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Roach hoping for Pacquiao-Floyd Jr.

If it were up to Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao’s next fight would be against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in December in Las Vegas.

Speaking from New York, where he received the Trainer of the Year award Friday from the Boxing Writers Association of America, the man who trains Pacquiao said Mayweather is the best opponent for his fighter.

“We want Mayweather because he’s the easiest fighter of the three,” Roach said, alluding to Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley, the other fighters most often in the Pacquiao equation. “Style-wise, Shane might give Manny the most trouble. But Mayweather’s not a big guy. He’s not a big puncher.

“Cotto doesn’t want to come down (from 147 pounds). I’ll fight one guy at 147 — Floyd.”

Mayweather has come out of retirement and will fight Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18 at the MGM Grand Garden in his first fight since December 2007.

Pacquiao attended Saturday’s Cotto-Josh Clottey welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden and reiterated that he’ll fight anyone and will leave the negotiating to his promoter, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

While his star client takes time off after an impressive second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton on May 2, Roach remains busy. He has three fighters competing on separate cards June 27. However, Amir Khan’s WBA junior welterweight title fight against Andreas Koteinik in London might be off because of a tooth infection that has kept Koteinik from sparring.

Roach added two clients Tuesday — Cuban Olympians Guillermo Rigondeaux and Yudel Johnson. Rigondeaux, 28, a junior featherweight, won Olympic gold medals as a bantamweight in 2000 and 2004. Johnson, 27, a junior middleweight, won the silver medal in that weight class at Athens in 2004.

• SPORTS DRINK GUIDELINES — The Nevada Athletic Commission has changed its policy regarding sports drinks and will allow use of colored drinks such as Gatorade in boxing and mixed martial arts events. Fighter previously were limited to clear liquids.

Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, made the request.

The NAC changed the rule after consulting with its doctors, who said no medical issues would be associated with colored flavored drinks. However, all drinks that will be used in the ring or octagon still must be inspected before being used and must be in a bottle with an unbroken seal.

Drinks containing caffeine, a stimulant, still are banned.

For the UFC, the rule change could open up major marketing deals with companies such as Gatorade. It also means boxing entities such as Top Rank and Golden Boy could cut deals similar to their long-standing sponsorships with beer companies.

• NEW INSPECTORS — Steve DeAngelis and Garret Bundy were hired as full-time inspectors by the NAC. DeAngelis, a former professional baseball player, has worked for the commission since 2005. Bundy, who works with computers, has been involved with the commission since 2008.

• SHAW SIGNEE — Promoter Gary Shaw has signed Mexican welterweight Freddy Hernandez (24-1, 18 KOs) and will send him out against veteran Hicklet Lau (20-19-2) on a July 31 card at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif.

Hernandez is 8-0 since losing a split decision to Golden Johnson in February 2005.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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