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Wednesday, April 8, 2009



WITH Manny Pacquiao apparently only bent on facing the best fighters for the biggest purse possible in his last few matches, the choices are limited.

Freddie Roach had earlier declared disinterest in a fight between his ward Pacquiao and the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. But business is business and the Hall of Fame trainer admitted the matchup would make for one megabuck fight.

“Business-wise, the biggest fights to be made are with Mayweather, if he’s really coming back to the ring, or with Marquez,” Roach told

Pacquiao and Hatton face off on May 2 in a bout, dubbed “The battle of East and West,” at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Asked earlier whom they would choose to face next, Roach said they “don’t have a lot of interest in fighting Mayweather.” But the trainer’s change of heart doesn’t come as a big surprise, not after the fighter’s swap of promotional outfits and quick switch of networks.

“There are a lot of options and we want to wait to see the possibilities,” said Roach.

Juan Manuel Marquez, who had two controversial duels with Pacquiao—the first ending in a draw and the next a split decision—is also looking to move up to 140 lb and is hoping to set a third encounter with the flamboyant Filipino southpaw, who has announced he will be retiring soon to run for office.

“As far as who else, we hear that [light-middleweight Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr. has been making some noise about a fight, but the weight might be too big a difference.

“Bottom line, though, Manny will fight anyone. Hell, he’d fight [publicist] Fred Sternburg if that’s who we told him was next in line. He just wants to be a champion.”

Against Hatton, Roach is confident his ward would score a quick win, explaining the Briton has been hurt by opponents who could not finish, something that he is sure Pacquiao would accomplish.

“I’ve studied Hatton for two months now and I’m very confident about Manny’s chances,” Roach said.

“Hatton is a guy who’ll be right in front of you and he gets hit a lot. A lot of guys have hurt him, but no one’s ever finished him when they had him hurt.

“Manny Pacquiao is a finisher. I think he’s going to bust him up and stop him within three rounds. It’ll be another Thomas Hearns-Marvin Hagler fight, I believe. Very exciting for as long as it lasts.”

Roach also revealed Pacquiao does not know boxing history, although he did grow up to see Oscar de la Hoya make it big.

“Manny’s one of those guys who’s not really a boxing fan. His idol growing up was Oscar, so that’s why he did it, but he doesn’t know the history. We older guys have more stories to tell, but I’m so busy now that I can’t even watch fights anymore,” Roach said.

Hatton, fighting at 140 lb for over a decade, holds the International Boxing Organization light-welterweight crown, a belt that Pacquiao is looking to add to his collection after winning world titles in four other weight divisions. He previously held the World Boxing Council lightweight, super-featherweight and flyweight crowns and the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight title.


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