MANILA, Philippines—Freddie Roach is convinced that Manny Pacquiao won’t be stepping in the ring for the rest of the year.
The Hall of Fame trained said in a BoxingScene.com report that Pacquiao is too occupied with his role as a Senator in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and that staging a fight in the times won’t be a possibility.
“He won’t fight this year,” said Roach in the report.
Mikey Garcia remains to be the pick of the Hall of Fame trainer for Pacquiao’s possible next opponent, but a fight likely won’t happen until the pandemic is over.
Pacquiao (62-7-2) hasn’t fought since he took a split decision win over Keith Thurman in July 2019 for the WBA (Super) World welterweight title.
Garcia (40-1), meanwhile, last fought in February 2020 taking a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas for the vacant WBC Diamond welterweight belt.
“He will fight again, I feel, and from when I’ve talked to him, he wants to fight once or twice more,” said Roach. “But the thing is, it could be anywhere from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, anywhere. They were talking about Mikey Garcia and I said, ‘Yeah, that’s the perfect fight for Manny.’ But I don’t think we’ll really know until this [pandemic] is over.”
The Hall of Fame coach added that Pacquiao is more concerned with the welfare of his family than go into talks of a fight.
Roach pointed out that Pacquiao has been staying at home with his family.
“He told me that [the pandemic is] worse there [the Philippines] than it is here,” Roach said. “He can’t leave the house because he’s a senator, and his kids are all in the house. It’s just a bad time for maybe everybody at this point.”
If Roach sees Pacquiao in a potential match against Garcia, the eight-division World champion’s former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank plans a super fight versus WBO welterweight titleholder Terrence Crawford.
According to ESPN’s Steve Kim reported that Arum is optimistic of a Pacquiao-Crawford bout in 2021.
Roach, however, sees a match against Crawford as less than imminent.
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