MANILA, Philippines - Five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach says fans of Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao should not make a big deal of the "foot stomping" issue that came out following Pacquiao's third bout against rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao defeated Marquez via a controversial majority decision last November 12, but the Filipino boxer was not his usual explosive self, and many analysts felt that Marquez was the true winner of the bout.
Many of Pacquiao's fans, however, pointed to Marquez's 'foot stomping' technique as one of the reasons Pacquiao lost the fight.
Videos of the fight showed that the Mexican boxer stepped on Pacquiao's foot at least five times, possibly hampering the Filipino boxer's movement.
But Roach has shrugged off the incident. In an interview with Fight Saga, he said, "The thing is, it's part of the sport. I teach guys to do it myself."
He says foot stomping naturally happens when a southpaw (left-handed fighter) like Pacquiao battles orthodox (right-handed fighter) boxers like Marquez.
"When lefties fight righties, it happens all the time... It happens and it's part of fighting a southpaw, so I don't think it should be that big of an issue," Roach added.
Roach admits that Marquez may have intentionally stepped on Pacquiao's foot, but that it's just part of the game.
"Don't make an issue out of it. That's what happens in boxing, it's part of the sport," he insisted.
Roach has refused to make excuses for Pacquiao's lackluster performance, only saying that he may have overtrained the Filipino boxer.