By Eddie G. Alinea
LOS ANGELES (11-Dec-2012/PNA via PCSO) – No, Manny Pacquiao’s career as a boxer isn’t over yet.
This, the Filipino icon’s chief trainer Freddie Roach assured even adding that the idea of a rematch with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, who scored a sixth-round knockout over his ward last Saturday, should be held as soon as possible.
The 52-year-old Hall of Famer assured, too, that based on what Pacquiao showed in his three-month preparations and his performance in his fourth fight with Marquez is proof that the eighth-division world champion still has gotten what it takes to continue fighting.
“I saw Manny at his best in our training camp in many years and I saw him at his best atop the ring last Saturday,” Roach said. “Manny should be back in saddle at once and fight as early as possible. If reports are true that he wants Marquez for the fourth time, so be it.”
The five-time Trainer of the Year honoree, incidentally, lost for the first time to Marquez’s trainer Ignacio “Nacho Beristain in their five meetings, including that of the Pacquiao-Oscar DeLa Hoya won by the Filipino in his first fight as a welterweight.
Pacquiao told Filipino sportswriters during a group interview while in transit back to Los Angeles that he would be ready to fight again, possibly in April against his recent tormentor.
“You saw the fight, everybody saw the fight where Manny was dominating until that crucial moment when he became careless and caught Marquez’s right head-on,” he said. “Manny got careless and Marquez got lucky. That was what Saturday’s fight was about and that’s what boxing fans saw.”
Roach said that he and Pacquiao talked about the rematch a day after the welterweight confrontation and they agreed that a rematch should be held, although promoter Bob Arum has somebody else in mind as the former pound-for-pound next assignment.
“That somebody whom Arum prefers can wait. If Marquez is agreeable to the idea, then let’s have it anywhere, even in Mexico, which I think Marquez would be demanding,” he said.
“We all know Manny. He will fight anybody and anywhere. That what he is. He never turn his back from a fight if only to give boxing fans the fight they want.”
“He lost by knockout, so what? That happens in boxing where you can win as many as you can and lost some anytime in your career,” Roach philosophized. “In sports, you can’t win all the time.”
“Manny is right, if you don’t wasn’t to lose, stay away from boxing or any sport, for that matter,” Roach said. “I understand though those, and this includes the media, to be concerned about Manny’s safety. “But that is if the injury he suffered was serious enough to merit quitting. “
“But it wasn’t. He was rushed to the hospital, but that was the natural thing to do as a precautionary measure , precisely to determine the extent of damage,” he said. “The doctors, in fact, released him immediately after it was assured that he’s out of danger.”
Roach, likewise, agreed with his ward that the punch that floored him for the second time was not that hard as others believed it was.
“It just so happened that Manny was too far a distance to a running Marquez so that when he lounge forward with his right and when he missed, he got into Marquez’s right swing,” Roach analyzed. It wasn’t that hard really, but the force of his lounging and that of the right swing made it so. “
Asked he will attend Pacquiao’s birthday bash on Dec. 17, Roach said he couldn’t because of the many things he had neglected as he was concentrating on Pacquiao’s training at Wild Card.
“ I might come to the Philippines a little later. I want to spend Christmas there,” he said. (PNA)