Freddie Roach And Floyd Mayweather: A Rivalry Made For Boxing History

Justin Tate@justindavidtateCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2011

Freddie Roach has the most determined eyes of any trainer to beat Mayweather.
Freddie Roach has the most determined eyes of any trainer to beat Mayweather.Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

On May 5th 2007, Floyd Mayweather stepped up to fight the biggest fight of his life against Oscar De La Hoya.

When a fighter, especially a legend, loses, fans and commentators often look to the trainer.

Oscar's trainer for the fight as none other than the legendary Freddie Roach.

Freddie Roach has helped his fighters take home victory after victory. His only major unavenged blemish in the 21st century comes from sending Oscar De La Hoya into battle against Mayweather. Roach would likely enjoy sending Manny Pacquiao, his best and brightest student in to fight Floyd Mayweather, but that fight has yet to come into being.

Freddie Roach believes himself to be unsure the fight will ever happen because of the alleged fear he sees in Mayweather.

Mayweather is perceived by Roach to only take fights in which he has a perceived great advantage from the outset. Roach could use this to his own advantage if he truly believes Mayweather to be afraid of great opposition.

Freddie Roach currently trains three other fighters, besides Manny Pacquiao, all within two weight classes up or down from Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Roach has been said to be the best trainer of our time. That means the young and ready to rumble fighters he has for Mayweather should be all he needs to out-think the intelligent boxer.

Felix Sturm

 Felix Sturm is the current WBA middleweight (160 lbs) world champion. He's held on to this title by fighting mostly European fighters over the past three years since April 2007.

Freddie Roach just took over training him last year.

Sturm has fought one fight with him as his trainer so far. He won by unanimous decision. What that means toward his career is unknown at this time.

What is known is that Felix Sturm has only 14 knockouts out of 34. This is will be attractive to Floyd Mayweather as it means that Sturm is not a knockout artist. Sturm moves slower than Mayweather and hardly punches. With a limited amount of punches coming his way, Mayweather can defend easily and use his greater speed to land counter-punches to cruise to a unanimous decision.

This is the image Freddie Roach and camp want to paint at the negotiation table. Secretly during the training camp, I imagine Freddie Roach would develop Sturm into a more aggressive fighter for this battle.

Mayweather doesn't press the action in a fight. When another defensive fighter gets in the ring with Mayweather, that fighter has to press the action to produce any sort of fireworks. Sturm is 5'11, three inches taller than Mayweather. With a slightly longer reach, Sturm could hurt Mayweather with his size advantage.

Say what you will about Mayweather, he doesn't fight at a catchweight. If he fights Sturm, he'll likely move up to middleweight (160 lbs). That means a 156 or 157 pound Mayweather could slow down a hair to get touched more easily by Sturm.

Age is also in play. Sturm is 31. Mayweather is turning 34 next month. By the time the two fight, Mayweather may have become slower than he realizes, making him easier prey for Sturm and Roach.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

He is the son of a legendary boxer.

He unfortunately is not a legendary boxer.

His record includes 41 wins and zero losses and a draw. The fact that Chavez has not faced elite competition, yet has a huge undefeated record and even larger Mexican fanbase foolish enough to buy a ppv of Chavez against Mayweather, is all Mayweather needs to sign up for this match.

Roach will have to work with Chavez a lot to make this work out well. The boy is very green skill-wise, but Chavez's size advantage and youth against Mayweather will help.

Chavez is almost ten years younger than Mayweather. He's also five inches taller and has a two inch reach advantage. Chavez also fights at 154, a weight Mayweather has visited only once, making Chavez the naturally more comfortable fighter at that weight. He has the tools, just needs the plan, which Roach surely will have.

Amir Khan

After suffering a first round knockout loss, Amir Khan set out to be helped by the best trainer available.

In comes Freddie Roach, who improved his chin, strength, and technique with the help of conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.

Now Khan dominates much of his division. He has his eyes set on the number one 140 pound fighter. To do that, he will have to go through the winner of the Devon Alexander/Timothy Bradley math-up. Then he feels he'll be ready for Mayweather.

Khan has expressed interests in Mayweather unlike the other fighters I've mentioned here. Roach once said he has two fighters who can beat Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan.

Mayweather may take the match because of Khan's popularity in the U.K. (and not to mention Khan's sandcastle chin) Mayweather loves the United Kingdom and has mentioned in previous interviews that he's always wanted to fight there.

What better fighter to go against in Great Britain than the most popular British fighter still boxing right now?

What Roach will likely do, is count on 34-year-old Mayweather to have significantly gotten slower. The quick 24-year-old Khan also appears to have more punching power. That may help expose Mayweather's suspect chin that Mosley tested in their match and almost aced until Mayweather defended well and came back.

That's one issue Roach will have to conquer, Mayweather's defense. Even as he ages, his ring intelligence proves to be ever-lasting and possibly growing. 

At the very least, Khan must continually back Mayweather into a corner in order to score a unanimous decision victory.

Roach's stable has the tools and his brain has the plan.

Mayweather's mouth has grown huge, many salivate at a chance to shut it.

His record has grown long and is starting to skip.

Mayweather has often repeated that he is 41-"0", but Roach may be the only man with the plan to take it from him.

The following are links to more articles by this writer (they'll open in a new window):

Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather: Why They Should Train Against Manny Pacquiao?

Sergio Martinez: Can "Maravilla" Obtain the Legacy of Marvelous Marvin Hagler?

Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley: No Boxing For Old Men

Timothy Bradley Vs. Devon Alexander and the Ten Most Anticipated Fights of 2011

Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach and the Plan to Floyd Mayweather Jr.


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