Antonio Margarito: A Victory Doesn't Mean A Thing!
By Joseph “The Mad Boxing Genius” Torres (Nov 11, 2010) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © German Villasenor)
If you are following the reports out of the Manny Pacquiao camp, HBO’s 24/7 and all of the media appearances, then you know that there is an obvious concern that Manny Pacquiao may not be 100% going into his fight this Saturday night against Antonio Margarito.

There is so much on Manny Pacquiao’s plate right now that boxing has taken a back seat to everything else. On the other side however, the only thing on Antonio Margarito’s plate is boxing. Right now he lives, breathes and sleeps the sport. No distractions of political dealings, no media appearances, no movies, TV shows or CD’s to make, its just boxing!

It’s quite clear that there is more at stake for “The Tijuana Tornado” then a simple victory or defeat. After the infamous hand wrapping incident back in January of 2009, when he was suspended for 1 year by the California State Athletic Commission for attempting to load his gloves with a plaster like substance, he is now looking for redemption. His entire career and accomplishments are now in question because of that faithful night and what better way to prove how good you really are than by taking on and whipping the pound for pound king.

Margarito has even come out saying that once he beats Manny Pacquiao, no one will have anymore doubts of his talents and past accomplishments. There will be no substance like plaster in his wraps, just his fists coupled with his desire to prove once again he is an elite fighter. But, will that really be the case if or when he beats “The Pacman”?

Antonio Margarito and his camp feel that the Pacquiao camp is already making excuses in case of a loss – everyone except Manny Pacquiao who tells his fans not to worry because he’s in tip top shape and ready to go.

Antonio Margarito feels that if the reports are true; that his focus is off and that is conditioning is off, it isn’t his problem and he is right for intent purposes. However, he’s looking for retribution in the eyes of the fans and we all know how critical fans can be, win or lose.

Alex Ariza (strength and conditioning coach for Pacquiao) is not confident with his work this time around. Manny Pacquiao didn’t feel as quick at 151 lbs and therefore would not allow Alex Ariza do his usual routine and bulk him up. Freddie Roach (head trainer for Pacquiao) has stated that although it wasn’t a bad training camp, it was by far the worst camp they have ever had with the Filipino icon.

This posses a very intriguing question… Will Antonio Margarito find what he is looking for by defeating a less than best Manny Pacquiao?

Another question comes to mind… Even if he were at his best, does beating a significantly smaller man (smaller by 4 ½ in height and 6 inches in reach) going to mean anything in the eyes of the boxing fans?

The way it’ll likely play out in the event of an Antonio Margarito victory is that some will say “Yes, he really is that good” while other s will say “No! He beat a smaller man who wasn’t at his best.”

A victory for Margarito over the best fighter in the world will not make or break his legacy as a fighter regardless of focus or conditioning. As of now, he is starting his boxing career over again. What he accomplished in the past will not matter because of the stigma of what shady actions he “may” have done before hand. What he did wrong will not matter either because from here on out there will be a microscope on him at all times. The only thing that will matter now is the time of his last fight, his comeback fight against Roberto Garcia until the time he decides to hang the gloves up for good.

We can only judge this man based on the facts and his “facts” have yet to be determined. Pacquiao or no Pacquiao, win or lose, his fight on Saturday night is only a small part of what his legacy will be in the end.

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