ARLINGTON, Texas – Manny Pacquiao could retire if he defeats Antonio Margarito on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium, trainer Freddie Roach said. But Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum threw water on the notion.
Speaking to reporters prior to a news conference at the stadium on Wednesday in advance of Saturday's World Boxing Council super welterweight title bout, Roach said there would be nothing left for the Filipino congressman to accomplish if a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is unable to be made.
A match between Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. would pit the top two fighters in the world in a bout that would likely set boxing single-event revenue and pay-per-view records. Mayweather faces charges in connection with a domestic violence incident in Las Vegas and could face up to 34 years in prison if convicted.
If Pacquiao defeats Margarito and wins a title in his eighth weight class, Roach said it would be the right time to say goodbye to boxing and concentrate on his political career.
"I think this could be it," Roach said. "Where else do we have to go? Paul Williams and those 160-pounders? I'd be totally satisfied if this were his last fight if he goes out and does what he's supposed to do. I'd be very happy with eight world titles. I'd have no problem with him retiring after this fight. Without Mayweather, there is no challenge."
Arum has suggested that Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto would be potential opponents for Pacquiao should a Mayweather fight not be made.
Roach, however, dismissed Mosley as a possible opponent. Mosley was routed by Mayweather in May and looked very ordinary in a draw against Sergio Mora in September. Pacquiao has gone 1-0-1 against Marquez in fights at featherweight and junior lightweight and stopped Cotto in a one-sided welterweight fight.
"Who cares about Mosley?" Roach said. "He's another guy who needs to retire. Shane's had his day."
Pacquiao and Roach have a very close relationship, and the fighter often refers to Roach as "my master." But Arum said Roach doesn't have influence when it comes to if – or when – Pacquiao fights.
"You have to realize, Manny doesn't confide in Freddie in that regard," Arum said. "I've already been in discussions with his people about how much longer he's going to fight and in what months. We're already working on that. This isn't going to be his last fight."
Roach was sitting to Pacquiao's right on a stage after the news conference ended. When a reporter asked Pacquiao if he'd quit, as Roach suggested he should, Pacquiao cast a quizzical glance over at Roach.
"No, I'm still going to fight," Pacquiao said, smiling. "I'm not retiring."
Roach is angry
Margarito trainer Robert Garcia made what sounded like a half-hearted apology to Roach after a video appeared on the Internet showing Margarito, Garcia and lightweight contender Brandon Rios mocking Roach's Parkinson's disease.
"I told Brandon Rios that people thought we were making fun of people with that disease, and he said, 'What disease? I don't know what disease you're talking about,' " Garcia said. "…It was nothing personal, and it had nothing to do with his disease. I just want to make that clear."
Roach, though, wasn't buying the apology. He said he first saw the video late Tuesday and had difficulty sleeping as a result.
"He's not a classy guy … He's not a good guy. That's all I have to say," Roach said of Garcia.
Arum called the video "classless," but said he was powerless to stop it.
"You have these uneducated guys and sometimes, stuff like that comes out," Arum said. "It's unfortunate, but it's something that happens once in a while."
Not that heavy
The weight limit for the bout is 150 pounds, but Pacquiao said he expects to weigh 148. He said one of the reasons he struggled early in camp was because he tried to put on weight and, as a result, lost a lot of his speed.
Margarito is nearly five inches taller, but Pacquiao is significantly quicker. He said he wanted to enhance that edge by finding the weight at which he'd be big enough to withstand Margarito's assault, but quick enough to cause him problems.
He said he feels 148 is the figure.
"His height is an advantage, but you have to apply it properly," Pacquiao said. "My speed is an advantage, but I have to do the right things."