Pacquiao vs Marquez IV: Marquez's conditioning coach says he's suing Roach for defamation

Stephen Dunn

After claiming that he didn't think Juan Manuel Marquez had a 'natural' body heading, Freddie Roach appears headed for a defamation lawsuit brought on by Marquez's conditioning coach Memo Hernandez.

Freddie Roach claimed earlier this week that he didn't think Juan Manuel Marquez looked "natural," and basically accused Marquez and strength and conditioning coach Memo Hernandez of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Now, Hernandez says he's ready to sue Roach for defamation, according to a report at BoxingScene.com:

"The fact is, I'm going straight to the federal laws, and I talked to my lawyers yesterday and it is a fact that Freddie Roach will be sued for defamation. We are ready to proceed."

Hernandez, who testified for the government in the infamous BALCO scandal, was called into question last year when it became clear who he was, but Roach has kind of stepped over a line -- somewhat hilariously, I might add, given the history of people accusing his fighters of using PEDs, and the fact that Manny Pacquiao sued the Mayweather family and Golden Boy for something quite similar. (Golden Boy was dropped from the suit after an apology, and the Mayweather team settled earlier this year, though they've gone back to the same old stuff anyway.)

At a Pacquiao media workout earlier this week, after the story had gone wide, Roach had this to say to Marcos Villegas:

"Well, I hate to like -- everyone says that we're on steroids. Now he's way bigger than us. It doesn't look natural. He built that muscle quite quickly. He has a controversial strength and conditioning coach. And, you know, I think if we got rid of all the strength and conditioning coaches in the world, they're all way overrated and they're bullshit, we got rid of all of them, we would have no drugs in boxing."

Roach also says they offered to do more stringent testing for this fight, but the Marquez camp turned them down. This claim is considered debatable.

None of this has really gone over well -- most seem to believe Roach sounds hypocritical, or scared, or something, and for those who believe it's nothing but pre-fight hype, I fail to see what good any of this is doing. "Did you hear Roach said Marquez is on 'roids? I gotta buy that fight now!" I just don't see that happening.

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