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Roach says Crawford camp waited for Pacquiao to get old

Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford

MANILA, Philippines – Unified super lightweight champion Terence Crawford may have gotten a shot at Manny Pacquiao had his camp aggressively pursued the fight sooner.

That is the belief of Pacquiao’s longtime trainer Freddie Roach, who said that his 38-year-old prized ward is now too old to fight the younger Crawford.

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In an interview with Marcos Villegas of FightHub, the bespectacled trainer shared his thoughts about Pacquiao taking on the dangerous 29-year-old Crawford.

“Well that’s a big fight but I also want him to fight Manny Pacquiao...Do we fight at ’40 (super lightweight) or do we fight at ’47 (welterweight)? I’d like to see Manny go down to ‘40 for that fight because Manny has much more firepower at ‘40 than he does at ’47,” Roach explained.

Pacquiao currently campaigns in the welterweight division, while Crawford has unified the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO super lightweight titles. A few years ago, there had been talk about pitting them against each other in a showdown.

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But that fight never materialized, and Roach said it might already be too late.

“But it’s been a long time and Manny is 38 years old and he’s like 22 and competition-wise, it’s getting to the point where it’s very difficult to be in with the younger generations,” the multi-awarded cornerman continued.

Indeed, Pacquiao’s age showed in his most recent outing wherein he struggled against a much-younger Jeff Horn, losing to the Australian in their July 2 fight in Brisbane, Australia. The Filipino icon appeared to be a shell of his former self as he found difficulty in dealing with Horn’s rough tactics during their 12-round bout.

With what he saw in Pacquiao that day against Horn, Roach believes his fighter is too old to keep up with a young gun like Crawford, whom he said should’ve pressed harder for a fight with Pacquiao years ago.

“And uh, not to say Manny can’t do it but timing — they kinda waited for us to get old, or older — and I’d rather see Manny fight the rematch with Horn and go on from there,” said Roach.

“And it could be [Crawford] somewhere down the line, it could be any of those guys. But I do have my concerns ‘cause I do have to protect my fighter.”

“I still think it’s my job to put him in the right fights and I would hate to see any of my fighters get hurt. And so I’m very careful about who we choose but usually it’s a good choice.”

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