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Freddie Roach sides with Manny Pacquiao if he fights Viktor Postol

Legendary trainer Freddie Roach was shocked when he found out his fighter Viktor Postol was a 6-1 underdog against Terence Crawford at some sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

Roach won’t put his savings on it because of superstitions, but he said he’s confident Postol will upset Crawford at the MGM Grand Garden next week.

If the WBC junior welterweight champion from Ukraine is able to take Crawford’s WBO belt, that could create an awkward scenario for Roach.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said this week that the winner of the Crawford-Postol matchup would become the front-runner for Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent. Roach has trained Pacquiao for the last 15 years.

Roach called Postol one of his favorite boxers to train, but made it clear where his loyalty resides.

“It’s not a bad situation to be in,” Roach said about a possible Pacquiao-Postol fight. “I would like for them not to fight each other, of course, but it could happen. Pacquiao I’ve been with for a long time, and we’re like father-son. So I would definitely be in Pacquiao’s corner if that happens.

“If I have to make a decision, then my decision would be to work with Pacquiao. He’s my loyal dog for a long time.”

Roach is a big reason why Pacquiao rose to superstardom and went on to win titles in eight weight classes.

“It’s not easy for a trainer to keep his job,” Roach said. “That’s another reason why I’m loyal to Manny. He’s been with me for 15 years.”

Roach wasn’t surprised the Filipino fighter decided to end a brief retirement. He would like to see Pacquiao get another crack at Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“His last fight was one of the best fights I’ve seen him in a long time,” Roach said, referring to Pacquiao’s unanimous decision victory against Timothy Bradley in April. “You saw a little bit of the old Manny Pacquiao, and that was good and I liked it. I would like to see it again, and I would like to see him be at that level with Mayweather.”

JACK TAKES STATE AWARD

Badou Jack was named the Nevada Fighter of the Year this week by the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.

Jack, the WBC super middleweight champion, is the first boxer not named Floyd Mayweather Jr. to win the award since the NVBHOF was created in 2013.The Swedish boxer is a Las Vegas resident and has been with Mayweather Promotions the last three years.

Ava Knight took the Nevada Female Fighter of the Year award, and JJ Mariano was named Nevada Amateur Fighter of the Year.

Rising star Devin Haney was crowned Nevada Prospect of the Year. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman was the winner of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, and former Nevada Athletic Commission member Herb Santos Sr. took the Presidents Award.

The winners will be honored during the NVBHOF induction weekend July 29-30 at Caesars Palace.

WILDER TO DEFEND TITLE

Deontay Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight championship against Chris Arreola on Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama. The fight will be televised on Fox and Fox Deportes starting at 5 p.m.

The last-minute matchup was created after Wilder’s previous opponent, Alexander Povetkin, failed a drug test in May.

Arreola is a two-time title challenger, but hasn’t won a match since March 2015.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow him on Twitter: @gmanzano24

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