Freddie Roach, the trainer of former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KO’s), is open for his fighter to face former 140 lb. titlist Danny Garcia (31-0, 18 KO’s) in the Filipino’s return to the ring in 2016.
Earlier this month, Garcia fought for the first time at the full welterweight limit of 147-pounds, stopping former titlist Paulie Malignaggi. Prior to that, he fought in two catch-weights against the likes of Rod Salka and Lamont Peterson, and was the unified champion at 140-pounds.
Pacquiao hasn’t fought since May when he lost a highly-anticipated fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. An injury to his right shoulder suffered early in the fight will keep Pacquiao out of the ring until at least the spring of next year.
Roach was responding to comments made by Garcia’s father and trainer Angel Garcia, who predicted his son would retire Pacquiao if they ever fought. However, speaking with Boxing News Online, the Hall of Fame trainer predicted just the opposite, adding that he would like his fighter to take on Garcia next.
“I want Danny Garcia; that’s my choice. That’s the easiest fight in the f****** world. You can tell his dad that as well,” Roach said.
“His dad psyched Amir Khan out, but he won’t psych Pacquiao out I promise. Pacquiao will knock Garcia out. I like the dad, but he talks too much s***.”
Garcia has been performing on Premier Boxing Champions in his last pair of fights as an Al Haymon fighter, while Pacquiao has been committed to HBO for a majority of his fights since making his debut on the network in 2001 against Lehlo Ledwaba as a two-week late substitute.
With Garcia having never lost a fight and Pacquiao having lost three of his last six, one can imagine that Garcia is going to want to be the A-side. Pacquiao may or may not want to do that, but if he’s serious about getting back into world title contention – he might be forced to.