Freddie Roach dispatched his oldest brother, Al, to New York to collect the famed trainer’s seventh Eddie Futch trainer of the year award at Friday night’s Boxing Writers’ Assn. of American dinner in New York.
Roach said Friday he’s received assurance from his top fighter, Manny Pacquiao, that award No. 8 is coming.
Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) is scheduled to break camp at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on Monday, then head to Las Vegas, where he’ll fight unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0) in a bout expected to shatter boxing revenue records May 2 at MGM Grand.
“What would be most special is No. 8, and Manny says, ‘You’ll win that next year, because I’m going to knock Mayweather out,’” Roach said.
“I’ve never heard Manny be so bold. I was really happy he said that to me.”
Pacquiao, who hasn't knocked out an opponent since stopping Miguel Cotto by TKO in 2009, uttered the prediction Thursday.
“I like where my fighter is right now. He’s in the perfect condition to fight this guy,” Roach said. “He’s faster than ever, punching harder than ever. So explosive right now. Ever since this fight was announced, he’s at a different level. He’s trained very hard. I’ve never seen him better.”
Mayweather and his trainer-father Floyd Sr., have repeatedly said they’re preparing as if May 2 is just another fight.
“I feel like they don’t want to be here, I feel they were forced into this fight by Showtime,” Roach said. “I really don’t think he wants this fight. He was forced into it by the public, the press and by Showtime.”
Roach helped coordinate the meeting between CBS President and Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum that helped push the bout toward reality.
“All of our wishes came true,” Roach said.
For Friday’s BWAA dinner, Roach said he told his brother to keep the acceptance speech short. The trainer said he was proud of the honor, given that it’s named after his own former trainer, who trained Joe Frazier and several others.
Roach’s 2014 award came after Pacquiao dominated Timothy Bradley in April, then knocked down previously unbeaten Chris Algieri six times in their November bout in Macao.
Additionally, Roach trained Cotto to a summer middleweight world title victory over Sergio Martinez.
Cotto is training each morning at Wild Card, Roach said, in preparation for a June 6 title defense at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center against Daniel Geale.
“He’s been here three weeks, we can’t wait for his next big fight,” Roach said, alluding to a possible late fall bout against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
As for Roach, who suffers with Parkinson’s, he said his back has been bothering him recently.
“There’s some pain,” he said. “Nothing I can’t deal with.”