MANILA, Philippines – Hall-of-Fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach said his prized ward, Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, will not yet retire even after suffering a shocking knockout defeat to rival Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico.
"I don't think it's the end of Manny Pacquiao," Roach said in the post-fight press conference.
Marquez caught Pacquiao with a perfectly placed counter right hand that sent the Pacman to the canvas towards the end of the sixth round.
It was Pacquiao's first knockout loss since 1999 and his second straight defeat.
Roach was visibly disappointed, especially as Pacquiao was controlling the action before the knockout happened.
"Our strategy was working very well. I thought we were controlling the fight. But he got a little careless.. He never saw it coming. It was a two-inch punch," Roach explained.
"Manny was swinging a little bit wild and we got caught. It was a great knockout," the trainer added.
But Roach conceded that Pacquiao's future has become more complicated after such a devastating loss.
"We have to settle down a little bit, absorb it. The possible retirement, the possible rematch... I'm not sure which way we'll go right now. It depends on what he feels and what he wants to do," he said.
"If I see good signs, we'll go on, and if I see bad signs, we won't," he added. "If he's back in the gym and I see signs of him declining, I’ll tell him to retire. If I don’t, then I won't tell him."
Pacquiao had to go to a hospital following the fight to get a CT scan as a precaution, although Roach spoke to him before he left.
"He knows he made a mistake, and that happens in boxing," Roach said. "It's not the first time he's been knocked out. It's not the first time he'll come back from a loss."