Freddie Roach can easily envision a scenario in which a fight he REALLY wants to see get made gets blown up because a fight he REALLY, REALLY wants to see get made is actually, after years of dithering, made turned into a reality.
Dedham Freddie told me on Wednesday, as he watched over welterweight contender Chris Van Heerden, who fights on the Friday throne boxing/Roc Nation show in NYC, that he's right now as optimistic as he's ever been that a Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight will be made, for May 2nd.
I picked up on a little look on Freddie's face, a little grin he seemed to be surprising, and a friend, a woman who manages Van Heerden, Donna Avery, cracked up and admitted she saw the same body language in the trainer. Roach got me a bit hyped, against my better instincts, when he told he can foresee a situation where his guy Miguel Cotto comes to terms with Canelo Alvarez for a May 2 clash…which then spurs Floyd Mayweather to one-up those guys, and finally agree to do the dance with his nemesis in theory, Manny Pacquiao.
"Then I think (Mayweather) does accept the Pacquiao fight," Roach told me.
Yes, to reiterate, if Cotto and Canelo want that May 2nd, Roach believes this could well push Mayweather to get serious, and agree to meet Manny, showing that he's the A side's A side, and that he can lay claim on any darned date he wants.
"Pacquiao-Mayweather is the only one that can over-ride Cotto-Canelo," Roach told me.
Best case scenario, we could kick the Cotto-Canelo date a couple months down the line…in which case Roach could train both A grade clients for their Super Fights.That strikes me as a better plan than both running May 2, with dueling PPVs, with boxing fans being asked to pay $160 for one night of bouts…
"I'm being optimistic by saying Mayweather will fight Manny because I just want that fight to happen so bad," the trainer continued. The optimism stems partly from the understanding he gleaned from the meeting he put together and sat in on, between CBS head honcho Les Moonves, and Bob Arum, a few months back. Moonves thought last year that a path to making a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight might be made that much cleaner because he was under the impression that Pacman's deal with Arum was finishing and maybe wouldn't be re-upped. Mayweather has at various points made it clear one of the hurdles he erects to keep a fight with Pacman occurring is the presence of Arum as Manny's promoter. Arum and Mayweather parted on not the friendliest terms in 2006 after a decade together, and apparently Floyd isn't inclined to let perceived bygones be gone. The Pacquiao-Arum pairing was re-upped, but Moonves still agreed to sit with Arum, see if some headway could be made in crafting the No Brainer Super Fight Which May Never Be. Roach was and is buoyed by the conversations, plural, he said, that Arum and Moonves have had, and said he heard things and places of common ground which leave him, yes, pinch yourself, and curse me if you must as the messenger, optimistic that we see Pacquiao-Mayweather. In May. Not in June or September.
Is this will they or won't they "romance" story not as infuriating/compelling as any you've come across as a boxing fan? Talk to me, fight fans…will The Fight get signed for May 2? Think maybe the Boxrec people got an early tip? Think Freddie's gut instinct is spot on? Talk to me!
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