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Roach prefers Mayweather than Marquez as Pacman's next opponent


Between Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez and undefeated American welterweight Floyd Mayweather Jr., trainer Freddie Roach prefers the latter to be his pupil, World Boxing Organization welterweight Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent.

“Why fight Marquez? Manny had fought him thrice and won twice, what’s the point?" Roach told this writer in an interview at his Wild Card gym here Wednesday in reference to Pacquiao’s majority decision victory last Saturday at MGM Grand. “Besides, Mayweather has already signified his interest in, at last, fighting Manny.”

“In other words, he has already expressed his willingness. We will not be pursuing him as we’ve been doing the past few years,” he remarked. “If we can get him, we should take him.”

Roach clarified though that it’s Pacquiao’s choice as to who he wants to fight next.

“Bob, obviously, wants Marquez on the strength of the closeness of the last fight (held Saturday at the MGM Grand) won by Manny by a majority decision. He has to talk with Manny and ask him who he prefers to face next,” Roach said.

If Manny decides it’s Mayweather, then we will start mapping out the plans of training. If it’s Marquez, then we’ll also make plans to beat him convincingly, he said, adding the pound-for-pound king must undergo special treatment for his recurring leg cramp he’s been complaining the previous fights.

“I’m thinking of getting the services of Jobb Curlin of UCLA (University of California-Los Angeles) who specializes on athletes’ injuries,” Roach bared. “And I will strongly recommend to get him so his injury can completely be healed."

Roach laughed off statement attributed to Marquez that if a Pacquiao-Marquez IV is pursued, he wants such confrontation held in Mexico.

“Marquez is not the champion. He’s not that powerful to demand. Maybe in the lightweight division he can command, not in welterweight where Manny is king,” Roach said. “If he doesn’t want to fight us, then don’t. If he wants and Manny wants, let’s do it.”

Roach said the last time he saw Pacquiao was during the thanksgiving mass held at the Lion King inside the MGM Grand.

“I asked him during the mass how he feels and he said, he’s fine. I maybe meeting him today before he leaves for Manila tonight,” he said.

"The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is the one the whole world wants to see, everywhere I go fans tell me that," Roach stressed. "For me, Mayweather is the number one choice to fight next. I'm trying to get hold of Manny, to get his feelings on it. I’m sure Manny will choose a $100 million fight with Mayweather than the $ 30 million to fight Marquez.”

"The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will be the biggest of all time I'm sure Manny will go for. But I haven't had the chance to talk to him," he said.

Roach expressed hope that Arum will accede to the fight Pacquiao desires. ”It’s about time the fans get the fights they want. But sometimes the powers that be need to listen to the majority, listen to the customers, and move heaven and earth to make the fight the customers desire. If that means swallowing some pride, or leaving some money on the table, or doing business with people you find loathsome, so be it.“

“Let's get it done, people with the power. Floyd says he wants it. And it looks like Manny wants it, too. Make it happen, and end this excruciating period of fruitless flirtation and posturing,” Roach said.

By Eddie G. Alinea-PNA

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