Roach says Marquez rematch before Mayweather


LAS VEGAS, Nevada, November 14 – Manny Pacquiao should fight Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time before climbing into the ring with Floyd Mayweather, according to the Filipino boxing star’s trainer, Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao edged Marquez by majority decision on Saturday, 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.”

Two judges handed Pacquiao the victory by margins of 116-112 and 115-113 while the third scored the fight a 114-114 draw, giving the Asian southpaw his 15th victory in a row and a record of 54-3 with two drawn.

“It’s a fight I don’t want to do again,” Roach said. “But I think we have to.”

The outcome did nothing to halt Marquez’s claims of being the better fighter as Pacquiao had hoped to do and many Twitter postings after the bout agreed with Marquez that he had been robbed, provoking an angry reaction from promoter Bob Arum.

“All that Twitter bulls— comes from certain elements,” he said. “Your Twitter people all have Spanish surnames, I guarantee it.”

Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe said his man wants a May 5 fight with the best fighter available, but Pacquiao’s team is unlikely to leap into that bout, especially with promoter Bob Arum saying he wants Pacquiao-Marquez 4 next May.

“I’m all for it,” Pacquiao said.

While the controversial verdicts add spice to the rivalry just as they did ahead of Saturday’s fight, Pacquiao and Marquez produced electrifying exchanges of punches and flurries that brought the crowd to its feet shouting in delight.

“Marquez fought a great fight,” Roach said. “Manny edged it out in the last two rounds but it was a close fight. He has Manny’s number. The fight was there for him but he chose to stay in counter-puncher mode.”

It was an effective strategy, admitted Pacquiao, who has dominated other rivals without defeat since 2005 but barely escaped Marquez three times.

“He was always backing off and waiting for me to create action,” Pacquiao said. “It’s not easy to create when he’s looking for a good shot. I’m very careful. It’s not that easy to fight Marquez.”

Marquez opened a cut over Pacquiao’s right eye that required stitches after the fight and kept “PacMan” at bay much of the night with solid defensive work aided by foot cramps that hit Pacquiao in the fourth round.

“Many hit him some good shots but nothing great,” Roach said. “He was moving into his right hands too much. He started cramping and he couldn’t get out of the way. He was getting hit with the returns (in exchanges) too much.”

It was a vast improvement on many fights, some by Mayweather, that feature defensive tactics, clutching and grabbing and more strategy than action.

“This is a much more exciting fight than Mayweather,” Roach said.