Roach: Marquez has Pacquiao’s number
Hall of Fame trainer accepts part of blameBy Francis T.J. Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LAS VEGAS—Freddie Roach shouldered part of the blame Saturday night for what has been generally described as a controversial victory by Manny Pacquiao over Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
And as he prepares for a road trip back to Wild Card Gym Sunday, he will have plenty of time to contemplate on what went wrong as he hits the drawing board anew, aware that the paths of these two warriors could cross again early next year.
“Marquez has Manny’s number,” Roach said. “I have to prepare him better next time.”
Roach did not delve into too much X-and-Os but he did say he would probably have Pacquiao moving to the right more than he did Saturday in his defense of the WBO welterweight title.
The eight-division champion admitted he struggled against Marquez, looking overly cautious of his opponent’s reputation for accurate counters, but said he did enough to win.
“It’s hard to fight Marquez because he always waits for me to create the action,” said Pacquiao. “He’s a good counterpuncher.”
Roach pointed to other factors that contributed to the less-than-smashing victory. He said Pacquiao started suffering cramps in the middle of the fight and the fighter admitted he could not find his balance on his punches.
The two clashed heads accidentally several times, including in the 10th when a cut opened above Pacquiao’s right eye. Pacquiao needed 28 stitches to sew up the cut, coming to the press conference late because of the procedure.
According to Top Rank, Pacquiao was stitched in three layers—eight at the deepest portion of the cut, eight more in the middle and 12 to close the cut at the surface.
“I got headbutted a lot,” Pacquiao said. “His headbutts really hurt me.”
But Roach said it was no excuse and none of those factors could erode the fact that was apparent even to the Pacquiao corner.
“Marquez fought a great fight. The fight was his for the taking but he did not grab it,” Roach said, referring to the final two rounds that the five-time trainer of the year said Pacquiao won to escape with the majority decision.
“He deserves a rematch,” added Roach.
Roach, however, defended the fight’s judges.
“I’m no judge but I do think my guy pulled it out,” he said. “They have the best seats in the house and I was not surprised with the decision.
Roach also felt that Marquez wasn’t really tested by Pacquiao’s power during the match.
Even with more power punches landed, Pacquiao really did not wobble Marquez—uncanny for someone who had previously knocked the Mexican down four times in two past bouts.
“Manny hit him with good shots, but nothing great,” said Roach. “He shook him a little but Marquez was resilient and came back every time.”