Roach wants September comeback for Pacquiao

Posted at 12/13/12 11:52 AM

Allows Manny more time to recover

HOUSTON – Freddie Roach won’t push Manny Pacquiao back inside the ring following the scary knockout the Filipino boxer suffered in the heavy hands of Juan Manuel Marquez last Saturday in Las Vegas.

Roach also said if and when Pacquiao fights again, he will keep a much closer look at his prized fighter during training. And if he doesn’t feel good about it he will pull the plug.

"Once we start training for the next fight, that's where we will see if there's a decline. If camp doesn't go well it will end right there and if it goes well we'll fight," said Roach inside his busy Wild Card Gym Tuesday afternoon. (Related story on A-33)

"But if he (Pacquiao) feels he doesn't want to do it anymore or if he's lost the desire to do it I will pull the plug," Roach told Filipino scribes.

Roach has also stricken the month of April off his 2013 calendar as the schedule for Pacquiao's return to the ring.

"April or May is way too soon," said Roach after watching new prospect Frankie Gomez, one of Pacquaio's recent sparring partners, wrap up his training.

It's just three days after Pacquiao suffered the biggest loss of his career and left many asking if the 33-year-old boxer, congressman, TV host and bible preacher should consider retirement.

Pacquiao, the favorite, had traded early knockdowns with the 39-year-old Marquez and was leading on all cards when the Mexican caught him with a perfect right straight to the chin with only a second left in the sixth round.

Pacquiao fell to the canvas like he was shot in the head. It took him more than a minute to regain his senses. It was a pretty scary sight.

Roach said he'd watched the replay of the fight only once.

"I sat down and swallowed what happened the other night. Then I got to talk to Manny and we had a great conversation on what's going to happen next and how he feels. We haven't completely decided but we have a good idea," he said.

And what's the good idea?

"You get hit with a shot like that and maybe you had a concussion. I wouldn't be thinking of a fight until maybe September. That's my idea of the soonest," he said.

Right after the Christmas holidays, Roach said he will have to talk to Pacquiao, Top Rank chief Bob Arum and the boxer's adviser, Mike Koncz, just to make sure they're on the same page.

"We will sit down for the next decision. But in my opinion, I believe he (Pacquiao) should get some rest. Don't rush it," said Roach. "There are many things to talk about and many options to consider.

"We can talk about a (Marquez) rematch, we could talk about (Brandon) Rios or (Floyd) Mayweather," said Roach, adding that there's no need for a tuneup fight for Pacquiao if he decides to face any of these three guys.

"I don't think that's necessary at this stage. I don't think he needs to fight a bum," he said.

"I know where I stand in this right now and I guess I am not going to make any announcement until I get everyone else on board," Roach added.

At first it sounded like he was hinting of his own retirement but soon enough he crushed the notion.

Roach said he and Pacquiao asked each other the question: Do you still want to do it?

"And we both said yes."

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