Monday, March 22, 2010

Roach says Pacquiao to retire early next year

Pacquiao vs Clottey – Trainer Freddie Roach wants Manny Pacquiao at most to fight twice more and be out of the ring for good by early next year. He told the Washington Post’s Michael Leahy in an interview that he wanted Pacquiao to end his storied career with health intact and not run the risk of ever suffering like he does from Parkinson’s disease. One fight is coming Saturday, a defense of Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title against a tough but little-known Ghanian Joshua Clottey. The next fight as Roach sees it, would be one of the most ballyhooed, most profitable, most contentious fights in boxing history: Pacquiao against the gifted, flighty and undefeated Floyd Mayweather with whom negotiations for a bout have collapsed once before. The fight could bring each man $30 million, Leahy wrote.

“With everything else Manny has earned, that should be enough for him,” Roach said.

“I’ve told Manny I’d like him to retire as a fighter after that. I want him healthy, wealthy and happy. I don’t ever want him having to take all the medication I have to take. I might retire too. I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said.

Pacquiao despises Mayweather, says Roach, an unusual emotion from a fighter who has never before expressed contempt for a looming opponent. But then again no other opponent has suggested that Pacquiao might be using steroids. Pacquiao responded by filing a defamation suit against Mayweather and his promoter, Golden Boy Productions.

“It’s an honor thing to Manny,” Leahy quoted Roach as saying.

“Manny says things to me like: ’I will knock him out; I’ll crush him. He’s never talked like that about another fighter.”

Weary over the ugliness of their last failed negotiations, Pacquiao just wants the fight to happen.

“Doesn’t matter if the posters say Pacquiao-Mayweather or Mayweather-Pacquiao, the fighter says to Roach.

“Mayweather can be first on the posters. He can act like the champion. I’ll go into the ring first, I’ll do whatever he wants… He can run from me just so he fights in these four corners.”

Roach himself retired as a fighter after 53 bouts without a buck. As a professional, he climbed to No. 8 in the world in the super bantamweight division.

Jose Katigbak

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