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Manny Pacquiao had his own sock problem during a fight

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Manny Pacquiao complained after a 2004 fight that thin socks caused him problems (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

LAS VEGAS -- Last month, Timothy Bradley told Yahoo Sports that he injured his feet during his first bout with Manny Pacquiao because he did not wear socks.

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach mocked Bradley about it and laughed when he heard Bradley said he did it because former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson once went without socks.

"How stupid is that, to think that Tyson didn't wear socks when he fought?" Roach asked Yahoo Sports. "I trained Tyson and I know. He wore socks. He wore the low-cut kind and you couldn't see them inside his shoes, but he had them on. What's this guy thinking?"

Pacquiao laughed at questions about Bradley's lack of socks. But in his first fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in 2004, Pacquiao complained about the socks he wore that night.

In a blog he wrote for Top Rank after the draw with Marquez in Las Vegas, Pacquiao said the socks he wore were far too thin that they caused him blisters.

Toward the latter rounds, because I was wearing socks that were very thin, I had developed blisters on my feet making it very difficult for me to move as effectively as I had during the earlier rounds. I had to fight more flatfooted than we had trained. After the fight, when I took my boots off, my socks were worn through and they were very bloody.

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Reggie Miller, Tim Bradley and Chris Webber (Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

Asked about it on Tuesday, Pacquiao recalled the incident and said, "I didn't make excuses about it."
Working for the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper at the time, I was the only reporter in the back with Pacquiao and Roach when they came back from the ring and Pacquiao was limping noticeably. I heard him tell Roach that his feet were badly hurting him and talked about it at length with both of them.
On Tuesday as he briefly discussed the socks issue, he showed he clearly remembered what happened in the first fight. He'd knocked Marquez down three times in the first round, but one of the judges scored that round for him 10-7 and not 10-6 as it should have been because he was mistakenly under the impression he could not score a 10-6 round.
"If the judge scored it right, I would have won that fight," Pacquiao said.
Roach, who shipped a box of socks to Bradley's Los Angeles media day, said socks won't be an issue for Saturday's rematch.
"I can guarantee you no one is going to be talking about socks this time," Roach said, giggling.

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