crown from Roach's Siberian Rocky, Ruslan Provodnikov, has the inside track on landing that Pacquiao fight.
Roach told me he recently talked to Pacman's promoter, Bob Arum, and Roach said that Algieri will get the nod to fight Manny.
"I told Bob, 'I don't like runners,' and Bob said you better find a way, that's who you're fighting," said Roach, the six time Boxing Writers Association trainer of the year.
Roach said he asked if there wasn't somebody more popular, or a better stylistic fit for the 56-5-2 Pacman, who last gloved up April 12, when he conclusively beat (UD12) Tim Bradley in a rematch tangle. After all, Roach offered, Provodnikov would love to clash with the Filipino icon. Nope, Arum said, according to Roach, that'd be a hard sell because he lost his last fight, to Algieri.
"I can't promote that," Arum said to Roach. "Bob likes Algieri, and he told me that's who we're getting."
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Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV