Amid rumors circulating that a rematch with Floyd Mayweather is starting to catch fire, Freddie Roach revealed the result of a survey that he did on who should Manny Pacquiao fight when he returns to the ring next year.
Surprisingly, one familiar name garnered the most mentions, a name the Hall of Fame trainer also turned out to be his personal choice: Juan Manuel Marquez.
“I was given four names by (Top Rank chief) Bob (Arum) and what I did was ask people around who should Manny Pacquiao fight next and that was the name that was often mentioned.”
Also named as candidates were Amir Khan and fellow British fighter Kell Brook and even Lucas Matthyse of Argentina, noted Roach.
But Matthysse was scratched from the list after losing recently, leaving Roach and Team Pacquiao with just three names.
Despite Marquez’s one-punch, sixth-round knockout win over Pacquiao almost three years ago, Roach believes lightning won’t strike twice.
After scoring the biggest victory of his career, Marquez only fought two times, winning against Timothy Bradley in 2013 and Mike Alvarado in 2014, making him extremely inactive.
But what makes Roach so certain about payback is the fact that Marquez is already 42.
When they slugged it out in 2012, Marquez was bleeding profusely and fading fast when he landed a perfectly-timed counter right on the jaw of the onrushing Pacquiao.
Even if Marquez has been quoted many times as saying that he has settled the issue with Pacquiao and that there is no sense in staging a fifth fight, anything is possible.
Roach said there remains a deep interest in seeing Pacquiao and Marquez go at it one final time.
“That fight is going to sell because people would love to see it again,” said Roach, admitting that in this stage in Pacquiao’s career, it would be wise for him not to take on much younger guys.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks