LAS VEGAS – If Freddie Roach will have his way, he doesn’t want Manny Pacquiao touching gloves with any of his opponents inside the ring.
Especially against someone as sneaky as Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Roach was quick to caution his 36-year-old Filipino protégé from repeatedly touching gloves with Mayweather during the course of their 12-round welterweight title unification match as the American is capable of taking advantage even of the slightest opening.
“He’s done it before so I told him not to trust this guy,” said Roach of Mayweather.
“It’s not the first time, believe me, he did it, “said the seven-time Trainer of the Year, obviously alluding to the fate suffered by former World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight title holder Victor Ortiz against Mayweather and his ring antics.
During their 2013 title encounter, the 28-year-old part-time actor committed the mistake of trying to touch gloves with Mayweather while coming off a clinch. As the native of Oxnard, California lowered his guard, Floyd Jr. let loose a solid right that found its mark on the jaw of Ortiz.
Stunned and shaken, Ortiz failed to get up and was counted out by referee Joe Cortez at the 2:59 mark of the fourth round, allowing Mayweather to win wrest the WBC version of the 147-lbs title belt.
Roach doesn’t want Pacquiao to suffer the same embarrassment especially in a fight of this magnitude. But knowing Pacquiao, all he can do is simply caution the boxing champion not to be too friendly with Mayweather once they’re the only ones left inside the ring.
“That’s Manny choice. I don’t like that (touching gloves) too much because I don’t think they’re friends,” he said.
“But that’s Manny’s style. He’ll probably touch gloves.”