MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame trainer Freddie Roach commended Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao for choosing to face his great rival, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico for a fourth time, instead of a rematch against Timothy Bradley Jr.
In an interview with RingTV, Roach revealed that Pacquiao had a lot of options for his return bout on December 8, but decided on a fourth bout against Marquez.
“There were a lot of other choices out there, but Manny picked this fight. He picked this fight, and he knows what he’s up against,” Roach said. “He has balls.”
The five-time Trainer of the Year pointed out that Pacquiao could have gone for a rematch with Bradley, which he believes would be an easier fight.
“He didn’t have to pick Marquez. He could have picked Bradley in a rematch. That’s an easier fight in my book,” Roach said.
Pacquiao beat Marquez in their trilogy bout last November via a controversial majority decision, as many boxing pundits believe Marquez deserved the victory.
Last June, he lost in even more controversial fashion, falling to Bradley via split decision in a bout that most believe he easily dominated.
“This is the most challenging fight, but the thing is, Manny picked it,” Roach said.
Pacquiao has explained his reasons for fighting Marquez again, saying he wants to erase the doubts created by their first three fights.
“I chose to fight Marquez because we have exciting fights,” he said. “If I had chosen to fight Bradley, we would get a one-sided fight. It would be boring.”
Pacquiao added that he has nothing to prove against the unbeaten American, as he is convinced he won their fight.
“I did good in our last fight. It was one-sided,” he said.
From a business perspective, a fourth Marquez bout is also the better choice for Pacquiao: their trilogy bout generated almost 1.4 million pay-per-view buys, while his bout with Bradley did less than a million.
“Marquez is a bigger and better fight,” Roach said in an ESPN report. “Manny dominated Bradley for 11 rounds, even though we didn’t get the decision, so nobody is going to buy that fight.”
“Bradley sold six tickets the last time. Next time, he’ll sell four,” he added.
But Roach conceded that Pacquiao will be in a for a tough night against Marquez once more, as the Mexican boxer has given the “Pacman” three of the most difficult bouts of his career.
“It’s a tough fight. Style-wise, it’s the hardest style in the world for us,” Roach said. “Manny is going to have to be at his best to win this one.”
“I told Manny that we need a really, really good training camp. I mean, we really, really need to completely focus on this fight. He’s agreed to stay in America the whole time,” he added.
“We’re not going to train in the Philippines for this fight. We’re going to be very, very focused.”