Something wasn’t right with Manny Pacquiao on the eve of his November 12, 2011 showdown versus Juan Manuel Marquez. The pair had previously fought a couple of very contentious bouts, but that contentiousness came from both being at the top of their games. That wasn’t the case on the last go-around. Rather, it seemed like Pacquiao’s lackluster performance, not Marquez’s brilliant gameplan, was what made Pacquiao versus Marquez III as tight as it ultimately was.
Last week, in a special interview with Lance Pugmire, Freddie Roach admitted what many suspected anyway – his guy wasn’t at 100 percent going into that match. Pacquiao, someone used to dealing with out-of-the-ring concerns heading into every fight, got dealt a blow that even he wasn’t able to fully deal with when, on the eve of that bout against Marquez, his wife, Jinkee, served him with divorce papers.
Via the Times:
Roach reeled off a list of adjustments Pacquiao, 33, has made since the Marquez bout, the most notable being saving his marriage to wife, Jinkee, who Roach said served Pacquiao with divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight.
This year, fans have noticed Pacquiao behaving noticeably differently.
He has seemingly re-connected with God. He has repeatedly questioned how much longer he wants to keep fighting. Heck, he even gave up cockfighting – a hobby that has turned off folks for years. All this, according to Roach, was the Filipino champion’s attempt at changing his ways in a fashion that would please the only woman he wants to spend his life with.
A big reason that Timothy Bradley has been getting as much love as he has been to upset Pacquiao this June is the champ’s lackluster showing against Marquez. Because he looked so mortal in that November showdown, everyone jumped to the natural conclusion that Pacquiao was slowing down.
If we are to believe Roach, though, that’s not the case. And if Pacquiao’s weak performance (which was still a win, mind you) was simply the byproduct of problems with his wife that no longer exist – Bradley could be in for a very long night on June 6.