Trainers engage in verbal sparring ahead of megabout

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 30, 2015 3:20 PM

By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - While trash-talking by the two fighters has been at a bare minimum ahead of Saturday's welterweight showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, their trainers engaged in a war of words on Thursday.

Pacquiao's corner man, Freddie Roach, complained that the Mayweather camp had not yet submitted gloves for testing before his opposite number, Floyd Mayweather Sr., countered by saying that the Pacquiao camp was simply running scared.

Roach and Mayweather Sr. have got on like oil and water over the years and, hardly surprisingly, there was no eye contact between them as Roach ended his news conference and passed by Mayweather Sr. on the media center stage at the MGM Grand.

"I don't hate Floyd Mayweather Sr, I just hate his poems," Roach said of his fellow American, who frequently recites pithy poems about his fighters' opponents. "But he doesn't get under my skin."

Roach, who declared that he and Pacquiao had developed "a winning formula" to beat Mayweather Jr., was unhappy that their opponent's gloves had not yet been tested.

"I just asked the (Nevada Athletic) Commission if both gloves will be weighed," said Roach. "Their gloves are hand-made. I just want to make sure the weight is fair, but his gloves haven't showed up yet."

Mayweather Sr. scoffed when asked why his fighter's gloves had not been submitted.

"The gloves are not an issue because Manny has put on the same kind of gloves," said the 62-year-old trainer. "Fear, that's all it is.

"(The Pacquiao camp) keep talking about how scared Floyd was for five years, but they were scared. We weren't scared."

Mayweather Jr. will put a 47-0 professional record on the line against Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, and his father claimed the fight was as good as over.

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"I don't think it's going to be much of a fight, the fight is already won, trust me," he said, before adding that a knockout was on the cards. "It ain't going to be no sucker punch. It's going to be the real shot."

Roach predicted that Pacquiao would win on a 12-round decision.

"That's what my game plan is," said Roach. "If (Mayweather) stays in the pocket too long, he will get hit. If he wants to run, we will cut the ring off.

"I've been studying (Mayweather) for five years. I know a lot about him. I think we have a winning formula."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)