Like any top-tier trainer, Freddie Roach threw himself under, if not a bus, then a minivan, when he told TSS that he thinks maybe overtraining was the reason we didn't see "A-game" Manny Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12.
In a Wednesday phoner with Roach, TSS asked Dedham Freddie to give Manny a grade for his showing, and who the Congressman wants to target next.
"I give him a B minus," the former fighter, who was mentored by Hall of Fame trainer Eddie Futch, said. "He wasn't really himself, he had a bad night. I don't know why, but he maybe overtrained for the fight. Maybe we started him too soon. He helped Jorge Linares get ready, and we thought that was a good idea at the time. Maybe he was overtrained, and left a little in the gym."
Again, see how the trainer didn't even imply subtly that Manny's so-so showing was a result of anything the boxer did or didn't do? It's a Roach trait which is one reason why his gym is a magnet, and draws fighters from coast to coast: guys know he won't degrade them to burnish his rep.
Roach also told me he was going to talk to Pacquiao hopefully Wednesday night, and see who he wants to fight next. I wrote about that part of the conversation, which had Roach pulling for a Floyd Mayweather fight, over another tangle with the Kryptonite Kid, Marquez, here.
Roach was asked if Marquez had improved since their 2008 bout, or if Manny has perhaps slipped physically, or perhaps mentally, in the desire department. "He had a great camp, one of best," Roach said, adding that he didn't think Marquez had improved, but just fought a focused, smart fight tactically. "Maybe we need another fight with (advisor) Michael Koncz, maybe we need that. We've always had distractions," he added with a chuckle.
Did he want to add anything in summation for the fans?
"Manny Pacquiao had a rough night, but he will be back," Roach said. "I want that Mayweather fight as badly as you do, and I hope it happens."
Follow Woods on Twitter here.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?