Freddie Roach Interview on Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito - Roach expects a Brawl
By John Martinez (Aug 5, 2010) Doghouse Boxing  
“In order to have enough you must have too much.”

This statement rings especially true when speaking of boxing trainers; coaches will build their stables with fighters of varying caliber all searching for that one big spotlight. More often than not, the fighter suffers from a teacher with little to no time to hone their individual talents.

As in every case, there are exceptions to the rule. Freddie Roach, boxing trainer extraordinaire, is that exception to this rule. Roach clearly has enough, yet hungers for more. Fresh off the “setback” of failed negotiations between arguably the best undefeated fighter in the world, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and the sport’s premier megastar (whom happens to receive his instructions from Roach), boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao, Roach is already looking towards his next assignment-Antonio Margarito.

November 13 WBO welterweight title-holder Manny Pacquiao will square off against the former Mexican champion Antonio Margarito for a piece of the title at junior middleweight.

Although the fight is for the junior middleweight division, neither man will weigh the minimum weight for this bracket (154 pounds). Yes. Once again, this is a “title” fight at yet another catch weight where the winner will win a title in a division that he hasn’t campaigned at, but this is a topic to debate at a later time.

While Pacquiao prepares to face one adversary, Margarito is tasked to face several on and before fight night. Margarito’s shining star has dulled considerably since it was discovered he was entering the ring against Shane Mosley with gloves that contained plaster in them.

As a result, Antonio was forced into a suspension and come November 13, will enter the ring for just the second time in one year and ten months due to “GloveGate”.

So the question is, does Antonio “Tony” Margarito deserve this chance to fight Manny let alone a title?

“He (Tony) deserves this fight. Why not? He has to feed his family and make a living doesn’t he?”

“You have to look at this based on all he’s done in boxing and what he poses as a challenge to Manny,” Roach continued, ” and when you look at it, he has very good skills, power, and of course his size advantage.”

“This fight isn’t going to be easy for us by any means.”

I agree. Although I am steadfast in believing Margarito will pose a threat to Manny during the fight, it is too hard to overcome the ring rust of Margarito (evidenced by going the distance against a non descript fighter in Roberto Garcia), the catch weight he has agreed to, and his overall inability to show a lot of movement inside the squared circle.

To me, Antonio has only one option, work a double, triple jab to the body and head of Manny in order to smother the Filipino bomber whilst throwing uppercuts to catch the shorter fighter coming in.

In short, Margarito has to execute the “spray and pray” tactic: Hope to establish the jab, but in the end go to war and spray punches in bunches all the while praying one of them will crack the granite chin of Manny Pacquiao.

Says Roach, ” I see this fight ending up in a brawl.”

Roach goes on to say, “we got a lot of work to do. First of all, Manny is going to have to get past Margarito’s reach and once he’s there, he’s gonna have to bang that body and break him down. I know we will and after we’ve done this for a bit, we will finish with a late stoppage. But in order to do this, Manny is gonna have to take some hits and he will.”

In response to those that believe WBA superwelterweight champion Miguel Cotto should be the one sharing the bill with Manny, Roach has a few words for you.

“What did Cotto do to deserve another shot at Manny? tell me. Getting Emmanuel Steward isn’t gonna do anything for Cotto,” Roach continued, “Steward isn’t gonna make a damn bit of difference in Cotto and that was shown in Cotto’s last fight. Cotto is who he is and Steward won’t make it a difference at all.”

“I would take another Cotto fight even with Steward in his corner in a heartbeat because it was that easy.”

“But to tell you the truth, it would be too easy for Manny the second time so I would even put my B class fighter, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., in with Cotto and he (Chavez)would beat him too.”

Personally, I think that prediction is a stretch.

Along with preparing battle plans for Manny, Roach also informed me that another one of his fighters, WBA junior welterweight Amir Khan, will face Lightweight king, Juan Manuel Marquez in mid-December.

” Juan’s been making some noise lately and now we’ll see what he’s got against the strong, fast, bigger, and younger Khan. Amir loves to be aggressive and exchange.”

Freddie stated, “This is the better fight to have right now cause with Devon (Alexander), we’d outbox him easy. (Marcos) Maidana hits hard, but that’s all he’s got, and as for Timothy Bradley, truthfully, I want this fight next.”

“Bradley is made for us and we would win this one because for one, we have no fear of him and two, he exposed a lot of his weaknesses in his last fight and we’d exploit them.”

In closing, Freddie has some advice for fight fans.

“I want to know who’s thinking about buying the Mosley fight. Come on, it’s a former very good, but older champion going against a guy that starred in a reality TV show once in your main event.”

“Sergio Mora, really?”

“It’s a no brainer; watch Juanma Lopez fight Rafael Marquez.”

Enough said.

John Martinez writes for and
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