Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach will to try to ensure his fighter does not trade punches with Terence Crawford when he returns to the ring later this year.
Just months after announcing his retirement from boxing, Pacquiao will make a comeback on 5 November in a bout, with Crawford, Jesse Vargas, Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner some of the names considered for the fight.
Crawford, 28, who unified the super-lightweight titles with an impressive victory over Viktor Postol, was named as a possible opponent by Pacquiao’s promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
“I’ve talked to Manny and he’s willing to give Terence the opportunity. Manny has already said Yes,” Arum said as quoted by Sportsrageous.
But Roach is wary of the 37-year-old returning against a fighter he compares to a young Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
Roach told boxingscene.com: “I don’t think we are going to accept or want the Crawford fight for Manny straight away. We will take it in the future, give me one warm-up fight and a fight right after that and then we can talk.
“It will be a tough match-up as Crawford can move for 12 rounds and is a pretty good puncher. He hits hard and emulates Floyd Mayweather Jr quite a bit in his style – he’s like a younger version.”
Pacquiao wants to return at 140lbs, a weight Crawford currently fights at. The veteran defeated Timothy Bradley in May, bowing out of the sport with a career record 66 fights spanning 58 wins, six defeats and two draws, to shift his focus to his political career in his native Philippines.