Manny Pacquiao will take on Brandon Rios this coming Saturday. If he loses the bout then it’s game over. According to Freddie Roach, he will absolutely, positively not let his guy fight again if he loses three straight. However, if Pacquiao prevails, then things get a little interesting.
While doing media sessions for next weekend’s showdown, Roach was pressed on who he envisioned as a next opponent for Pacquiao – assuming they can beat Rios. The Hall of Fame trainer thought about it for a while, before answering pretty decisively: Juan Manuel Marquez.
"We want Marquez one more time,” Roach told Boxing Scene. “That's the fight we want.”
Now, that’s not a particularly shocking sentiment. Marquez beat Pacquiao via a sixth round knockout last December, but Pacquiao was winning the fight on every judge’s scorecard right up until the counter punch that ended it all. He called for an immediate rematch shortly after the bout ended; however, Marquez rejected his pleas.
Despite the fact that Pacquiao gave Marquez four different opportunities to beat him, Marquez didn’t feel like he owed Pacquiao the same courtesy.
No, Pacquiao wanting Marquez isn’t surprising at all. Him wanting Marquez before getting a shot at Floyd Mayweather is mildly surprising, though. To be fair, Roach also mentioned Mayweather in that interview.
"Mayweather too of course,” he said. “But Marquez, he got lucky and we want to take that back."
The desire to “get one back” against Marquez is understandable. That being said, seeing as Marquez has gotten ultra-greedy when it comes to fighting Pacquiao, it makes far more sense for Pacquiao to take the money that will come with a Mayweather fight than what will come with a Marquez fight. The reality is that, right now, Mayweather doesn’t have any legitimate opponent options. That’s why Amir Khan has been floating around as a possibility, even though nobody really thinks he deserves a crack at the undisputed champ.
If Pacquiao fights Marquez in early 2014, someone might come along between now and then who Mayweather will opt to fight instead.
Marquez will always remain a viable option for Pacquiao. Mayweather, on the flip side, is more of a right-place, right-time type situation.