Manny Pacquiao’s eagerness to avenge his most recent loss to Juan Manuel Marquez was evident about five seconds after the bout ended.
While his 39-year-old counterpart celebrated a victory eight years in the making, Pacquiao gave a surprisingly confident interview in which he made it clear that he wanted a shot at redemption. He didn’t offer any excuses, he didn’t try to pretend like his loss was the byproduct of some fluke, he acknowledged that he got beaten and he prepared to move on.
In the weeks following that mildly shocking defeat, Pacquiao hasn’t done too many interviews. He insisted through his reps that he wasn’t going to retire, and he said repeatedly that Marquez was at the top of his wish list as far as next foes go. However, by and large, he remained sort of quiet about what transpired.
Recently, the Filipino star conducted an interview with PhilBoxing in which he finally opened up about both the Marquez loss and what his next move is.
When asked about the oft-peddled internet rumor that the only reason Marquez was able to knock him out was because of a foot stomp, Pacquiao dismissed the idea as ludicrous.
"I lost, period. There are no reasons to justify it," he replied.
It is worth noting, his trainer Freddie Roach similarly dismissed this as theory as nonsense. During an interview with Bill Dwyre in February, the Hall of Famer said this: “Marquez didn't step on Manny's foot. Manny stepped on Marquez's foot. And when Marquez pulled it out, it sent Manny off-balance and forward — right into the perfect right hand.”
Bottom line: Pacquiao lost because Marquez hit him with a great shot – not because of any sort of shady maneuvers.
During the same PhilBoxing interview, Pacquiao was asked whether he expected to fight Marquez again.
"That all depends on him. I am ready to fight him again if he is willing," he said.
Pacquiao and Marquez, despite having fought four times already, have more unfinished business than any pair in boxing today. Between the marketability of their clash, the potential pay-per-view haul and the general substance of a fight pitting their styles against one another, this match-up makes all the sense in the world.