MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach believes Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao can regain his standing as the No. 1 boxer in the world if he knocks out his rival, Juan Manuel Marquez, on December 8.
Pacquiao and Marquez will meet for the fourth time after three previous fights failed to produce a decisive finish. They fought to a draw in 2004 and Pacquiao won the rematches in 2008 and 2011.
In the fourth encounter, both fighters promised to be more aggressive, with both aiming to win by knockout.
In an interview with Boxing Scene, Roach said that if Marquez decides to be more aggressive on December 8, then that may work in Pacquiao’s favor.
“He will be more hittable and not so much of a counter-puncher,” he said, aware that Pacquiao has never been truly able to solve Marquez’s counter-punching ways.
He also believes that the Filipino boxer needs to knockout his Mexican rival in order to once again be considered as the pound-for-pound king of boxing.
“I think we need a knockout to secure his No. 1 spot in the world. He needs to be impressive and a knockout would be impressive,” Roach said.
Pacquiao’s lackluster performance against Marquez in November 2011, as well as his disputed loss to Timothy Bradley last June, has led some pundits to rate him lower in pound-for-pound ratings.
In some lists, he has even been overtaken by super middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Roach said the key to beating Marquez in the fourth fight is to regain Pacquiao’s killer instinct, which he has not shown in recent fights.
“In the first one, he was aggressive in the beginning of the fight. In the second fight, we had one knockdown, and in the third fight, we had none,” Roach pointed out. “He just lost that killer instinct.”
“In the first fight he was trying to knock him out, but Marquez is very resilient. You have to take that factor in also. We need to bring back his killer instinct where he finishes guys like he used to,” he added.
Pacquiao last won by stoppage in 2009, when he defeated Puerto Rican boxer Miguel Cotto with a 12th round technical knockout.