MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will be putting himself at risk if he decides to fight Juan Manuel Marquez next following his humiliating sixth-round knockout loss to the Mexican last December, said a local boxing analyst.
“If trainer Freddie Roach would have it his way, Pacquiao should skip any tune-up and jump straight into the cauldron with Marquez. This kind of thinking is dangerous, if not suicidal,” said Atty. Ed Tolentino in his Manila Times column, Boxer Shorts.
Tolentino said it would be best for Pacquiao to build up his confidence first, given the way he fell down after being hit by Marquez’s crushing right hand.
Tolentino added that the knockout defeat could have serious effects on Pacquiao’s self-confidence inside the ring.
“History further shows that a great fighter who loses badly in a high-profile fight and hankers for an immediate rematch ends up getting knocked out again. In some cases, the beating in the return encounter is more brutal,” he said.
“Given the situation Pacquiao is in, a tune-up is mandatory. He needs to work up a sweat against a low-profile adversary to fine-tune the loose edges in his arsenal and get his confidence back.”
Among the opponents being reportedly considered for Pacquiao are Mexican-American Jessie Vargas and Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Tolentino believes that a tune-up versus Vargas will be more marketable compared to Pacquiao-Senchenko.
“Former Olympian Senchenko packs decent power, but is tough to sell because of his age and lean fan base,” said the analysts. “In contrast… Vargas, who learned how to box at age six, is easier to sell because he fights for Top Rank Promotions and has Mexican blood running in his veins.”