Pacquiao trainer: Mayweather getting preparedNEW YORK - Trainer Freddie Roach believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. could be preparing for a long-awaited showdown with Manny Pacquiao by returning to the ring in September.
Roach, the trainer of the Filipino sensation, told The Associated Press in a phone interview on Wednesday that he thinks Mayweather has agreed to fight young welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz because his style would help get him ready for a fight against Pacquiao.
“Of course, that’s the first thing that came to my mind,’’ Roach said.
Ortiz and Pacquiao are both fast, high-volume punchers who tend to press the action. They are also southpaws, and Mayweather- who will be ending a 16-month layoff when he steps into the ring on Sept. 17 - has rarely fought left-handed opponents during his undefeated career.
The few he has fought, Zab Judah to name one, have caused him some problems.
“I’m just figuring he’ll give us a good blueprint to fight him, how Floyd handles fighting a southpaw,’’ Roach said of Ortiz, who won the WBC 147-pound (67-kilogram) title with a narrow unanimous decision over Andre Berto in April, a certain candidate for fight of the year.
“Some left-handers have given him trouble,’’ Roach said. “Judah gave him trouble but couldn’t maintain the pace. Guys like Victor Ortiz, Manny Pacquiao, they can maintain that pace. And I do think the southpaw stance gives him trouble.’’
Pacquiao is scheduled to face Juan Manuel Marquez in November in the third fight of their epic series, after routing Shane Mosley last month. Mayweather easily beat Marquez in September 2009 before soundly beating Mosley in his most recent fight.
Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, who handles Ortiz and has worked with Mayweather in the past, laughed off the suggestion that Mayweather could be getting ready to face Pacquiao by accepting a fight against Ortiz.
“If you want to get ready for Manny, of all people, you’re not going to fight Victor Ortiz,’’ Schaefer said. “You would be shooting yourself to pick someone as tough, as physical, as strong, as young as Victor to prepare for Pacquiao.’’
Pacquiao and Mayweather have come close to reaching a deal for potentially the richest fight in boxing history on multiple occasions, only for it to evaporate. Mayweather has insisted that he will require random blood testing for any future fight. Pacquiao has agreed to the blood tests but the two sides could never agree on a specific protocol.
한글 관련 기사 [연합]
'무패의 복서' 메이웨더, 16개월 만에 링 복귀
'무패의 복서'로 유명한 미국 복싱스타인 플로이드 메이웨더 주니어(34)가 16개월 만에 링으로 돌아온다.
메이웨더는 8일(한국시간) 자신의 트위터를 통해 오는 9월17일 세계복싱평의회(WBC) 웰터급 챔피언인 빅터 오티스(24·미국)와 챔프 벨트를 놓고 경기를 펼친다고 밝혔다.
메이웨더가 링에 서는 것은 지난해 5월2일 셰인 모슬리(40·미국)를 심판 전원 일치 판정승으로 이긴 후 16개월 만이다.
5체급 챔피언 벨트를 거머쥔 메이웨더는 모슬리를 이겨 41전 전승(25KO)을 기록했지만 이후에는 링에 서지 않았다.
메이웨더는 "나는 링에 돌아갈 준비가 끝났다"며 "젊고 강한 오티스는 떠오르는 스타로 내가 찾던 상대"라고 말했다.
오티스는 29승2무2패에 22KO승을 거둔 강펀치의 소유자로, 최근 5경기에서 연속으로 승리했다.
메이웨더는 애초 지난해 3월 필리핀의 복싱영웅인 매니 파퀴아오와의 대결을 추진했으나 올림픽 스타일의 혈액 도핑 테스트를 고집하는 바람에 결국 경기가 무산됐다.
이후 파퀴아오는 메이웨더의 뜻에 따라 혈액 도핑테스트를 받는 것에 동의했지만, 정작 메이웨더는 "서두를 필요가 없다"며 싸울 의지를 드러내지 않아 복싱 팬들의 비난을 샀다.