Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum participated in an international media conference call on Wednesday to discuss Pacquiao’s upcoming WBO welterweight title defense against three-division world champion Shane Mosley on Saturday, May 7, at the sold out MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
What the participants had to say on Wednesday:
Freddie Roach: “Manny has had a great training camp. We’ve had our best start ever and Manny is really motivated for Shane Mosley. We started in the mountains in the first day of training and he’s been consistently trying to kill his body. He ran yesterday for an hour and 10 minutes. He’s just in great shape and this may be his best training camp we’ve ever had.”
There was an article comparing Manny’s legacy to the Celtics dynasty from their heyday. Freddie, do you consider Manny the Bill Russell of boxing?
FR: “I feel he is. I feel he’s done a few things that will never, ever be repeated. An eight-time world champion will never be touched. He’s definitely the Bill Russell of his era.”
Freddie, what are your thoughts on Naazim Richardson training Shane Mosley and what does he bring to the fight?
FR: “Naazim is a very good trainer, he’s experienced. He knows how to get to his fighters. He brings out the best in people – he did that with Bernard Hopkins. I think he’s a great trainer and it’s a great challenge for me to come up with a better game plan than he does. Again, he’s a very good trainer and I respect him a lot and that’s why I expect Shane to be at his best.”
Manny, when you look at Shane do you see a fighter that is on a downhill slope or do you think he can still summon some of his best?
Manny Pacquiao: “Shane Mosley is still very strong and he moves more like he’s 30 years old. He’s the kind of fighter who is bigger than me. Pound-for-pound he’s still good.”
You took a lot of punches in the Margarito fight. Did you do that to make it a fight or was it something Margarito was doing?
MP: “This fight is bigger than the Margarito fight because Mosley moves fast and he has good speed and power. That’s what I want. He throws a lot of punches. It will be good for us and it will be a good fight.”
Freddie, what were your thoughts on the Margarito fight and how many times he got hit?
FR: “The thing is I don’t think he gets hit on purpose – I don’t know anyone who gets hit on purpose. When you like to exchange and you like to throw punches you put yourself in harms way. That’s why Manny is the most exciting fighter in the world. I can’t take that away from him. He’s always liked to throw combinations and when you let your hands go you leave yourself open.
"When you’re an offensive-minded fighter you’re always going to have that other end. We’re going to go into this fight and we’re going to throw a lot of combinations and Shane is going to come back and it’s going to be an exciting fight.”
Freddie, why is this his best training camp?
FR: “Well, we’ve never had too many bad training camps. But since the start of the training camp he’s been motivated for Shane since day one. Usually it takes us a little while to get into the flow of training camp, but from day one he’s been on fire. I mean we did eight rounds of mitts in the first day of training camp and he hadn’t been in the gym since the last fight.
"We’ve just run out of room to go. He does 16 rounds a day on the mitts right now and I’m going to start holding him back a little bit. That’s the hardest part of Manny Pacquiao – slowing him down.”
Manny, what excites you about this fight?
MP: “I’m excited for this fight because Mosley can throw a lot of punches and he wants to fight toe-to-toe. Mosley, he’s former pound-for-pound champion and he’s a good fighter, and a comeback fighter also.”
What are you preparing for?
FR: “We’re 100 percent ready for the fight. If Mosley brings his best we’re ready for his best. I don’t think there is any room for an upset, but in boxing you never know. We’re 100 percent ready on our end. We’ve done everything we can to get ready for the fight.”
MP: “The same. We’ve trained hard for this fight and we’re ready for this fight.”
Are you prepared for the best Mosley?
FR: “We’re definitely looking at his best fights because we expect him to be at his best. The Margarito fight he looked great and Margarito has an aggressive style like Manny and that’s how we’ll attack him. It will be a little more scientific, of course, but we’re ready for the best Shane Mosley out there.”
MP: “We studied hard for this training camp and we applied different techniques and different styles in the ring. We’re ready to fight and I can adjust right away in the ring to whatever his style is.”
Manny, there were some reports of an upcoming fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. Can you talk about that?
MP: “I think that’s a question for Bob Arum. I’m just a fighter. My job is to train hard and to fight in the ring. I can fight anybody.”
Bob Arum: “Freddie and Manny are preparing for May 7 and we’re not looking past that.”
Mosley has always had a great chin. How important for you would it be to become someone that stops Mosley?
MP: “We’re not focused for the knockout. All we do is work hard and if the knockout comes, it comes. We’ve prepared ourselves for fighting 12 rounds.”
Freddie, how big of a deal would it be for Manny to be the first guy to score a knockout against Shane Mosley?
FR: “Shane’s a tough guy, a very durable guy. It would be incredible for Manny to be the first one to stop him and just prove to the world how much better he is than that guy that couldn’t stop him (Floyd Mayweather, Jr.). I think Manny will fight at a fast pace. I don’t know if he’ll (Mosley) be prepared to fight at that pace but we’re going to force the action and we’re going to go for it this time. If it comes, it comes. I think Manny is definitely the guy to do it.”
Freddy, what excites you about this fight?
FR: “Mosley brings speed, power and he has a good team behind him. I think we have a big challenge ahead of us. Manny is motivated and he’s motivated for a reason because of Shane Mosley. That means he respects him also. That’s what excites us about this fight. The first five rounds of this fight are very critical.
"The way we go about attacking Shane is going to have a lot of thought behind it. If you just walk into Shane and attack him you just walk into the fire. He’ll counterpunch the hell out of you and he has knockout power. It’s a big, big fight. If Manny can be the first one to stop him I think it would a feather in his camp.”
Do you think by your display of power that you have intimidated Floyd Mayweather or made him afraid to fight you?
MP: “It’s hard to judge him. I don’t know what the reason is. I really don’t have an idea. I can’t say something. We don’t know so it’s hard to judge him.”
Manny, do you ever reflect on your career?
MP: “When I think of what I have accomplished in boxing I’m amazed. It’s more than I ever dreamed. It’s kind of amazing, and it’s because of my hard work. But that’s my job – to work hard.”
What keeps you motivated to continue to work hard?
MP: “I’m motivated by my family and the boxing fans. I always motivated myself because this is my job and I have to train hard and work hard. I love to work hard. I’m always excited to train hard. I’m always motivated to train hard.
“Don’t miss this fight this coming Saturday. It’s going to be a great fight. That’s my goal, to give a good fight to the fans.”
BA: “On Saturday, don’t forget to watch an hour show on the Pacquiao-Mosley fight and event. This (Fight Camp 360°) program is a significant event because boxing returns to prime time terrestrial television with this one-hour program. Because of that it’s a real game changer. To find out the elements of both camps it’s a must, must see. It should be great entertainment.”
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Sugar Shane Mosley Promotions, Tecate and MGM Grand, the four-fight Mosley-Pacquiao pay-per-view extravaganza will be produced and distributed live on Showtime PPV.
Remaining closed circuit tickets, priced at $50, are on sale and available at all Las Vegas MGM Resorts properties.
The Pacquiao vs. Mosley pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $54.95, will be produced and distributed by Showtime PPV. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. For Pacquiao vs. Mosley fight week updates, log on to www.sports.SHO.com or www.toprank.com.