Roach: It’s KO or nothing

Freddie Roach is so obsessed with a knockout victory by Manny Pacquiao on Dec. 8 that he won't be certainly happy to see the fight go the full route for the fourth time.

"It has to be a knockout," Roach said over the phone from the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood where he is finalizing the blueprint for the ultimate destruction of Juan Manuel Marquez.

Roach said scoring a knockout win over somebody like Marquez, the only fighter who has made Pacquiao shed off his Superman qualities, will be very difficult but is definitely doable.

"That's what we are working on the gym," said Roach, noting that Pacquiao has proven in the past that he has the punching power to put even the granite-chinned Marquez down.

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Pacquiao scored three knockdowns in the first round in their first fight in May 2004 and had one in the rematch in March 2008. However, Marquez was able to stand his ground in the third match in November last year.

Roach's feeling that Pacquiao has to win big against Marquez this time stems from the public's desire to see the Pacquiao of old, the swashbuckling puncher who never hesitated to exchange blows.

Through the years, though, Pacquiao has morphed into a more readable fighter, something that has worked wonders for Marquez's training team headed by the brainy Nacho Beristain.

Beristain used to say that Pacquiao "jumps in and out like a wild cat" but now that he has mellowed down, relying mainly on skills learned through the years, his makeover, has actually favored them.

Because Pacquiao has smoothen the rough edges, Beristain and Marquez have succeeded in predicting almost all of the Filipino's every move.

But Roach and Pacquiao are currently working on bringing back the vintage style to mess up Marquez's classic counter-punching ways.


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