The advisor of welterweight Manny Pacquiao told RingTV.com on Tuesday that the eight-division champion will “100 percent continue fighting” despite being left face-first and knocked out cold for approximately two minutes following this past Saturday’s sixth-round stoppage loss to Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on HBO-Pay Per View.
“Manny will 100 percent continue fighting. Why shouldn’t he? There were no signs of deterioration, because, again, it was Manny’s best fight. His movement in and out, and his lateral movement were tremendous. His hand speed was there. He threw a number of combinations. If you look at the punchstats after the fight from CompuBox, Manny was well ahead in those numbers,” said Michael Koncz, who will discuss the future with Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach.
“So I don’t know why people would even think that Manny would think of retirement. Freddie and I will be the very first to sit down and talk if we see any kinds of signs of slippage, because we certainly don’t want Manny to get hurt in the ring. But I’ve spoken to Manny, and Freddie and I certainly didn t see any slippage. We saw a lot of improvement and maybe he was just slightly over aggressive, and that’s why the result was what it was. But absolutely, he’ll fight again, and I’ve spoken with Manny about that.”
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 knockouts), who turned 39 in August, dropped Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) with a third-round, counter-right hand to the temple, rose from a knockdown in the fifth when his glove touched the canvas, and flattened the Filipino star with a straight right that left him motionless before 16,348 stunned fans who were partisan to Marquez.
In the end, it was Pacquiao’s aggression which may have hastened his demise.
“So I believe that Marquez still wasn’t 100 percent when this knockout occurred. So I think that within another round, Manny would have knocked him out. So I don’t think that it diminished our stock at all, to the contrary. Manny did what he said that he was going to do, and Marquez got his hand raised because he threw a tremendous punch that caught Manny squarely, and I think that the fans won because they saw a tremendous fight while the fight lasted.”
Marquez lost November’s disputed majority decision to Pacquiao, having previously battled to a draw and a split-decision loss to Pacquiao, who turns 34 on Dec. 17. Pacquiao had floored Marquez three times in the first round of their initial meeting as featherweights in May of 2004, and dropped him once more in the third round of their second as junior lightweights in March of 2008.
“First of all, I’m thankful that Manny has not suffered any serious injury, and I don’t believe that the loss to Marquez has affected Manny’s value. Quite to the contrary, I think that his stock has risen because of this fight. Manny has fought Marquez now for the fourth time, and the first fight we put Marquez down three times in the first round, but he got back up. In the second fight, we put him down once in the third round,” said Koncz.
“But I think everybody wanted this fight. Manny, because he told you, the media and the fans prior to signing the contract — because a lot of people said they were not interested in seeing a Marquez IV happening — that he was going to go back to the way he fought in the first fight. He would go back in his training methods, and go back in his hunger, and go back in his style, and he did that. Marquez won because his hand got raised.”
Although it appears that the most logical scenario for Pacquiao’s next fight would be a fifth bout against Marquez, Koncz would not commit to that.
“We’re not choosing an opponent at this point. Manny left [on Monday] for the Philippines, and I’m flying there tomorrow [Wednesday.] We’re going to celebrate Manny’s birthday on Dec. 17, which, as you know, is a big event,” said Koncz.
“And then, from there, we’re flying to Israel, where Manny, [his wife] Jinkie and the rest of Jinkie’s family — I think there will be 40 of us — we’ll spend from Dec. 20 to Dec. 30 in Israel, and then we’ll come back. And then we’ll talk about when and where and who we’ll want to fight.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org