LOS ANGELES - Did the furor over two close calls against Juan Manuel Marquez influence the judging in Manny Pacquiao's fight against Timothy Bradley?
Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach believes so, saying the boxing star's stunning loss via split decision to Bradley last week could be a backlash of his two disputed victories over his longtime Mexical rival.
"I do believe that," said the 52-year-old Roach in a Yahoo! Sports Radio interview from Texas, where he is currently training unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez for his World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight title defense against Andy ‘Irish' Lee.
Pacquiao and Marquez fought in one of boxing's most memorable trilogies which saw the Pacman win two of the fights by the skin of his teeth - a split decision in 2008 and a contested majority decision in 2011. Their first meeting in 2004 ended in a draw.
Now it appears, Pacquiao is paying the consequences of those two victories, which many people thought could have gone either way.
"People said we're lucky from that (two close) fights," said Roach, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame a day after the controversial fight. "But scoring-wise, this one (against Bradley) isn't that close.”
Roach said Pacquiao dominated his fight against Bradley that he had the Filipino winning 10 of the 12 rounds. "I had it 10 rounds to two, and two is being generous," Roach said.
The five-time Trainer of the Year added he instructed Pacquiao to go for a knockout in the 12th and final round, not because he felt they were trailing in the judges' scorecards but only because “I just like knockouts.”
“There's no reason for us to think we're behind like that," Roach added.