When it was announced in late July that Antonio Margarito would be the likely choice for Manny Pacquiao’s November 13th opponent the matchup was met with much criticism and disappointment. Coming on the heels of the reality that Pacquiao meeting Floyd Mayweather this year wasn’t likely to happen, seeing the tarnished brawler from Tijuana get the call was a definite letdown.
Once one of the world’s premier Welterweights, Margarito’s career has taken a hit ever since it was revealed that he had elements of Plaster of Paris in his hand wraps prior to his January 2009 loss to Shane Mosley. Margarito would end up getting blown out by Mosley on that night, further adding to his frustration, and soon after he was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission for a year. Pinned with the label of a cheater, Margarito has since been scathed by fans and insiders alike.
One man who still sees the validity in the matchup is Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who has insisted that Margarito has served his time following the hand wrap incident and that he shouldn’t be condemned for life because of it. Arum has been a part of some of Margarito’s most thrilling moments as a fighter and despite giving Pacquiao the obvious edge he still sees danger in the contest.
“I really think Manny is going to win the fight but it will be the toughest, the most grueling fight he’s ever had and it’s going to be a sensational fight,” Arum recently stated in a Boxing Scene article penned by Ronnie Nathanielsz. “[Margarito] is going to throw a million punches from all different angles. He’s much bigger than Manny is, he has a great jaw and it’s going to be a great, great fight.”
Many insiders are giving Margarito little chance to upset Pacquiao, as the paths of the two fighters has seemed to be polar opposite in the past few years. Following his career-highlight win over Miguel Cotto in July of 2008, Margarito has only fought twice, the Mosley debacle and his return bout against Robert Garcia at 154 pounds a few months back, while Pacquiao has amassed a four-fight winning streak that has saw his star rise in convincingly beating the likes of bigger men in Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and Joshua Clottey.
A lot of people feel that Margarito isn’t the same fighter because of his advanced age of 32, his move up in weight, and the black cloud hanging over his head that likely could still be affecting his confidence following his suspension. The overall feel is that Pacquiao’s speed and combination punching from all angles will simply befuddle Margarito and that a stoppage isn’t out of question. Two years ago such a scenario didn’t seem possible but things change drastically in the sport of boxing.
If Margarito is to have success he will have to capture the same magic that he had in him when he turned the tables and stopped Cotto in the 11th round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Trailing on all cards after six rounds, Margarito’s pressure and power punching would began to take a toll on his Puerto Rican foil and he soon began dominating the fight before dropping Cotto twice and forcing him to stay on his knees in the championship rounds. Margarito will have to find a way to absorb the early flurries from Pacquiao will still doing enough damage to have an effect on his adversary from the Philippines.
Continuing further with his thoughts Arum revealed that he simply doesn’t see any fighter in the sport that would be able to defeat Pacquiao at the moment. Mayweather definitely has a chance to be that man but Arum insists that Floyd is out of the picture for 2010 and that he hopes to make their fight next spring, especially if Mayweather decides to sign with Don King, whom he has been spending much time with as of late.
It is rather peculiar to see Margarito getting ready for a shot against Pacquiao and a look back at his career can be revealing. Click on the image gallery below for the words that have defined the career of the ‘Tijuana Tornado’…
In the news
Floyd may be camera-shy but Mayweather’s personal gym was full of hustle and bustle on Wednesday
Mayweather has been extremely silent over the past few months and true to form, he didn’t have much to share with this reporter as far as his recent whereabouts or anything else pertaining to his hall of fame career. Floyd was adamant about no up close pictures being taken of himself but was decent enough to still allow full access to his facility… (Click for more)
Images of the week
Floyd Mayweather was spotted at his personal gym yesterday signing autographs and interacting with the fighters in the gym. Mayweather refused any up-close pictures but there were still plenty of fighters on their grind inside of the facility. Click on the image galleries below for images of Roger Mayweather, Omar Henry, Celestino Caballero, Jeff Mayweather, Jesse Vargas, and more…
Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]