Roach says Arum told him to pick from Khan, Marquez or Brook for Pacquiao’s next opponent
By Chris Williams: Trainer Freddie Roach says that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum gave him three names – Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez and Kell Brook – for him to pick from for Manny Pacquiao’s next fight in early 2016. Roach says he thought they were all good names for Pacquiao and that he thinks he’ll have no problems beating any of them.
Roach blames Pacquiao’s recent poor performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Pacquiao having an injured shoulder. Roach thinks that Pacquiao will be fine against whoever they pick for his next fight as long as his shoulder is 100% for the fight.
Roach should be worried. Pacquiao isn’t the same fighter he was six years ago when he was beating the likes of Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya. There’s been a big change in Pacquiao’s game in the last six years with him slowing down, becoming more flat-footed, and moving a lot less than he did years earlier.
Roach seems to be unable to grasp that the Pacquiao that he once knew no longer exists. In place of that Pacquiao, we’ve got an older fighter who had been matched softly by Arum after his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
Arum tried matching Pacquiao up against a good opponent in Mayweather on May 2nd, and things went badly for the Filipino fighter with him taking a one-sided 12 round decision loss.
“He [Arum] did tell me that Matthysse wasn’t in the mix,” Roach said to esnewsreporting about him not being one of the potential opponents for Pacquiao’s next fight. “A rematch with Marquez, Amir Khan or the other British fighter Kell Brook. He was offered. Kell Brook was interested. I did watch some tape on him. Arum just gave me those three names, and told me to pick from those three. I picked anyone. I fear none of those guys with Pacquiao. As long as his shoulder is alright, he should be okay.”
Arum seems to be underestimating the boxing public by including the name of the 42-year-old Marquez to the mix. Even the casual boxing fans likely know that Marquez hasn’t been active, and has a gimpy knee that still hasn’t healed after nearly two years of rest after his win over Mike Alvarado in 2014.
If Arum thinks that a fifth fight between Pacquiao and Marquez is going to bring in the big PPV numbers that their last fight in 2012 did, then I think he’s going to be sadly disappointed. When you stay out of the ring for as long as Marquez, boxing fans forget about you.
It’s bad enough that Marquez is now 42-years-old and has a knee problem. But with his nearly two years of inactivity, Marquez is pretty much in the same boat as Sergio Martinez was when he was picked out by Miguel Cotto to fight in June of 2014 for a fight.
The then 39-year-old Martinez had been out of the ring for a year and half after having had knee surgery on his right knee. Martinez’s knee still wasn’t okay 100% when he took the fight with Cotto, and he completely fell apart when he got inside the ring. Cotto battered Martinez at will until stopping him in the 10th.
To top it off, the Cotto-Martinez fight sold only a little more than 300,000 pay-per-view buys. I see the same thing happening with Pacquiao-Marquez 5 if Arum can convince Marquez to agree to another fight with Pacquiao. I see Arum only breaking even with the money that is paid out to the fighters in terms of their purses. Pacquiao would be better off fighting Khan or Brook because at least those fighters are relevant, young and uninjured at this time.