Thursday, April 23, 2009 | midnight
- Preﬁght hype in full swing (4-20-2009)
- Hatton-Pacquiao: Sideshow battle continues (4-17-2009)
- Calling all fight fans (4-17-2009)
- Pacquiao, Hatton hit Hollywood (3-31-2009)
- Pacquiao named fighter of the year (3-27-2009)
- Hatton’s got confidence cornered (3-7-2009)
- Fun has begun for Hatton-Pacquiao bout (3-5-2009)
The more intriguing match may actually take place outside the ring at the MGM Grand on May 2.
While the two boxers taking part in the megafight at the Las Vegas casino have been about as cordial as possible in their dealings with the press, their trainers have exchanged verbal barbs on almost a daily basis.
A teleconference with international media members on Wednesday saw another battle in Freddie Roach and Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s escalating war of words — this time the two former boxers took it all the way back to their days in the ring.
“I most definitely was the better fighter than Freddie Roach," said Mayweather Sr, who trains Ricky Hatton and posted a pro record of 29-6-1 with 19 knockouts.
"I got a (fight) poster with Freddie on my undercard."
Not to be outdone, the normally more-reserved Roach, who posted a career mark of 39-13 with 15 KOs, fired right back at Mayweather.
"You got shot and it ruined your career,” joked Roach of Mayweather, who suffered a shotgun blast to his leg.
“I fought on TV more."
Roach — Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, who last week sent Hatton a box with weight loss pills inside, poking fun at the Brit who is known to enjoy beers and fattening foods in between training camps — may have got the best blow in when he said Roger Mayweather, not Floyd is responsible for Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s tremendous success.
“Floyd made his son but Roger made him a boxer,” Roach said.
Wasting little time, Roach hit him with another flurry, saying he wanted Mayweather Sr. to present him with his third trainer-of-the-year award.
“I want you to present me the ... award this year. This is as close as you'll get to it," Roach said. "You're never going to win it. Ever."
Mayweather fired back with his trademark “Freddie the Joke Coach Roach” line.
“I’m in your head,” Mayweather said, taunting Roach.
But Roach kept his cool, briefly, replying: “I’m not fighting you, Manny is fighting Ricky.”
“I want you Freddie,” Mayweather said.
“Come get me, you know where I am,” Roach replied.
Finally Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer stepped in telling the trainers to save their fireworks for fight night.
When the trash talk did finally get back to the actual fighters, Roach said that even though Hatton is fighting at 140-pounds, a weight in which the IBO and Ring Magazine junior welterweight champ has never lost at, that Pacquiao will be just as strong.
“Manny has KO’d four sparring partners out of seven. He’s looking good at this weight,” Roach said.
“Hatton will be heavier at fight time but that doesn’t make him stronger. I have the stronger fighter, I guarantee that.”
Mayweather countered that Hatton will push the action, forcing Pacquiao to fight while backing up.
“Ricky will definitely back him up. He can’t fight backing up, he’s no Muhammad Ali,” Mayweather said.
When the subject turned back to the fake gift Roach sent last week, Mayweather said, "You tried to be my friend."
Roach replied, "I don't want to be your friend."
Mayweather blasted back, "You really won't want to be my friend after May 2."
Andy Samuelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-948-7837.