It’s not too much of a stretch to compare Coach Freddie Roach with a renegade Republican presidential candidate.
Like Libertarian minded GOP longshot Ron Paul, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer shoots from the hip and eschews politically correct gibberish.
So I was not surprised Thursday at Chelsea Piers by Roach’s answer when I asked if his prized pupil could afford to just barely beat young, undefeated upstart Tim Bradley.
“No, he can’t,” Roach said. “Yes, I do think Manny needs to dominate, to get a knockout on June 9. We can’t keep saying Manny is the pound for pound king of boxing unless he does that.
“But this isn’t like (Shane) Mosley or (Antonio) Margarito because Manny carried those two guys. He can KO this guy and I really want to see him dominate the fight.
“He just needs to dominate in this particular fight.”
I asked Roach, who said the Pacman training “fell apart” in its final weeks before the disappointing albeit winning November trilogy bout against Juan Manuel Marquez, what he thought of Mann’ys new religious devotion. Pacquiao clutches his white, engraved Bible and told me he studies from same at least twice daily.
“He’s always had a Bible around,” Roach said, “but now he’s reading it. I think it’s made his relationship with his wife stronger. This just came naturally, I think, to Manny. I think it’s a good thing for him and for his boxing.”
Roach likes the cut of Bradley’s jib and views him as a spoiler coming to fight as competitively as possible.
“I see him as a guy who had a tough childhood,” Roach said. “I think his father raised him to be rough and tough like my father did with me and my brothers. I think he was, like we were, taught not to show pain. I don’t think he got anything handed to him as a kid and I think it’s made him a tough person now.”
Roach admitted all the pressure is on Pacman who will be a prohiobitive favorite.
“Tim Bradley’s got nothing to lose,” Roach said.
The subject of a possible Floyd Mayweather-Pacquiao bout is starting to bore him, the Boston born trainer said.
“When Mayweather called Manny on the phone, I thought then it might happen. But then Mayweather wanted to keep all the pay per view TV money. I am convinced now Floyd doesn’t want the fight. I’m really getting tired of the subject.”
As for an actual Mayweather bout, the May 5 one with Miguel Cotto, Roach sees Mayweather’s speed as being too much for the Puerto Rican veteran.
“The speed and the boxing ability will be a big difference,” Roach said. “I think Cotto’s been declining ever since Magarito beat him up so badly. Hes’ really a bit on the downside at this point.
“I think Mayweather may even stop Miguel now.”