Freddie Roach Dissects The Fight

By Gordon Marino on March 11, 2015
Freddie Roach Dissects The Fight
“Manny likes me to do the film study. But this time I want him to study the films with me.”

Roach has the highest respect for Mayweather’s art but is still confident that his man can defy the oddsmakers….

Last week, Manny Pacquiao’s boxing mentor, Freddie Roach, was named Trainer of the Year for an unprecedented seventh time by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America (BWAA). Already a hall of famer, Roach learned his bruising art from one of the greatest teachers of all time, Eddie Futch. When asked how Futch would have approached the fight with Mayweather, Roach reflected for a moment and replied, “The mental aspect in this fight is huge. Eddie would have emphasized, stay calm, stay levelheaded.”

Pressed about the psychology of this showdown, Roach said, “Manny has not been in with a lot of trash talkers. Mayweather is like Ali in the sense that he will talk to you a lot in the fight. He will rest on the ropes, chatter in your ear and try to get you out of your game. I’m really not sure how Manny is going to react to that. He can’t let himself get distracted. So I am bringing in a few sparring partners who have Mayweather’s boxing style and will do a lot of trash talking.”

Roach is not divulging any of the details of the battle plan that he has been crafting for years but he did reveal, “Mayweather fights in spurts these days. He likes to lay up on the ropes. He takes a lot of rests in the ring. One of the keys to victory for Manny is to recognize when Floyd is taking a break and to stay on the offensive and keep scoring points. But the big thing is that Manny himself has to recognize when Mayweather is catching a breather. It doesn’t help for me to see it from the corner.”

Roach continued, “Manny likes me to do the film study. He doesn’t watch much. But this time I want him to study the films with me. He has to be able to see and recognize Mayweather’s moves himself.”

Roach has the highest respect for Mayweather’s art but is still confident that his man can defy the oddsmakers.

Roach said, “The jab is big in this fight. De La Hoya had great success with it against Mayweather. Zab Judah (who, like Pacquiao, is also a southpaw) did too. But you have to be in position to throw it because Mayweather’s right hand counter to the jab is the best in the business.”

“I have talked with at least 20 of Mayweather’s sparring partners and opponents,” Roach added. “And guess what they tell me is his best punch? His left to the body. They all say it really hurts.”

After Mayweather stabs you with a jab, he has you set up for his blistering straight right. Roach’s plan is for Manny to try to walk away from the jab to the body but also to time it and counter with his own howitzer of a straight left.

One of Pacquiao’s favorite punch sequences is a straight left down the middle followed by a right hook to the body. Mayweather’s style leaves his left side vulnerable. However, “Money” also has one of the best pivot moves in boxing history. So he could go out the back door as Pacquiao puts his right hook in the mail. What do you do if to keep someone with a matchless pivot move in front of you? Roach said, “You can’t pivot with him. Manny is going to have to take a quick step over.”

Years ago De La Hoya expressed a similar view, “When Mayweather is on the ropes and in that shell of his, you need to take a little step over to land that left hook.” Or in Pacquiao’s case, another straight left.”

Mayweather is also famous for another trick, one perfected by Bernard Hopkins. He lands a left jab and a head snapping right but before his opponent can counter, Mayweather brings his back foot up and grabs his man. The referee breaks them and Mayweather is center ring where no one is better.

Roach insists that a lot of Mayweather’s opponents let themselves get tied up because they too are looking for a break. In response to Mayweather’s octopus move, Roach says, “Manny well keep his guard high to keep Floyd off him and he will work uppercuts up the middle.”

Roach also noted that he is trying to get his famous charge to bend more inside so that once he break the perimeter he can launch the signature multiple combinations that made Pacquiao the boxing icon that he is. Pressed as to why he couldn’t do that against the relatively inept but fast moving Algieri away, Roach revealed, “Manny didn’t cut off the ring but just followed him around trying to land that one big shot, that one big left.”

Mark Breland, the trainer of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, observed, “In this fight a lot is going to depend upon the referee. If Pacquiao is going to have a serious chance, he has to have a ref that will let them fight on the inside. Not one who is going to break them as soon as they get in close.”

Pacquiao is beside himself with excitement about getting this fight. Roach said, “Manny called me right away and wanted to begin training. But I told him to just condition for another week. Six weeks of sparring is just right. Eight weeks is too much. A professional does not over train.”

Everyone talks about the money in the May 2nd showdown between Manny Pacquiao and “Money” Mayweather as though neither of these guys can lose with this payday. But Roach reminded, “It is a ton of money, but you know what? Only one of these guys will be remembered—the winner.”

A professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College, Gordon Marino writes on boxing for the Wall Street Journal. He is on the board and works with boxers at the Circle of Discipline in Minneapolis, as well as at the Basement Gym in Northfield, MN. His The Quotable Kierkegaard was recently published by Princeton University Press. You can follow him on Twitter at @GordonMarino.

Special thanks to the Wall Street Journal.

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  1. peter 06:20pm, 03/12/2015

    A perfect graphic/painting/photo-shop for an excellent article!

  2. Steve 08:19am, 03/12/2015

    Manny in an unbelievable blow out. He will keep making Fraud work at Many’s pace. Fraud has gotten lazy lately.

  3. Eric 06:49pm, 03/11/2015

    Good thing the guy Roach is examining is a stiff. Freddy doesn’t exactly have the steadiest hands in the bidness, and he’s not the type of guy you want to have giving you a shave or trusting him to play heart surgeon. That barber in, “High Plains Drifter” and the Waco Kid had steadier hands than Freddie.

  4. Eric 06:33pm, 03/11/2015

    I thought Graziano was New York’s fighter.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 03:35pm, 03/11/2015

    Jim Crue- You got that right….I don’t know what fight Artie Aidala was watching in Emile’s first go round with Joey Archer….and here’s the thing….if any fighter should have been NYC’s fighter…it was Irish Joey Archer!

  6. Kid Blast 03:12pm, 03/11/2015

    I think it will be Bayless or maybe Weeks, Both are inclined to let fighters fight. Anyone else and I think you are correct Jim. Robert Byrd would be bad for Manny.

  7. Jim Crue 03:03pm, 03/11/2015

    The ref will have a huge role in this fight and I’m betting he will break them up quickly not allowing Manny to fight on the inside. Being that the fight is in LV the judges and ref will favor Floyd like the NYC officials favored Emile Griffith when he fought in the Garden. If we still had Davey Pearl or Mills Lane Manny would be allowed to fight inside. So goes boxing.

  8. Kid Blast 02:05pm, 03/11/2015

    “Roach has the highest respect for Mayweather’s art but is still confident that his man can defy the oddsmakers….” I’m not sure Roach has respect for anything but those close to him. \

    His mind games have gotten stale

  9. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:17am, 03/11/2015

    Floyd and Rigo both hit harder than they get credit for….in fact they both hit hard enough to cause their opponents to over think (actually, to think that this asshole just might KO me if I get too damn frisky) and forget their game plan and plan B, if they have one. Still there is no reason that Manny shouldn’t do better in there than Maidana. The Vegas judges will be favoring Floyd, so we sure as fuk don’t need a referee helping out!

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