MACAU—A fifth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in Mexico City.
“A rematch, more than anything else,” Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach declared before Filipino sportswriters at The Venetian Macao yesterday afternoon. “It’s the best fight out there.”
Roach, a five-time trainer of the year, said he doesn’t mind if Pacquiao-Marquez V is held in Mexico, just for the Filipino eight-division world champion to get the chance to redeem himself from that horrific sixth round knockout dealt by Marquez last Dec. 8 in Las Vegas.
Recalling the key moment when Marquez caught a charging Pacquiao with a dynamite right barely a second to go in the round, Roach said it was both perfect timing and luck that paved the way for Marquez’s stunning victory.
“He (Marquez) got lucky,” said Roach, who is in this new gambling mecca as chief trainer of Chinese sports hero Zou Shiming, a two-time Olympic champion, who’s making his pro debut on Saturday at the 15,000 seat Cotai Arena.
“That (Marquez fight) is the biggest out there, and the most dangerous,” said Roach.
So popular is Zou in China that his four-round fight against Mexican Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-1, 1 KO), is considered the main attraction, overshadowing Brian Viloria’s defense of his WBO and WBA flyweight titles against Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada in the fight card promoted by Top Rank Inc.
The 32-year-old Viloria (32-3 with 19 KOs) was scheduled to train under Marvin Somodio, Roach’s understudy, yesterday afternoon as he stepped up his bid to make Estrada (22-2, 17 KOs) his 19th Mexican victim.
Meanwhile, the possibility of Pacquiao fighting in the United States in his next bout keeps getting dim with each passing day.
“Very slim,” venerable promoter Bob Arum, referring to Pacquiao’s return to the ring mid-September, told Filipino sportswriters here.
And the main stumbling block, according to Arum is the prohibitive taxes (at least 39.6 percent) that will be slashed from Pacquiao’s purse if he fights in Las Vegas.
Arum, who sees Macau as the next boxing capital, referring to it as “Las Vegas on steroids,” said he sees a sell-out in his first promotional card in this former Portuguese territory.