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Freddie Roach wants Mayweather-Pacquiao next, thinks Manny does too

Trainer Freddie Roach told NYFightBlog that he expects to see Manny Pacquiao today, that he will ask Manny who he wants to fight next, and that he strongly suspects his fighter will say he wants Floyd Mayweather.

Roach, in a Wednesday phoner, told us that he is as eager as most fight fans are to see Pacquiao -- who is coming off a controversial victory against Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday -- fight Mayweather.

"The Mayweather fight is the one the whole world wants to see, everywhere I go fans tell me that," said Roach, who is cornering Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday for his scrap in Texas with Peter Manfredo, a bout that will run on HBO.

"For me, Mayweather is the number one choice to fight next. I'm trying to get hold of Manny, to get his feelings on it. If the choice is $30 million to fight Marquez or Mayweather for $100 million in the biggest fight of all time, I'm sure he'd go for Mayweather. But I haven't had the chance to talk to him."

There has been talk that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is aiming for a fourth Marquez fight before he's inclined to possibly get bogged down in another protracted negotiation session with Team Mayweather. The Mayweather crew has indicated they want to take on Pacquiao, and have targeted a May 5 date for this boxing Super Bowl. But the two sides have flirted off and on for so long, cynics wonder if they can ever find common ground. Roach is optimistic it can get done.

Roach told me that he is confident that Arum, who he said is superior at what he does, will deliver the fight that Pacquiao desires. "And I think that's the Mayweather fight," Roach said. "I will see Manny today. He's in the U.S. and leaves for the Philippines tonight."

I understand that the fans don't always get the fights they want, and that there are often good behind-the-scenes reasons for that, reasons fans and even nosy media are not aware of. I accept that. But sometimes the powers that be need to listen to the majority, listen to the customers, and move heaven and earth to make the fight the customers desire. If that means swallowing some pride, or leaving some money on the table, or doing business with people you find loathsome, so be it.

Let's get it done, people with the power. Floyd says he wants it. It's looking like Manny wants it. Make it happen, and end this excruciating period of fruitless flirtation and posturing.