icon Updated at 04:11 AM EDT, Mon Sep 28, 2015

Roach Prefers Marquez For Manny Pacquiao's Next Fight

By Steve Kim

So who does trainer Freddie Roach prefer to have Manny Pacquiao face in his return to the ring in 2016?

''(Juan Manuel) Marquez," answered Roach to BoxingScene.com.

The only problem is Marquez has made statements that he simply has no interest in a fifth go-around with 'the Pac Man'.

"Well, Bob (Arum) tells me he does. But out of those names, I want the easiest fight for Manny and we can get back on track. So I think he's the easiest opponent of those guys."

The other names being mentioned for Pacquiao include Kell Brook, Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan and Terence Crawford. But going back to Marquez, it's a rather curious statement from Roach given that the last time they faced the Mexican, Pacquiao was knocked out cold in December of 2012.

"It was just one punch, Manny was fighting a really good fight going into that one punch but we know it's a possibility but the thing is he's been off for more than a year now and out of those guys, I think he's the safest of the guys," said Roach, who said he got a call from Arum recently.

"Bob asked me to get ahold of Manny and get an MRI of his shoulder. He named three or four of those opponents and Manny says, 'We're just not ready to make a decision. I still need to work out the arm a little bit more and he said tell Bob I'll send the MRI to him right away.' Right now, (Manny) doesn't want to talk opponents, at all."

Pacquiao is currently rehabilitating his right shoulder that was injured prior to his May 2nd bout versus Floyd Mayweather.

Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com