ROACH PREFERS SEPTEMBER FIGHT FOR PACQUIAO
By Eddie Alinea
Fri, 18 Jan 2013
MANILA(PNA)- Having the welfare of his prized pupil in mind, Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach yesterday said that if he had his way, he doesn’t want Manny Pacquiao to fight this coming April.
“Yes, I would advise all those concerned not to rush Manny to fight as early as April,” Roach told the Philippines News Agency in a long distance telephone interview from his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. “I would rather prefer that he rests first, have a thorough examination of the extent of damage done, if there’s any, as a result of his recent knockout loss then fight in September.”
The 52-year-old Boston native said he had a talk with the eight-division champion early this week and told him of his sentiment.
“I talk to him by phone and he told me he wants to fight and that he’s ready to do it in April,” Roach said. “A very typical Manny as we all know him. He’s not afraid of anybody and will fight anybody, anytime, any place.”
“And I told him, okay, if you want to fight and ready to do it, let’s do it. But, please, I added, consult an expert, have yourself examined further. Then if the doctors say it’s go, then it’s go,” the five-time trainer of the year said.
“If I really have my way, I want him to fight September and against (Juan Manuel) Marquez. It’s his health and safety that should be the concern of everybody,” he reasoned out. “More than pride because he’ll have his time piecing together that lost pride. More than the money because he hasn’t lost time earning them.”
“In fact, if he meets Marquez anew in September, that could guarantee probably his highest take in his boxing career,” Roach projected.
Roach also explained that the coming mid-term elections in the Philippines in May might consume most of Pacquiao’s time that might hamper his preparations. “Never mind if he’s a sure winner as no one’s opposing him in his re-election (as Sarangani Province Representative). Fact is he still has to show himself before the electorate.”
“Add the fact that Jinkee (Pacquiao’s wife) is also running (for Sarangani vice governor) as well as his brother (for General Santos City Congressman). Manny still have to campaign for them,” Roach said.
Roach was actually echoing his sentiment against the idea of Pacquiao going for a tune up fight before seeking a fifth match with Marquez, who knocked him out cold in the sixth round on December 8 in their welterweight matchup at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
That loss, voted as round of the year and knockout of the year by most media outfits, led the Nevada Athletic Commission to suspend the Filipino ring icon for 90 days, not in the form of punishment, but, precisely, to give him time to recover. A pair of Filipino neurologists had even pronounced Pacquiao to have signs of Parkinson’s disease, an ailment Muhammad Ali and Roach himself are suffering without the benefit of testing him.
Pacquiao’s statement that he’s ready to fight in April led to the idea of pitting him against either one of perceived lesser lights opponents like reigning welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, who beat him June last year in a controversial split decision, Brandon Rios, Robert Guerrero, Jessie Vargas and Vyacheslav Senchenko.
And since the NAC’s suspension will not allow Pacquiao to fight in the United States, the April bout, should it materialize, earlier reports said, could be held either in Singapore, oil-rich Dubai in Abu Dhabi and the gambling city of Macau.
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