JUAN Manuel Marquez has always been a big puzzle for Manny Pacquiao, according to Freddie Roach.
Then again, the five-time Trainer of the Year hopes to finally come up all the answers and silence the critics if and when a fourth meeting between two of boxing’s greatest rivals take place again three months from now.
Roach said the Filipino boxing star needs to be totally focused amidst rumors Marquez has the inside track on WBO champion Tim Bradley as Pacquiao’s opponent in his next fight set on December 8.
Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum said an announcement will be made before the week is over on the identity of Pacquiao’s next opponent, who many have already identified as the 38-year-old Marquez.
Roach said he has no problem with Pacquiao taking on Marquez again, even saying the encounter could be the right opportunity for the eight-time world champion to settle whatever unfinished business he had with his Mexican nemesis.
As in the past, it’s definitely going to be difficult, but Roach believes a Pacquiao who is in perfect shape is going to be hard to beat for Marquez.
“I think if Manny Pacquiao gets in the best shape he can, we will finally close the book on Marquez,” Roach said when interviewed over OnTheRopes Boxing Radio.
Pacquiao and Marquez met three times in the past – each of them ending in controversy.
Their 2004 encounter was a draw despite the Filipino scoring three knockdowns in a blazing opening round, before Pacquiao won their rematch four years later via a split decision.
Last year, the two fought the third installment of their classic trilogy, with Pacquiao edging out Marquez in a majority decision which many believed should have gone the Mexican’s way.
As one of the best counter-punchers in the history of boxing, Marquez’s cunning style is really giving the Filipino a hard time.
“It’s a very difficult fight, style-wise for us. He (Marquez) does give us problems,” said Roach.
“The movement of Marquez, he is slick, he knows how to get Manny to move into the right hand and we just got to nullify that. We just have to find a way to avoid that lead right hand.”
Roach, 52, admitted they have yet to find the antidote for Marquez. And he said they better be as failure to do so may finally result in a victory for the Mexican warrior.
“We have not found a way yet in three fights, but we better get it done in this fight, or we won’t win this one,” he said.