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Tuesday , September 17 2019

Pacquiao says trainer Roach ‘never left’ his team

Khabib adds fire to Mayweather bout flame

MOSCOW, Nov 27, (AFP): Reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov said on Monday his potential fight with undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr would be twice as interesting as Conor McGregor’s bout with the American.

“Our fight will be twice as interesting. Two unbeaten fighters, it will be interesting to see which one falls or takes a step back,” he said in a press conference in Moscow to launch his autobiography.

The Russian widely known as simply “Khabib” called out Mayweather in October but the UFC’s President Dana White has said they could only face off in a mixed martial arts fight and not inside a boxing ring as was the case with McGregor.

Mayweather beat the Irishman by knock-out after 10 rounds in August 2017.

Khabib is undefeated in 27 UFC bouts including October’s submission of McGregor.

The pair are serving bans from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for their roles in a post-fight brawl between their entourages at UFC 229 in Las Vegas.

NSAC will hold an official disciplinary hearing for Khabib and McGregor on Dec 10 before they can fight again.

Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday that veteran trainer Freddie Roach never left his orbit, despite a public split, and was helping the Filipino boxing legend get ready for his upcoming bout in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao was training in Manila ahead of the Jan 19 showdown against Adrien Broner, a fight that may be a prelude to a long-speculated on rematch with Floyd Mayweather.

The Roach-Pacquiao reunion comes after the men abruptly parted ways, breaking up one of boxing’s most famous double-acts, following the Filipino’s defeat to Jeff Horn in 2017.

Roach was reported to have been upset by his dismissal, but agreed to return after late-night talks with the fighter last week.

“I tell people even in America that Freddie never left Team Pacquiao,” Pacquiao, 39, told reporters after hitting the mitts. “He is still involved in the training.”

Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, got a boost to his storied, but slowing boxing career, after stopping Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in July in Kuala Lumpur.

Just over six months later he will be back in the ring, this time against Broner, a 29-year-old American, for his first US fight since 2016.

“I am already excited. (After) more than two years I am coming back to Vegas to fight,” said Pacquiao.

Speculation remains high that the Broner bout could be a warm-up for a sequel to 2015’s “Fight of the Century”, that Pacquiao lost to Mayweather on points.

Undefeated Mayweather said in September he was ready to fight Pacquiao, but no definite plans have emerged since.

Last week the Filipino champ told reporters he and Mayweather have talked about fighting again, but said he would see after the Broner match.

Pacquiao did not address the speculation on Tuesday, saying only about any future matches: “I can fight anybody. We are not picky when it comes to our opponents.”

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