Pacquiao's hand speed will earn win, says Roach

Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:49pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Superior hand speed will give Manny Pacquiao a decisive edge over American Floyd Mayweather in their heavily anticipated megafight in Las Vegas next week, says the Filipino southpaw's trainer Freddie Roach.

Mayweather will go into the May 2 welterweight showdown as the favorite in his bid to improve on a perfect 47-0 record as a professional, but Roach is confident that underdog Pacquiao will emerge triumphant on points after the 12 scheduled rounds.

"I know he (Mayweather) is a good fighter but I just think I have the better fighter," Roach told Reuters before overseeing a shadow boxing session by Pacquiao at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.

"Hand speed is going to be a big, big difference in this fight and Manny is much quicker than he is."

Roach, who has guided Pacquiao to world championships in eight weight divisions and a 57-5-2 career record with 38 knockouts, said that he had no concerns about the threat posed by 11-time world champion Mayweather.

"I don't think he can really hurt Manny so I am not worried about that so much," smiled the shrewd Roach, a former featherweight and lightweight boxer who ended his own career in the ring at the age of 26 with a decent 41-13 record.

"Mayweather has a good right hand but I don't think he can knock Manny out with that right hand. I don't think he can move like he used to because his legs aren't what they were, and that's the first thing to go in a fighter."

Roach, who has often been remarkably accurate with his pre-fight predictions, expects the May 2 bout to last the full 12 rounds.   Continued...

Mar 11, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Manny Pacquiao during a press conference to announce his fight with Floyd Mayweather fight on May 2, 2015 at Los Angeles. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports