Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said Wednesday he's not sure Floyd Mayweather's heart is in his long-awaited showdown with the Filipino icon on Saturday.From AFP
Trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr, WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach pose during a news conference at the KA Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on April 29, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Getty)
"I wonder if he's going to show up," Roach said of Mayweather, who brings an unblemished 47-0 record to a bout that will shatter financial records for a prize fight.
But even though the fight has been more than five years in the making, and has sparked a frenzy of anticipation worldwide, Roach said Mayweather's uncharacteristically subdued demeanour in the build-up was puzzling.
"At the press conference in Los Angeles, I said we were going to kick his ass and I didn't get a response," Roach recalled of his efforts to provoke Mayweather at the March press conference to launch the bout.
"I don't think any fighter is afraid," Roach added. "I think he was forced into this fight. I don't think he wants to fight this fight. He didn't get to pick his opponent."
Roach was speaking to a huddle of reporters prior to the last official press conference before Saturday's bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It's just the second public face-to-face for the fighters long considered the best pound-for-pound of their generation.
On Tuesday, in a break with recent tradition, they feted fans at separate rallies in Las Vegas.
After his slick appearance at the MGM, Mayweather acknowledged that the money mattered - an expected $200 million pay day for him - more than closing in further on Rocky Marciano's iconic 49-0 ring record.
The 38-year-old Michigan native acknowledged he was already looking ahead to retiring later this year, after Saturday's bout and one more in September to complete his six-fight contract with telecaster Showtime.
In contrast the 36-year-old Pacquiao, who brings a record of 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts to the bout, says he goes into the fight with more focus than he's felt in years.
It's up to Roach to mastermind Pacquiao's bid for a victory that the fighter hopes will inspire his countrymen.
And the wily trainer thinks he knows the key to breaking through against the supreme ringcraft of Mayweather.
"I think we have more speed, more power and I think we're 100 percent ready for what he brings to the table."
Nor is Roach intimidated by Mayweather's unbeaten record and reputation as a consummate defensive fighter.
"I'm not really impressed with people that are undefeated," Roach said.
"I think losses make you a better person and a better fighter. You learn much more from a loss than you do from a win."