MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach does not want his top fighter, Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, to take a tune-up fight before pursuing a fifth clash with great rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
In an interview with Fight Hub TV, Roach said he would much rather see Pacquiao fight Marquez immediately.
“They’re talking about an April fight... with him and Marquez on the show together against different opponents, and then a rematch in September,” Roach said. “That’s being negotiated right now.”
“The thing is, I don’t really want the tune-up fight. I would rather just go straight into the fifth fight,” he said.
Marquez has not made a decision about the next step in his career since his sensational sixth-round kncokout victory over Pacquiao last December. Pacquiao, meanwhile, has stressed that he has no plans to retire.
There have been reports that both Pacquiao and Marquez may fight in April against separate opponents, and if both are successful, a fifth fight may be held in September.
Roach sees no need for the April tune-up, however.
“I don’t think a guy of Pacquiao’s level needs a tune-up fight,” he said. “Thing is, he’s going to get right back on the horse.”
“The first thing he said to me after the fight was, ‘We need to do it one more time,’” Roach added.
Roach said that despite their loss, Pacquiao and Marquez’s six-round war was his favorite fight of 2012 and has high hopes for the fifth encounter.
“That was my favorite fight, because Manny was fighting the best I’ve seen him fight in a long time,” he said. “We got caught in that fight, but I still think it was a great performance.”
“The number five is gonna be the biggest seller ever in boxing,” Roach said.