MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s boxing trainer, Freddie Roach, said he would have preferred his ward to have a third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez if not for the Mexican champion’s reported insistence on a big pay check.
In a report by BoxingScene.com, the Boxing Hall of Famer said he thinks Marquez would have posed a greater challenge against Pacquiao, the first and only boxer to win 8 world titles in as many weight classes.
"No, my first choice was Marquez, I think he deserves the third fight,” said Roach.
“The first fight was a draw, and after that, Pacquiao won by a point… let's be honest, Marquez is the biggest challenge for Manny, and he's the only one who knows how to fight with him," he added.
Roach thinks that the Mexican can still go toe-to-toe against the fleet-footed champion from General Santos City.
"I think he [Marquez] is small for 147 pounds but he's very disciplined, and a great fighter. Everybody says he's getting old but he still keeps winning and winning," he said.
The boxing trainer, however, said negotiations for a third Pacquiao-Marquez went awry when the Mexican reportedly asked for “a lot of money”.
He said this was the reason Pacquiao settled to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Shane Mosley.
“Now it's just business. [Promoter] Bob Arum had a better deal with Mosley, and he said that Marquez was asked for a lot of money," Roach said.
Pacquiao’s coach said they are expecting to fight the best version of Mosley, who could give the Filipino champion difficulties inside the boxing ring.
"I expect him [Mosley] to be at his best. He is an experienced fighter with a very dangerous right hand. He is not even close to being finished. He has power and speed,” said Roach.
“I'd like for Manny to knock him out because nobody has done before."