With steroid rumors flying, Manny Pacquiao will finally knockout Juan Manuel Marquez


Pacquiao will finally floor Marquez for good.

With prizefighting legend Manny Pacquiao set to throw fists with Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time tonight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Filipino’s trainer may be sued for strongly insinuating that the rugged Mexican is a juicehead.

“If Marquez’s physique is natural, I’ll kiss his ass,” said Freddie Roach, 52, a native of Dedham (Mass.) who was voted Trainer of the Year on four occasions by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

In response to Roach’s statement, Marquez’s controversial strength and conditioning coach, Angel Hernandez, said he is speaking with lawyers about bringing a civil lawsuit against “The Choir Boy.”

“Today [Wednesday,] we’re going to meet up with my lawyers, and we’re probably going to file a lawsuit against Roach,” said Hernandez, who in the past acknowledged supplying disgraced track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery with dope. “Not the team, not Pacquiao, but Roach — and that’s a fact.”

Roach, an International Boxing Hall of Famer who currently trains 25 pugilists, ridiculed and scoffed at Hernandez.

“Who? You mean, the rat? I have nothing to say about that guy. He’s a piece of s–t,” said Roach. “You ask the [USA Today] writer what I said. It’s different from what they printed [because editors changed it]. So they have no case. So if they think they’re going to sue me, good luck. Get in line. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Speaking with numerous boxing insiders last weekend at Madison Square Garden, it is a somewhat common belief that the 39-year-old Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) is a cheating weasel.

Nevertheless, considering that the 33-year-old Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs) has long been dogged by steroid accusations, Roach should seal his trap.

It is quite evident that the sport of boxing is in the midst of a performance-enhancing drug epidemic and it’s sadly comical for any party to presently claim purity.

Entirely ignoring all the rumors and innuendos, Pacquiao most recently fought in June when he had his WBO light welterweight belt stolen by criminally incompetent judges who awarded Timothy Bradley an insane split decision victory.

Conversely, Marquez who has captured eight crowns in six different weight classes and is currently ranked by Ring Magazine as the sixth preeminent fighter today, last vacated the squared circle in April with a lopsided unanimous decision triumph over Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko in Mexico City.

Pacquiao, who has earned a draw and two conquests over Marquez since their initial meeting in May 2004, won an extremely debatable majority decision over “Dinamita” in their third clash last November 12 in “Sin City.”

Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.

“Marquez will beat Pacquiao this time,” said Perron, 76, who worked in the 1980s with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “The first three fights could have gone either way and I think Manny has regressed lately. Marquez will win by split decision.”

Jeff Lyons is a boxing fanatic who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of The Sweet Science.

Although Lyons has immense respect for Marquez, the South Bostonian disagrees with Perron and predicts that Manny will emerge triumphant.

“Manny by split decision,” said Lyons, 33, a resident of South Boston. “It’s a horrible fight for Manny because he matches up so poorly with JMM.”

In stark contrast to the expert opinions of Perron and Lyons, expect Manny Pacquiao to finally knock Juan Manuel Marquez onto Queer Street and prevail decisively later this evening.

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