“One punch doesn’t make Marquez the better boxer” - Roach
By Eddie Alinea
Fri, 14 Dec 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (PNA via PCSO)- The saga of the nine-year long Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez rivalry continues.
This is because, the eight-division world boxing champion's sixth round knockout loss to the Mexican icon meant nothing as far the question as to which of the two top pound-for-pound fighters was better , according to Pacquiao's chief trainer Freddie Roach.
"The doubts that punctuated the two boxers' previous fights remain," Roach told People's Journal in an interview Tuesday at his Wild Card Gym where Pacquiao had pitched camp prior to his fourth fight with Marquez held last Saturday at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
"Had Manny won, that would have finally put an end to that nagging question because, remember Manny led 2-0-1 after three fights," Roach reasoned out in reference to the Filipino's win-loss-draw slate before Saturday's bout. "A victory for Manny would have improved his record to 3-0-1, which to me was the result needed that would have left no doubt on everybody's mind who the better is between the two."
Asked if Marquez was the better boxer even in that fateful night, the five-time Hall of Fame inductee retorted: "I would not even agree to that. Manny was dominating and leading when Marquez delivered that knockout punch."
"One punch made everything, that's what happened," the 52-year-old boxing guru said. "Marquez only got lucky. One punch doesn't make one a better boxer. I don't think so."
Roach admitted what happened was a mistake committed by Pacquiao, adding his prized pupil of 12 years himself admitted the error in their talk at the Los Angeles International Airport before Pacquiao and his team left for Manila last Monday night.
"Manny told me he knew he's got Marquez when the sound signifying the last 10 seconds of the round sixth came, Roach recalled. "He turned too eager to finish Marquez off but was too far a distance to make a connection. He instead got into Marquez's right after a miss. And that's it."
"Only a second left of the round. Had it ended with both of them standing, Manny could have increased his lead in the scorecard and could succeeded in knocking out Marquez in the next round or even in the eighth because his nose was broken and blood coming out from it heavily," he noted.
"No one's to blame for what happened. We had a good camp. Manny's in top shape and he was doing what he's supposed to do during the fight, executing what we planned," Roach said in defending his ward against criticism the former pound-for-pound king did not prepare enough for the fight.
"They are even blaming Manny for pretending to interview Larry Merchant on the night before the fight. But that's what he is. Manny's a happy and jolly guy," he stressed.
"Many things, you know, can happen in boxing," he said. "Sometimes, you see, you're in control of the fight, then you suffer a cut, accidental or otherwise, and you lose. That hurts, but you don't have any control in those."
"We call them breaks of the game, which often go even to the best of them. Victims must have to live with them," Roach remarked. "If one ends up at the losing end of the breaks, what he can do is just accept them. Move on, learn his lesson come back in the next fight."
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