MANILA, Philippines – Boxing coach Freddie Roach said anyone who would like to fight Manny Pacquiao, including Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, will have to do it at the welterweight division (147 pounds).
In a report by Boxing Scene.com, Roach said he won’t let Pacquiao fight any lower than 147 pounds because that is the Filipino boxer’s natural weight.
“It's 147 (pounds). We found that, when Manny can eat, he's comfortable and doesn't have to worry about making weight. Manny weighed in at [144.6] for his fight with [Antonio] Margarito, and I know that," he said.
Some of the boxers calling out for a bout with Pacquiao belong to the lower weight classes.
Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley both campaign at the junior welterweight division (140 lbs.). Marquez, meanwhile, is the World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight (135 lbs.) champion.
"We would have to fight at 147, or else, those fights won't happen. I'm not going to let Manny fight below welterweight,” said Roach.
Other boxers being considered to fight Pacquiao include former world champion Shane Mosley and World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion Andre Berto.
However, Roach sees the most attractive Pacquiao fight in Marquez.
"Because they have history between them. You know, they've fought twice, and they were close fights. They were very good fights for boxing and very competitive. Manny beat him and fought him to a draw, and Marquez knows Manny and knows what gives Manny trouble," he said.
Pacquiao first fought Marquez in May 2004. The match ended in a draw despite the Filipino scoring 3 knockdowns over the Mexican.
A rematch took place in March 2008 when the Filipino champion again decked the gutsy Mexican for a split decision.
Both fights ended in controversial fashion.
“Marquez is a very durable guy and he's got an audience and a fan base behind him. So he's marketable," said Roach.
Marquez is scheduled to defend his titles against Australian brawler Michael Kastidis on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Another alternative opponent for Pacquiao, and probably the first choice of most boxing fans, is unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather, however, still has legal problems to settle after being accused of beating up his former girlfriend Josie Harris.