Hall of Fame boxing coach, Freddie Roach, has had an amazing career which had been highlighted by his success with his main fighter, 8 division world champion Manny Pacquiao. The two have produced some of the biggest events and exciting fights and now with his boxer Pacquiao approaching the end of his career, the team looks to close things out strong. On July 2nd, Pacquiao will return to the ring against unbeaten Australian Jeff Horn, a fight that many expect will end Pacquiao’s KO drought.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Freddie Roach, I get his views on Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming encounter with Jeff Horn and get his thoughts on traveling to Australia for the bout. Roach also talks about the chances we see a KO in the fight and what fight options could arise with a win. Additionally, Freddie gives his views on a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch and discusses how he would feel if he never gets another opportunity against Mayweather. Here is what Freddie Roach had to say.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao will be taking on Jeff Horn on July 2nd in Australia. What do you think of this fight?
Freddie Roach: It’s a good fight, we can’t take Horn lightly, he’s got everything at stake here in the fight. A win for him would be tremendous for his career and we just can’t let that happen. This is our first time fighting in Australia and it will be a really big night. Manny gets in shape for all of his fights and he doesn’t take anyone lightly and I’m hoping to see another knockout by Manny Pacquiao this time.
Jenna J: A lot of fans are calling for a knockout because Jeff Horn is a relatively unknown fighter. Would you be disappointed with any result that is not a knockout?
Freddie Roach: Yeah, I think Manny needs to fire up this time. This guy is a good puncher and he will trade with you. Manny can still punch and he has that killer instinct back, I saw a little bit of it in the last fight, he looked better than he had in a while and he’s starting to get that old offense going and I’m going to be pushing that in training camp the whole time.
Jenna J: Do you think Manny Pacquiao will be getting the cheering crowd over in Australia?
Freddie Roach: Yeah, Australia boxing isn’t the biggest sport in the world over there, the UFC and kickboxing are a little bit bigger over there, but they are great fans. Manny does have a big audience there, and I feel the crowd will be over 50% for Pacquiao.
Jenna J: Where do you see Pacquiao at 38 years of age in terms of his abilities?
Freddie Roach: He’s still very good, his work ethic is great. He works hard for every fight, he doesn’t take anyone lightly and he works really hard. His work ethic is still like it was the first day I met him. We’re going to go out there and I think demolish this guy, which is what we need to do.
What happens in the fight will determine where Manny is in his career right now. Mikey Garcia’s brother came to see me a couple of weeks ago and challenged me and asked if Manny would fight Mikey Garcia. I love that fight but I don’t have final say in that. We’re looking for a big fight after this one, but we need to get this guy out of the way first.
Jenna J: Do you still hold out any hope for a Floyd Mayweather rematch?
Freddie Roach: I would love for that to happen but it seems like he’s stuck on McGregor right now. I’m unsure what’s going to happen right there because I don’t think the sports mix that well, McGregor would have to take five years to fight Mayweather. Mayweather is a very crafty boxer and we would love to get him one more time, but that still remains to be seen.
Jenna J: Would you be disappointed if you don’t get a chance to avenge that loss?
Freddie Roach: I would be disappointed, I would love to get that fight. A lot of people thought that Manny won the first one anyways, and I think if he didn’t have a bad shoulder at that time, I think we would have. That’s the fight game, how many times do go into a fight being 100% healthy? Almost never, getting ready for fights is very difficult.
Jenna J: In terms of big fights, who do you see out there for Manny Pacquiao? Who are the names that you are targeting?
Freddie Roach: Garcia is a big name, Crawford is a big name. There’s some really good guys out there, but of course Mayweather is still at the top of the list I think. There’s a lot of good guys out there for us to fight and I think Manny can still contend with all of those guys.