Like all rich and powerful athletes, Manny Pacquiao has a lot of people in his ear. Between Top Rank, his personal advisors and all of the little known coaches and trainers working for him, the Filipino star has about ten things being shouted at him regarding every topic at just about all times.
Every fight. Every marketing decision. Every bit of accounting. He gets opinions on everything from his huge entourage.
The question that inevitably has to be asked when any one person consistently gets this many different takes is: who deserves to be listened to?
Answer: Freddie Roach.
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When in doubt, Pacquiao should just do whatever Roach tells him. At the end of the day, when you’re a boxer, everything else is just the byproduct of your success as a boxer. Pacquiao’s political career, his financial investments and whatever else he has going on for him outside of boxing, it is all at least partially dependent on how he performs in the ring. And for that reason, he should always turn to the guy who has his best in-ring interests in mind.
You will recall, prior to Pacquiao’s fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, Roach made it no secret that he didn’t want to see it happen. He argued that there was too much familiarity there; too much history. He didn’t think the rewards justified the risk
He was right.
Now Roach is whispering a different bit of advice into his favorite fighter's ear – we’ll see if Pacquiao wises up and listens.
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By now everyone has heard about part of Pacquiao’s camp wanting him to fight a tune-up bout in April and part of it wanting him to forego that and simply fight Marquez in September. Well, Roach has made his take on what should happen very clear.
"They're talking about an April fight in Macau right now. A tune-up fight with him and Marquez on the same show together against different opponents, and then they're talking about a September rematch that's being negotiated right now. Thing is, I don't really want a tune-up fight,” he told Fight Hub.
“I'd rather go straight into the fifth fight. I don't think a guy Pacquiao's level needs a tune-up fight. He's getting back on the horse. First thing he said to me after the fight was, 'We gotta do it one more time.'"
He is right, of course. The idea of a tune-up at this point is absolutely ludicrous. Beating Vyacheslav Senchenko will not boost Pacquiao's ego. It will not make up for that stunning knockout defeat to Marquez. The only thing that can do that is a victory over Marquez in September.
Pacquiao has a lot of people telling him what his next move should be. Here is to hoping he ultimately listens to the right voice.