by Boxing Insider Staff
Manny Pacquiao would love to fight in April, but his trainer does not think that is such a sensational idea.
Freddie Roach, who guides the multiple-division champion and trains him at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, says that Pacquiao, who was demolished with a devastating knockout loss on December 8 to Juan Manuel Marquez, could really use more rest and doesn’t necessarily need to rush into anything right now.
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
“I prefer that he rests first, have a thorough examination of the extent of damage done, if there’s any, as result of his recent knockout loss then fight in September,” said Roach, in an interview with the Manila Standard.
If a fight for April were to have been planned, Pacquiao would need to get into serious training very soon. That certainly doesn’t allow for much rest and recuperation from the Marquez fight, in which he was face down on the canvas for quite a period of time.
Of course, the date in September that Roach is referring to would represent a fifth fight against Marquez, in what, it goes without saying, is the biggest available payday at the moment for either of them. Fighting in April would have served a purpose in terms of a tuneup fight that would rehabilitate Pacquiao to an extent, give him a win going forward, and – let’s face it – continue to milk the cash cow, since he still has as much drawing power as anyone.
There are certain other things in the way, namely the mid-term elections that are upcoming, and that promises to keep him pretty busy. He is going to be re-elected to Congress, since he is unopposed, but he also will campaign for his wife Jinkee, who is seeking a vice-governor’s position.
Alex Ariza, the strength and conditioning coach for Pacquiao, has said also that the potential gain that could come from a fight in April wasn’t worth the risk of something unforeseen happening (i.e., a loss) that could jeopardize a fifth Marquez fight in the fall. “I just want Manny to hopefully know that this is no longer about boxing, it’s about his physical conditioning,” he said.
Ultimately, neither Roach nor Ariza would have the final say, of course,. That kind of decision would be left up to the fighter himself, in concert with promoter Bob Arum. But that doesn’t mean those guys, along with advisor Michael Koncz, won’t be very influential in any decision that is made. Roach seemed as if he would go along with things if PacMen insisted on fighting, while Ariza more strongly cautioned against it. .
Aside from the aforementioned issues, there is also the matter of the suspension that Pacquiao incurred as the result of the clean knockout. It lasts 90 days, which would extend it until March 8, well within the period of time he would be training for a spring bout, in which prospective opponents included Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley (which might be a step beyond “tuneup” status, naturally). At the very least, commissions frown upon fighters who engage in sparring during the medical suspension periods, since it kind of defeats the purpose.