MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach stressed the need for a knockout victory when his prized ward, Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, faces his great rival Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8 in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao and Marquez will be facing each other for a fourth time. They first battled to a draw in 2004 before Pacquiao took the 2008 and 2011 rematches via disputed decisions.
In the fourth bout, Roach told RingTV that the Filipino boxer cannot leave the fight at the hands of the judges.
“We need a knockout to win,” Roach said.
Pacquiao won the rematch via split decision, and the trilogy bout last November 2011 via majority decision. But Marquez continues to insist that he won all three fights, and many members of boxing media believe the Mexican did enough to win at least the third bout.
“There is no way we’re going to win a decision this time,” Roach said. “That’s what Manny wrote – ‘We need a knockout.’ And that’s what he meant.”
Roach related that during the press conference in Los Angeles, Pacquiao spelled out to him that “We need a knockout to win.”
“He’s never said that to me before a fight in his life. So I told him, ‘I’m going to hold you to that,’” Roach said.
Marquez has given Pacquiao more trouble inside the ring than any other opponent, with the Filipino boxer unable to solve the Mexican’s counter-punching and footwork over the 36 rounds they have fought.
“I’ve gone back and I’ve watched the first, second and third fights, and we’ve got to really, really get back to that perpetual motion we had in the first fight,” Roach said.
In their first fight, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez three times in the first round, but Marquez rallied to salvage a draw.
“We can’t be so settled in front of this guy,” Roach said. “He’s a better puncher now, and I think that Manny needs to be that 24-year-old that he was when we first fought him, and that’s what we’re gunning for.”
Pacquiao and Roach seem to be on the same page.
“I need to be more aggressive in this fight,” said the Filipino boxer. “I want this fight to be different from the last one. I want a win that isn’t close like the last three. It has to be a decisive victory.”