Boxing fans around the world may feel let down upon hearing that Filipino superstar, 7 weightclass world champion Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2) will not be facing Floyd Mayweather Jr. come this November 13th, but the new scheduled opponent, three-time former world champion Antonio Margarito (38-6), should prove to be an interesting matchup. There is no doubt that the overwhelming fan favorite matchup would have been Mayweather, but a fight between Pacquiao and Margarito will undoubtedly be more exciting and competitive than Pacquiao’s two previous bouts with current WBA super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and former IBF weltweight champion Joshua Clottey combined.
As the saying goes, “styles make fights,” and in this case a comparison of fight resumes may help to cast some light on the fighting styles for this upcoming match. Both Pacquiao and Margarito have defeated Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey, each in their own fashion. The bout between Pacquiao and Cotto was somewhat competitive up until the fourth round when Pacquiao pulled away, flooring Cotto with a sharp uppercut and then proceeding to dominate the rest of the fight at the center of the ring with his blistering hand-speed and combinations. Margarito, on the otherhand, was out boxed and outclassed for the first half of his fight with the much faster and sharper Cotto, but then Margarito gradually wore Cotto down as the fight progressed with his constant pressure, hard left hooks to the body, and vicious uppercuts. Both Pacquiao and Margarito defeated Cotto by TKO, Pacquiao in 12 rounds and Margarito in 11, and by the end of both of these fights, Cotto was unrecognizably bloodied and swollen.
Pacquiao and Margarito have also both fought the sturdy former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey, and while both Pacquiao and Margarito have very different styles, their fights with Clottey ended similarly, both winning by unanimous decision in twelve rounds and both averaging over 100 punches per round. In fact, Margarito threw so many punches that he set a CompuBox record by throwing 1675 punches over the course of his 12 round fight with Clottey (for reference, the welterweight average number of punches thrown per round is 58). However, that is where the similarity between the two fights stops. Pacquiao remained elusive throughout his fight with Clottey, utilizing his footwork, angles, and blazing hand-speed to pierce through Clottey’s solid defense and land hard combinations, never allowing Clottey a chance to get into the fight. Margarito had a much harder time with Clottey, engaging in heated exchanges and losing many of the earlier rounds until Clottey hurt his hand in round 4, allowing Margarito a chance to get back into the fight with his impressive work rate and overwhelming number of punches.
So what does this all mean for the upcoming fight on November 13th between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito?