Pacquiao vs Marquez III: The Aftermath
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Nov 16, 2011) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor, DHB)
Photo: Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez III
Two days after barely escaping with the WBO welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach was still trying to digest what took place on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. While the “Pac-Man” won on the scorecards, to much of the viewing public, it was Marquez who should've had his hand raised in victory.
The respected cornerman had predicted a knockout victory leading into this bout.
“It seemed like he had distractions,” said Roach on Monday after wrapping up a training session with Amir Khan at the Wild Card Boxing Club. “Something was distracting him. Manny walked into the ring. He wasn't smiling like normal. He just wasn't himself on Saturday and I haven't figured out exactly why yet. I'm thinking maybe we went to training camp too long. We had a ten-week training camp this time. Usually, we have six. This time we had six weeks of sparring. Maybe it was too much. I'm looking at all the possibilities to find out what went wrong and I'm getting a doctor to work on the cramps in his calves and feet and just be a little smarter about that.”
Like he did for the "Sugar" Shane Mosley contest back in May, Pacquiao complained of cramping during the fight. On this night, he did look a bit flat. Coming into this past weekend, Roach and strength-and-conditioning coach Alex Ariza told anyone who would listen that this was their best training camp since preparing for Oscar De La Hoya back in 2008. But was too much of a good thing? Did they overtrain?
“Yeah,” said Roach, who explained, “because normally, we start sparring six weeks out. We started ten weeks out [this time]. It was good work with Jorge Linares and so forth but y’ know what? A veteran at this stage, I think it might be my fault. It might have been too long.” Roach said he knew something was missing even before they got into the ring. “I knew it when I was doing the mitts with him. He was a lil’ off and then in the first round, I knew it was going to be a long night.”
As usual, on Planet Pacquiao, there were stories swirling about regarding conflicts with his wife, Jinkee, the usual gripes about adviser Mike Koncz and even an argument with Ariza the night before the fight. In other words, it was all business as usual. Roach explained, “The thing was, Alex made the comment that there was too many people in the room. Manny got mad at him but it was just for a moment. I don't think that was a problem.”
Regardless of Pacquiao’s mental state and physical condition, it seems this Mexican craftsman will always be a riddle the congressman will never completely solve. And Roach admits Marquez fed him a healthy dose of crow.
“I have been embarrassed by saying we'd knock [Marquez] out in six but he f**kin' proved me wrong,” said Roach, laughing. “If Nacho [Beristain] didn't tell him to coast at the end of the fight- something I would never tell a fighter to do- the fight was there for the taking and I thought he blew it in the last two rounds.” In recent years, Pacquiao fights have been landslides. As the final bell rang and the scorecards were getting tabulated, Roach was nervous. This was a fight that could've gone either way.
“I thought Manny pulled it out in the last round but y’ know, I thought we won by one round and it was a close fight,” said the respected trainer who travels to Houston, Texas this week to work the corner of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. against Peter Manfredo Jr..
As for a fourth chapter of Pacquiao-Marquez, Roach says it wouldn't be his preference.

“Not really but the thing is, does [Marquez] deserve a fourth, a rematch? Yes. But the thing is, if [Floyd] Mayweather comes to the table first, that's the fight the whole world wants to see. We'd like to get that one out of the way and then Marquez can fight the winner; I guess. The thing is, we do owe him a fight.”

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