- One of the most celebrated boxing coaches is hoping to create two of the best-selling fights of all-time in 2019.
- Freddie Roach is Manny Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, and though the Filipino’s best days are behind him, Roach is gunning for one more big event – a rematch so Pacquiao can avenge his 2015 loss to Floyd Mayweather.
- But Roach has another monster fight potentially up his sleeve, as he is hoping the former two-weight UFC world champion Georges St. Pierre will have one more mixed martial arts fight.
- His dream opponent for GSP would be “the Irish boy with the big mouth” – Conor McGregor.
Manny Pacquiao’s coach is targeting a Floyd Mayweather rematch “as soon as possible,” but it’s not the only massive fight he’s campaigning for in 2019.
Freddie Roach, the long-time trainer for Pacquiao, has been in the Filipino’s corner for the vast majority of his career.
He was there when Pacquiao pulverized opponents when he was a small super bantamweight from 2002, and there for his most recent victory – a 12-round domination of Adrien Broner.
Roach masterminded the biggest victories of Pacquiao’s career over the likes of Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto, and though the 40-year-old’s best days are behind him, his trainer is plotting one more monster event – a “common sense” rematch against Mayweather, the man who beat him in 2015.
The two fighters claimed they were going to fight in a shock Instagram announcement last year, but the bout never materialised. Pacquiao ended up facing Broner, who he brutalized earlier this month, not long after Mayweather contested an exhibition against a 20-year-old Japanese kickboxer called Tenshin Nasukawa, who he dropped three times en route to a clear knockout win on December 31.
Roach said Mayweather “came back for a reason” when talking to Brendan Schaub on the Below the Belt show on YouTube this week. He added: “The thing is, he’s still popular. I think he just wanted to make lots of people know he’s still out there, right before Pacquiao. I hope that fight happens. I was disappointed in the first one, he had a bad shoulder. This time we’re 100% healthy and I think we kick his a–.
“I’d love to see that fight one more time,” Roach said. “As soon as possible, why not. We’d love to knock him out.”
Roach also wants Georges St. Pierre vs. Conor McGregor
But a Mayweather rematch for Pacquiao is not the only big fight Roach is chasing this year.
Roach, 58, is one of the most celebrated boxing trainers of all-time having worked with elite former champions like Mike Tyson, James Toney, and Bernard Hopkins.
With the explosion in popularity of mixed martial arts in recent years, it comes as no surprise that UFC fighters recruited Roach to help teach them how to use boxing skills in a cage-fight.
The former two-weight UFC world champion Georges St. Pierre was one of those fighters, and though GSP is 37, Roach wants the Canadian to compete “one more” time. And the ideal opponent would be “the Irish boy with the big mouth,” meaning Conor McGregor.
The only potential problem in making this fight is the difference in weight. St. Pierre, a former three-time welterweight champion with the UFC, last fought as a middleweight when he beat-up Michael Bisping to win a world title in the 185-pound division.
To fight McGregor, who is a lightweight, St. Pierre would have to drop down to the 155-pound weight class.
“Fine,” Roach said. “We’ll make the weight. Georges is on a new diet. We wanted to prove we could go to the higher division and we did that. We dropped that title, now we want to go to the lower weight and win there, to be a champion of three divisions.”
The fights of the year
Pacquiao’s first fight against Mayweather remains the best-selling contest in combat sports history, according to this Business Insider list. A second fight could generate just as much intrigue, as Pacquiao has been on a winning run while Mayweather remains inactive.
McGregor, meanwhile, has competed in two of the top three best-selling events in fight history. Should the Irishman take on St. Pierre, an athlete widely acknolwedged as one of the best fighters ever, then it could quite easily become the UFC’s most successful fight.
Should Roach get his two wishes, then he’d be in the corner for the two biggest fight events of the year, and arguably of all time.
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