Freddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao fought one of his smartest fights, Marquez should be next

Freddie Roach was happy with Manny Pacquiao's performance last night against Brandon Rios, and says that his choice for the next fight is a fifth bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Marcos Villegas

"Was this the type of performance you wanted to see from Manny Pacquiao after the last fight with Juan Manuel Marquez?"

Freddie Roach

"Yeah, 100 percent. We fought really well, we had a great game plan. We fought a real tough guy, a young kid, an up-and-comer. We went out of our generation. We wanted to fight the rematch with Marquez, that was my first choice, but we couldn't get him to come to the table. This was the next-best thing. Brandon Rios, he showed a lot of heart. He took a lot of shots. He's a real tough kid, I take my hat off to him. Manny fought a really good fight, a really smart fight. It might be one of the smartest fights I've seen him fight. He stuck to the game plan completely the whole time. Under and out, moving to the right. We completely took his right hand away from him. He landed a couple left hooks but that's not his strong side. We attacked his weak side more and more. We moved to the right. It was a great fight for Manny. I think he's gonna wake a lot of people up. I would've liked to have seen him finish the fight in the last round, but his compassion got in the way again. I think he pulled up a little bit. Not to say Brandon wouldn't have lasted, because he did last for the first 11 anyway. It looked like he was fading a little bit. But overall, a 9.9. If he would have knocked him out, I would give him a 10."

Marcos Villegas

"Looking at the fight, did it answer any questions you had about Manny?"

Freddie Roach

"It answered a lot of questions. Coming off a knockout loss like that, you never know what's gonna happen and who's gonna show up. And the gym doesn't really tell you that. In the gym we have 14 ounce gloves and headgear and so forth. I was worried a little bit, it was in the back of my mind all night long. If one shot landed, maybe it could happen again. But Manny showed me in the performance that he had showed me that he's past that and it's not gonna bother him like it does some people."

Marcos Villegas

"You mentioned that you feel that Manny let him off the hook. What were you telling him in the corner, and what was he telling you, if you were urging him to finish Brandon."

Freddie Roach

"About the 10th round, I said, OK, I think we can finish him. Before my instruction was to keep boxing, he's still a little bit dangerous, just keep boxing and be smart. But then 11th, 12th, I wanted him to pick it up a little bit. I was telling him it's time. In the 11th he did pick it up a little bit for me, I was happy. Then in the 12th when I saw them touch gloves three times, I said, no. One guy accepted defeat and one guy didn't want to hurt the person. I think both guys kinda said, enough's enough."

Marcos Villegas

"Manny worked to the body a lot and didn't feint and come forward like he does in a lot of fights. Was that a part of you correcting that habit so he wouldn't get caught with shots, or was that on his part not wanting to be hyper-aggressive after what happened?"

Freddie Roach

"It was definitely part of the game plan. The thing is, when Manny feints once and jumps the second time, and people start timing that -- people watch tape and they get used to it and they're reading it a little bit better. I think Marquez read that. Sometimes Manny will go on one, two, three. So Marquez counted two, and knew he was coming on the third one, and that's when he caught Manny. So we knew we had to change that. We didn't use the feints quite as much. We used more angles, and the body was the key. We know Brandon Rios is, like, he likes to eat too much. His diet is not good. He lost his first title on the scale. He goes to 140, then he goes to 147, and he's still having trouble making weight. Then he gained 16 pounds between weigh-in and fight, that's a lot of weight. Our game plan was to go to the body. The body attack I think is what slowed him down. I was really happy with the body attack. Manny is a fierce puncher to the body. I didn't think Rios would be able to take those shots. He got hurt a couple times by body shots, but again, he is a very tough person."

Marcos Villegas

"If you had to choose, Marquez, Bradley, Provodnikov, who would you choose for Manny to fight?"

Freddie Roach

"Marquez. That's my number one choice. He finally won and he won't give us a rematch because he's living like he's the greatest thing in the world. I want that one more time. We were fighting a good fight. We were caught. Marquez is a great fighter and him and Manny will get up for each other. You know it's gonna be another great fight. Mayweather's number one, of course, but Marquez isn't too far behind."

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