Trainer Freddie Roach states that it was Manny Pacquiao’s idea to face IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. for his next fight on August 21st rather than the guy he wanted to face in Mikey Garcia.
The Filipino star could have had a far easier fight against Mikey Garcia, who likely would have been a piece of cake for him.
As far as coach Roach is concerned, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) chose the top guy in the 147-lb division. Terence Crawford and his loyal boxing fans might disagree but that’s how Roach feels and he’s the expert.
Now the pressure is on Roach’s shoulders to try and find a way for the 42-year-old Pacquiao to defeat the unbeaten Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), which won’t be easy to do.
For starters, Roach says he’s already got the game plan in place for the former eight-division world champion Pacquiao to follow on August 21st. Roach says he will use the same plan of attack for Manny’s fight against Antonio Margarito in 2010.
Margarito shares the same slow lumbering fighting style that Spence uses, and he couldn’t do anything against Manny’s in and out attacks.
We don’t know whether Spence can do anything to change the way he fights to speed up his slow feet and move around to cut off the ring.
“He wasn’t my first choice,” said Roach to Yahoo Sports News on Pacquiao picking Spence. “I was leaning toward Mikey Garcia. When Manny picked Spence, I said, ‘Congratulations, you picked the best guy out there.’”
The options for Pacquiao to make a lot of money were limited to Spence and Terence Crawford. Initially, Pacquiao tried to make the fight with Crawford, but the negotiations didn’t get anywhere.
If Pacquiao had listened to Roach and selected Mikey Garcia, the fight probably wouldn’t have done well on PPV. Mikey almost seems like he’s retired, as he hasn’t fought in a year and a half, and his career has come to a complete stop.
Mikey has been out of the ring for such a long time that it wouldn’t be a good idea for Pacquiao to fight him because the fans wouldn’t buy the fight.
It’ll probably make Mikey happy that Roach is revealing that he was pushing Pacquiao to fight him. You can bet that Mikey will continue calling out Pacquiao after the Spence fight on August 21st.
Even if Pacquiao loses, Mikey is likely to keep talking about wanting to fight him.
“We started early because this [Spence] is one of the toughest guys out there, and we really needed the time to get ready. I hired some really good sparring partners,” said Roach.
“This guy [Spence] is a good puncher,” said Roach about Spence. “He’s [Pacquio] got to get in, hit, and get out right away, and you can’t just go straight right in on him. You have to use an angle,” said Roach.
Spence will likely have little problems dealing with the different angles Pacquiao shows him when he’s on the attack.