- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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When Floyd Mayweather Jr. was facing Miguel Cotto on May 5 in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao – who boxing fans around the world want to see Mayweather fight – was arriving in Los Angeles on his flight from the Philippines with trainer Freddie Roach to begin the second part of his training camp.
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) returned to Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club on Monday to continue training for his title defense against junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. (28-0, 12 KOs) on June 9 (HBO PPV) at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, which also hosted Mayweather-Cotto.
After Mayweather outpointed Cotto to win a junior middleweight belt, Mayweather, who is headed to jail for an 87-day sentence on June 1, talked about a possible retirement.
Few believe Mayweather will retire and, given how much money he makes with each fight and the fact that he remains at the top of his game, it is unlikely that he will. But Pacquiao, at least, said he has no intention of retiring at this point.
“I saw the Mayweather-Cotto fight,” said Pacquiao, who must have seen it on a DVR or DVD. “It was a good fight and everyone [the fans] was happy. I have no opinion on Mayweather’s plans to retire. That’s his decision. A very personal decision.
“I’m glad to be back at Freddie’s gym. I have no plans to retire. I still love what I’m doing. Freddie and I had a good camp in the Philippines and we are ready to work very hard in preparation for Timothy Bradley. Bradley is strong, undefeated and young. I have a great deal of respect for his talents and his accomplishments."
Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division champion, wasted no time getting back into the training groove. He began his first day of training in Hollywood with a 6:45 a.m. run from Griffith Park up the Hollywood Hills to the landmark Hollywood sign. According to publicist Fred Sternburg, Pacquiao shaved a minute off his personal-best time, running the 3.5-mile course in 22 minutes.
Then Pacquiao worked out for three hours with Roach at Wild Card, going 10 rounds on the mitts followed by two hours of conditioning and hitting the bags.
“We are on a steady pace to get Manny to where he will peak on June 9,” Roach said. “We built a good base to build on in our training in the Philippines. Now it’s time for the hard work and the strategy.”
Roach, who badly wants to see Pacquiao and Mayweather face each other, said he did not see Mayweather-Cotto. Roach continues to believe Mayweather is ducking Pacquiao.
“I did not see the Mayweather-Cotto fight but I do know that Floyd’s slippery defense is now better outside the ring than inside the ring. But that is the path he has chosen,” Roach said.
“Would Manny beat Floyd? You bet. The way to beat Floyd is to outwork him every minute of every round. Manny is the only fighter capable of executing that game plan. Activity kills Mayweather. You need to stay busy against him and not let him dictate the pace by slowing down the fight. Southpaws are his other weakness. Manny is just a bad combination for Floyd to fight. If it would bring Floyd into the ring, I’d agree to have Manny fight him right-handed.”