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'Mayweather will never face Pacquiao'

ESPN staff
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Freddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao could retire after Timothy Bradley fight

Floyd Mayweather will never face Manny Pacquiao because he doesn't want to risk losing his undefeated status, according to the Filipino's trainer Freddie Roach.

The two have previously come close to securing what would have been the richest fight in boxing history, only for negotiations to fall apart.

"It looked close two years ago but I don't think Floyd will take the chance now," Roach said in the Daily Mail.

"Floyd's main concern has become keeping that 0 [for zero losses] on his record. I don't see him taking any real risk of losing that before the end of next year, when he says he's retiring.

"It's not that he's afraid of Manny. No fighters are scared of anybody in the world. It's just that he believes if he goes out undefeated he will be seen as better than greats like Sugar Ray Robinson, who had losses on their records.

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Manny Pacquiao fights Timothy Bradley on Saturday © Getty Images
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"Manny and Floyd should have happened a couple of years ago when both were in their prime. Mayweather wanted the fight then. Later when we put them on the phone together Floyd said he wanted blood testing and 60 per cent of the money.

"Manny said yes to both but then we never heard back from Floyd again."

As Pacquiao, 35, gets set for Saturday's rematch against Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Roach has hinted retirement could be looming on the horizon for his fighter.

Mayweather, 37, will take on Marcos Maidana at the same venue in May, in the third bout of his $300 million six-fight contract with the Showtime cable TV network.

But Roach said: "Down the years, no matter what the issues, if two fighters really want to fight each other they make it happen. Manny will fight anyone but Floyd is two years older and thinking about that record of his.

"Also we all get older and the first sign of aging in a fighter is that his legs go a little. After he got hit a lot by Miguel Cotto he said that he decided to stand and trade because he wanted to give more excitement to his fans. I don't think so. He got caught because he can no longer move around the ring as quickly as before."

Roach admits he is unsurprised Mayweather opted for Maidana instead of the faster Amir Khan, and expects similarly sensible choices for his remaining three fights, one of which takes place in September and the other two next year.

But it is believed Mayweather will attempt to equal Rocky Marciano's record of retiring unbeaten after 49 fights, which gives Roach hope he might take on Pacquiao in a grand finale.

"It would be great if Floyd and Manny met in what could be the last fight for both of them," Roach added.

"Down the years all the great fights which were supposed to happen did happen. Sometimes sooner, sometimes, usually because the fighters demanded it.

"Those are the fights for which they are best remembered. But it looks like in the future people will look back and ask why these two never fought each other."

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