No Mayweather, No Problem: Freddie Roach Says Pacquiao-Canelo at 152lbs is Great Replacement


on-freddie-roach-HBOFreddie Roach is Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, and you would think he’d have some clue or insight into the ongoing negotiations to finalize a May 2nd fight with Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. However, Roach is just as clueless as the rest of us are and he is not as privy as he should be with the insider information that is rumored and reported on a daily basis.

Roach might not be able to offer any assurances on the possibility of the mega fight. But he is certain about a few things regarding Pacquiao’s next fight and he does have some ideas on what direction to take if the Mayweather fight eludes them yet again.

What would add to the disappointment of another failed attempt to make Mayweather-Pacquiao is if each fighter moved on in the prototypical direction that we’ve come to expect from them lately. ?

That means Mayweather fights another underwhelming and seemingly noncompetitive opponent. For Pacquiao, that would mean traveling overseas to Macau and fighting someone handpicked from the shallow Top Rank pool.

However, Roach has made it clear that Pacquiao will not fight in Macau.

In no uncertain terms, Roach told, “No, we’re not going to fight in Macau” and thus confirming a break in the prototypical Top Rank blueprint for Pacquiao.

As for a potential “Plan B” opponent, Roach has some ideas of who they could face next and possibly down the road, should the Mayweather fight continue to escape them.

“Canelo Alvarez is a [possibility] at 152lbs; I like that fight. I think it’s a great fight. Amir Khan is being talked about somewhat, but he’s with Al Haymon, and if we can’t get Mayweather because of Al Haymon I think the same thing happens with Amir Khan. [Haymon] doesn’t want to go outside his boundaries. The pool gets small,” Roach told

Canelo is obviously fighting James Kirkland in May so that suggestion would have to wait, if it is even physically possible. Some might say Canelo is too big, and they’d be right, but if you watched the “Manny” movie that is currently out then you’ll remember that it was suggested that Oscar De La Hoya was too big for “Pacman” and we all know what happened in that fight. Plus, I remember De La Hoya himself suggesting a Pacquiao-Canelo fight upon returning to his Golden Boy duties after his stint in rehab.

As for Khan, Roach is only half right. Khan is a Haymon fighter and any fight that involves Top Rank and Haymon working together would be difficult to make. But Khan is the B-side in a fight with Pacquiao, and he has been waiting to cash in on a big payday for some time. If Mayweather continues to give Khan the slip, then Khan may force Haymon’s hand and demand the fight get made with Manny.

Of course, this is all speculation. The truth is there is no “Plan B” opponent, and if there is a Plan B then it is Mayweather. At this point, Top Rank/Bob Arum has to know whether the Floyd fight is realistic or not, and perhaps he’s known all along because Floyd is predictable in that sense.

If my assumption is correct, then Plan A has always been the most realistic fight out there, and the approach doesn’t change unless Plan B (Mayweather) decides to shake things up. Khan still seems more likely than others, but the landscape could change in the coming months, and perhaps that would be too late for Pacquiao’s next opponent but he could have more options in the second half of the year.