Over 300 media from around the globe flocked to Wild Card Boxing Club to ask the trio about Pacquiao’s May 2 welterweight world championship unification battle against undefeated FLOYD “Money” MAYWEATHER JR. (47-0, 26 KOs), at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc., the live pay-per-view telecast will be co-produced and co-distributed by SHOWTIME PPV® and HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
What Pacquiao, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said Wednesday:
MANNY PACQUIAO, Eight-Division World Champion
“I feel very excited for the fight.
“I have a lot of sparring partners that are similar to Floyd’s fighting style, we have done well. We know what to expect.
“I have watched tape on Floyd to make sure that our strategy and technique in training camp is correct.
“My entire career defines my legacy; I have already accomplished great achievements in my career while excelling in different weight divisions. This fight is an additional achievement in my career; it’s the biggest fight in boxing history.
“I can say that beating Floyd would be the biggest victory of my career.
“More people are interested and informed about this fight now than they would’ve been five years ago.
“Style wise, I am the same fighter I was five years ago. My determination, inspiration and killer instinct is the exact same as it was five or six years ago.
“For me, boxing is my passion. I enjoy boxing and giving honor to my country of the Philippines. My concern is to bring an exciting fight to my fans. My first concern going into every fight is how will be to be able to entertain my fans, give them enjoyment and make them happy.
“The reason I am so loved by fans is because of my reckless style of fighting. People like exciting fights with actual punches being thrown.”
BOB ARUM, Top Rank CEO
“Manny is motivated, he’s ready for the fight. I expect a great performance from him.
“It’s a very interesting fight because Floyd is a defensive specialist who has a good right hand and picks off his opponents. He’s an extraordinarily good fighter.
“Pacquiao’s strength is speed, particularly his foot speed and the fact that he throws so many punches and attacks from low angles. He really hits harder than Floyd does, so that’s really what it’s going to be about.
“Floyd has a different defense than Juan Manuel Marquez. His defense is primarily his shoulder roll. A lot of his defense is geared against a right handed fighter. With that said, I think Manny is going to surprise a lot of people with how he is going to be able to reach Floyd.
“I would say Manny is more motivated for this fight than any other fight I’ve seen him prepare for.
“I’m looking forward to May 2. I love Manny’s chances of winning, that’s the main thing. He looks great, he’s motivated, no nonsense, and I think he’s going to put on a performance for the ages. It’s going to be hard for him to top his performance against Oscar De La Hoya, but I think he will in this fight.”
FREDDIE ROACH, Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame Trainer
“We have a great idea of when and where we are going to attack Mayweather.
“This fight was five years in the making. Promoters should realize that these types of fights are what’s best for boxing and we should have more fights like this. I’m not surprised by the hype surrounding the fight.
“Manny has really raised the bar in this training camp. He’s a different Manny Pacquiao than I have seen him going into previous training camps. He is punching so much harder in training for this camp.
“Manny is better than ever, his attitude is different and I’ve never seen him work this hard. His speed is faster, his punches are harder. I’m really happy where he’s at. His legs look great; he’s on his toes all the time.
“Mayweather is a good counter-puncher, but Manny has faster hands and his combinations are better than Floyd’s.
“Both fighters have great experience, so I don’t believe that will be a factor in the fight. The biggest thing is that each fighter comes in with a different style. Floyd is a counter-puncher but Manny must be the one to enforce the fight.
“I believe that Manny being a southpaw will be a factor in this fight. Manny showed me tape of Floyd fighting a southpaw and told me that that is exactly what we are going to do in this fight.
“I can tell how much this fight means to Manny because he has watched tape on Floyd. Manny has never watched tape on any fighter before.
“Since Manny moved to 147 he hasn’t knocked many guys out, so getting the knockout in this fight isn’t a concern for me. If Manny fights at 140, then he does knock guys out, but at this weight he is fighting guys who are bigger than him.
“Floyd may be a bigger guy, but we will still win the fight.
“This fight is much bigger than when Manny fought Oscar De La Hoya. Manny is a different person going into this fight. He hit me so hard the other day that I believe it’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit by a fighter who I’m training.
“I don’t believe that Floyd ever wanted this fight, he was forced to take it by the public and the media. I wouldn’t be surprised if Floyd pulled out now.”