x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Pacquiao should fight Marquez again before meeting Mayweather

Freddie Roach, the Filipino boxing star's trainer, said the Mexican has given Pacquiao problems and deserves a rematch.

Juan Manuel Marquez, left, breaches Manny Pacquiao's defences during their WBO welterweight bout in Las Vegas. Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, said that the Mexican deserves another match before Pacquiao's team turn their focus to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Juan Manuel Marquez, left, breaches Manny Pacquiao's defences during their WBO welterweight bout in Las Vegas. Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, said that the Mexican deserves another match before Pacquiao's team turn their focus to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

LAS VEGAS // Manny Pacquiao should fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time before climbing into the ring with Floyd Mayweather Jr, according to Freddie Roach, the Filipino boxing star's trainer.

Pacquiao edged Marquez by majority decision on Saturday night, giving him two razor-thin triumphs and a draw in three fights with the Mexican counterpuncher, who said judges robbed him in all three decisions, the latest being the worst.

"It was a robbery. They robbed me," Marquez said. "I won again. What do I need to do for the judges to give me the fight?"

Marquez might never know, saying he is so frustrated by the defeat in the wake of a 2004 draw and a 2008 loss by a single point that he is considering retirement.

But if Marquez does fight again, Roach would like to see him fight Pacquiao before "PacMan" has a long-anticipated fight against unbeaten US star Mayweather, seen as Pacquiao's top rival for world "pound for pound" supremacy.

"He has given us problems three times," Roach said. "I think he deserves a rematch first."

Said Pacquiao: "It was clear to me that I won."

Marquez was already seething before the latest loss, saying he had beaten Pacquiao in a 2004 fight that was called a draw and a 2008 rematch in which went to the Asian southpaw by one point on one judge's scorecard.

"It's hard when you're fighting your rival and three judges too," he said. "The result of this fight has me thinking of retirement.

"This fight was the biggest of my career. I prepared so hard. We wanted the judges to score this fight the way it happened, not how they scored it."

Marquez gave Pacquiao extra motivation for Saturday's fight by wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: "We Were Robbed" when the showdown was initially promoted in the Philippines.

Asked if he would arrange for a new T-shirt to be emblazoned with the words: "We Were Robbed Three Times", the Mexican smiled: "I was thinking about that."

After the 12th round ended, Marquez raised his right hand in a sign of victory while Pacquiao simply trudged back to his corner with a downwards gaze, only for both men to learn moments later that the verdict was another story.

"I was preparing for somebody in my corner to raise me and take me around the ring," Marquez said. "But I was surprised again, surprised by the judges."

Pacquiao, who has not lost since 2005, improved to 54-3 with two drawn and kept his WBO welterweight title while Marquez fell to 53-6 with one drawn.

"This was a robbery of the utmost," said Marquez's trainer, Ignacio Beristain. "I'm very frustrated. Decisions like this are a joke. I'm disappointed. The real winner was Juan Manuel Marquez, not Manny Pacquiao."

A lot of people agreed.

The result was greeted with a chorus of boos from Marquez supporters, some of whom tossed cans and bottles at the ring after a fight that had most of the crowd standing and cheering during the later rounds at electrifying exchanges.

"The fans of Marquez of course are very disappointed. I understand how they feel," Pacquiao said. "But I blocked a lot of his punches. He's a counter puncher. He headbutted me a lot."

Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, who had a rematch clause had Marquez won, said he still would attempt to stage a fourth Pacquiao-Marquez fight in May.

Arum said: "I'm bound and determined to find a definitive winner once and for all."

That's fine with Pacquiao.

"I'm all for it," he said.

Marquez was less certain.

"Everybody knows what happens," he said. "I won this fight - again."