MANILA, Philippines – Hall of Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach claims he never accused Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez of using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) for his fourth encounter against Roach’s top fight, Filipino fighter Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao.
“I never said he used anything. I said he didn’t look natural,” Roach said in an interview with Boxing Scene. “I don’t know anything about (Marquez using banned substances).”
Prior to the fight, Marquez raised eyebrows with his muscular physique, which he said was a result of a strict regimen implemented by his strength and conditioning coach, Angel “Memo” Heredia.
Heredia is a controversial figure, having admitted to giving PEDs to Olympic athletes in the past.
In the build-up to the match, Roach commented that if Marquez’s body was natural, “I will kiss his a**.”
Both Marquez and Pacquiao would go on to pass all drug tests administered prior and after the fight. Marquez and his camp are now thinking of filing a defamation suit against Roach for his comments.
“I’m not going to accuse anyone,” Roach said. “He won the fight. Manny got hit with a punch he never saw coming. He looked good in the fight but he made a mistake and got caught.”
Pacquiao’s own strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, has publicly expressed his belief that Marquez was a clean fighter and that his new bulky physique was a result of "science" and not illegal substances.