In the run up to Saturday's superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, nobody's talked more trash than Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach.
While Pacquiao typically doesn't offer a lot of bulletin board material, Roach has created more friction than sandpaper, relentlessly attacking Mayweather in an effort to get under his skin. Either way, Roach, who trained Oscar De la Hoya for a similarly hyped superfight against Mayweather in 2007, has landed his own blows the last few months.
De La Hoya came close to beating Mayweather in that fight, maybe closer than anyone's come to taking "Money" Mayweather and his spotless record down. But the fight ended in a split decision and Mayweather now brings a 47-0 record into Las Vegas this weekend.
"Mayweather may be two victories shy of tying Rocky Marciano's record, but I can assure you Mayweather's party will end on May 2 and Marciano's record will remain just that — the record," Roach has said. "And Mayweather will forever be known as Mr. 47 and 1.”
The battle plan this time around is for Pacquiao to strike and get out of the way before Mayweather, a gifted defensive fighter, can counter with the heavy stuff. Part of Roach's blueprint is to not get pulled into the corners against Mayweather.
Roach, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, has also trained former UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre, World Champion Miguel Cotto, and WBC Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. A former fighter, Roach is among the best trainers the sport has ever seen.
He's also pretty good at launching verbal rockets at Mayweather. Here are some of his most cutting statements leading up to this weekend’s festivities:
"Floyd's boring. I've been to a couple of his fights live, and they were absolutely terrible. Somebody told me he knocked out Zab Judah today. Who cares? Zab Judah’s older than me."
"I did get a report from one of my friends in Mexico that one of (Mayweather's) young Mexican boys beat the shit out of him two days in a row."
"Floyd is so disrespectful. Manny is the perfect role model for this fight and Mayweather is not. I told Manny we've got to beat him for the whole world. There's no way we can't win this fight."
"Manny will be performing a public service for boxing when he beats Floyd."
"Floyd's legs don't move like they once did. He's very clever but the fight is so big he may feel like he has to take a risk and exchange with us. If he does that, that's the best thing in the world for Manny in my mind."
"He's been ducking us for three and a half years now. He's shot. His legs are gone. He’s not even a fighter anymore. He's all done."
When Mayweather was late to a media workout in April, Roach saw the chance to unload on his opponent again.
"He was late for his media workout, leaving major media outlets scheduled to go live with dead air. How selfish is that? It doesn't take a lot to figure out why everyone is rooting for Manny. Just look at which fighter has the most endorsements going into this fight and why. When Manny beats Mayweather, it won't only be about unifying the welterweight titles, it will also be a public service to boxing."
Roach has even gone after Mayweather's dad and trainer, Floyd Sr.
"Going against Floyd Sr. is a little disappointing. He just isn't very good, especially during the fight itself. One of our advantages is having him in the other corner."
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