For a man who’s done everything wrong, the former “Most Avoided Man In Boxing” is being rewarded as if he’s done everything right.
November, 13th, 2010, Antonio Margarito will be thrust back into big time boxing where he’ll stand to earn the biggest purse of his career and win another title in a second division against Manny Pacquiao.
As it’s been well documented, Antonio Margarito was caught moments before his 2009 bout with Shane Mosley, loading his gloves to get an unfair and dangerous advantage. For his actions, he had his California boxing license revoked for 1 year. However, “The Tijuana Tornado” has managed to keep his name in the loop by his handling of the situation’s aftermath.
Once suspended by the California State Athletic Commission, Antonio Margarito entertained the idea of disobeying his 1 year ban by fighting in his native homeland of Mexico. Although the idea was eventually nixed, it’s a thought that should have never entered anyone’s mind.
After the one year period had come to pass, instead of re-applying for a license in California, he went ahead and scheduled a fight in Mexico against Roberto Garcia (W10). To top it all off, when he finally decided to re-apply for his license to be eligible to fight in America, he begged for forgiveness in Nevada, a state that had nothing to do with the incident at hand.
His actions have fuelled tremendous anger among boxing fans and industry experts alike to the point where some are even calling for his complete removal from the sport all together. Of course, that is not the case as of now and won’t likely be the case later on. If you go to the social media platforms, the forums, the chatroom and the blogs, there are a significant amount of boxing fans who have vowed to boycott any and all Antonio Margarito fights.
It’s officially unclear on how or why “The Tijuana Tornado” won the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes although there are theories out there that may be more fact than fiction. Nevertheless, it is what it is and whether we want it or not, Manny Pacquiao will be taking on Antonio Margarito on November 13th, instead of the number two pound for pound best fighter in the world Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The question begs whether this fight will be able to do the numbers a Manny Pacquiao PPV event can usually produce because of all the bad blood between his opponent and the fans. I bet it will.
Yes, the buying public is angry at Antonio Margarito as well they should be. But, boxing fans are a funny bunch. We’re a rare breed and what we vow to do with such intensity and emotion now may not what we will do tomorrow. We’re all promoters at heart in that respect!
Right around November 8th, fans will start reasoning out why they should purchase or attend the fight (if there are any tickets left). It’s what I call “Teenage Logic”. When a teenager is told not do something but does it anyway, they reason out why they need to disobey their parents because it’s for their own good or for the good of their parents. Deep down inside these young adults know their actions are wrong but they’ll succumb to the temptation. And on November 13th, we all will as well.
Reason #1: Loyal Followings
Both fighters have given the boxing world thrills and memories. Because of this, they have developed a strong and loyal following. Antonio Margarito’s following may be a little smaller nowadays but rest assure he still has an entire country behind him. He’ll have his share of fans come fight time.
Manny Pacquiao also has an entire country behind him. Like Antonio Margarito, he has countrymen back home, in the States and all over the world for that matter that will support him ‘till the very end.
Then you have the boxing loyalist. Those are the type of people who piss on MMA every chance they get and will still buy boxing magazines even though the boxing world is moving online. You can bet the farm they’ll support the fight.
Reason #2: Complete Hatred For One Of The Combatants
As popular as both men are, they have their share of “haters”.
Manny Pacquiao is being blamed by many (mostly by Floyd supporters) for the two breakdowns in the negotiations with Floyd Mayweather Jr. And the steroid scandal also doesn’t help his popularity. While it’s never been proven that he’s a PED abuser, some people have made up their minds and judge that action right up there with loading gloves.
Many want to see “The Pacman’s” demise. Manny Pacquiao is yet moving up another weight class against a man who is clearly bigger, stronger and completely relentless in Antonio Margarito. Outside of Floyd Mayweather Jr, this will be the “Pac-Haters” best chance to see the Filipino Icon get knocked off his pedestal.
Antonio Margarito has a lot of “haters!” For most, some see what he did as an unfortunate incident and site that he’s technically served his punishment: what’s done is done. But, there are others who cannot and will not let it go. These are the spectators who want this guy banned from boxing all together. Now, if they can’t get rid of him that way, they’ll do it another way.
One must understand that Manny Pacquiao is a small man but he is special! He has made his career by defying the odds and his style could very well chop the bigger man down and earns him a knockout victory.
If Antonio Margarito were to lose decisively against a ridiculously smaller man, in height and in weight by fight time, where does Antonio Margarito go from there? He’ll continue to fight most definitely. However, as a fighter who means something in the overall current picture of boxing, his days will likely be over.
Reason #3: History
As I mentioned Manny Pacquiao is moving up to the super-welterweight division. It is very possible that he could win another world title in another record setting eighth division. Everybody wants to be apart of something in life and boxing fans no different. Some believe that when it’s all said and done, Manny Pacquiao could go down as the greatest fighter of all-time! Whether it happens or not, it’s possible and opportunities to see the greatest, in his prime and make history, come very few and far between. Wouldn’t you have liked to tell your grandkids that you saw Mohammad Ali become the first man to win the heavyweight championship an unprecedented third time? Or, how would you have liked to have witnessed Floyd Patterson become the first man to ever regain the heavyweight title? I sure as hell would have!
Manny Pacquiao may not go down as the greatest fighter of all time but he’s a legitimate all-time great. A fighter like him comes once in a lifetime; you better enjoy it while he’s still around.
Reason #4: What Else Is There To Look Forward To This Fall?
We have some real good fights coming up this fall!
I’m excited to see the remainder of the super-six tournament for this year and I’m also hot for a potential Nonito Donaire/Fernando Montiel fight. But there’s no one boxing match scheduled that has every single dramatic element that make a great fight that a Pacquiao/Margarito match has.
Wouldn’t you like to see Manny Pacquiao make history by winning an eighth divisional title, knockout a significantly larger man or even lose? Wouldn’t you like to see Margarito pay for his sins and catch a beating by the pound for pound king? Antonio Margarito’s entire career has now come under fire. We don’t know for sure if he’s been loading his gloves throughout his career but it’ll be interesting to see if he can defeat an all-time great, who is in his prime, knowing that he doesn’t have something lurking in his hand wraps?
All in all, this isn’t the mega-fight we all had hoped for. It’s not even an event. It is what it is but it’s still intriguing if not exciting match involving arguably the most exciting fighter in the world vs. the most hated and disgraced fighter in the world.
Mike Tyson has been hated just as much or more than he’s been loved but we continued to buy his fights knowing full well what he’s done and what will happen in his fights right? And one thing is for sure, Antonio Margarito isn’t Mike Tyson!
This fight won’t likely do 1 million PPV buys but it’ll get past the halfway mark for sure. A fight isn’t sold because of what will happen, but rather what may happen in the ring. A fight is sold based on how well the fight can capture the public’s imagination.
Pacquiao vs. Margarito isn’t Pacquiao vs. Floyd but all the underlying issues that surround this fight does what it’s supposed to do. It may not capture your imagination right now, but like I said, come November 8th, the teenager in you will rear its ugly head!