Destruction in Dallas: Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
By John J. Raspanti (Nov 9, 2010) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Chris Farina/ Top Rank)
If you watch HBO’s 24/7, or peruse some of the more popular internet boxing sites, you come away with the conclusion that a big upset is brewing on November 13. That’s the night that heavily favored pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao 51-3-2 (38) tangles with Antonio Margarito 38-6 (27) at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.

Three-time world welterweight champion Margarito certainly enters the fight with some natural advantages. At 5’11 he towers over the 5’6 and a half Filipino dynamo. His wingspan is a good six inches longer then Manny’s. Promoter Bob Arum has been dropping hints for weeks that Pacquiao hasn’t looked very good in training. Loquacious trainer Freddie Roach stated recently that this has been the worst camp ever for his fighter. Could November 13 be a very unlucky day for the six-division world champion?

Antonio Margarito is one controversial fighter. He was suspended last year when a “plaster-like substance" was found inside his hand wraps before his bout against Shane Mosley. He applied for reinstatement in California a few months ago but was turned down. Texas came to the rescue shortly after the California Commission’s decision. Margarito has steadfastly denied any knowledge of what was being applied to his hands.

Manny Pacquiao finds Margarito’s denials ridiculous.

"He is the one who wraps his hands and he doesn't know what is in there?" Pacquiao asked. "Of course he knows. What do you think?”

Margarito feels that only a victory can redeem him in the eyes of most boxing fans.

“I can’t change the way people think, but I didn’t know what was in the infamous wrappings. The important thing is that I’m back.”

Whether you believe him or not Margarito has everything riding November 13. If he wins, he proves that his earlier victories were not the benefit of loaded gloves like some suspect. His career and reputation are on the line. Motivation will not be a problem for Antonio. If it’s true that Pacquiao is not his usual focused self, then this could be a very dangerous fight for Manny. The Margarito before the Mosley fight was a major pressure fighter. He forces the action and throws a ton of punches. With his size, strength and reach this could be a problem, at least for a while for Pacquiao.

The Pacman does have the great equalizer on his side.

Manny has speed to burn. He’s hands down the fastest fighter that Margarito has ever faced. He will use the ring to keep the bigger fighter at bay, and then lace him with some wicked combinations. Defense is not a Margarito strength.

As for the fight Pacquiao will enter the ring a solid 5 or 6-1 favorite. Those odds are probably a bit high. Margarito is primed and looks to be in fantastic condition. He’s on a mission and has something to prove. The questions about Pacquiao’s concentration make the fight intriguing. If the real Pacman shows up (which is likely) I see him dominating at times, using his quickness to get off first and finding Margarito pretty easily with some sharp combinations. Margarito won’t stop trying but all factors point to Pacquiao winning by a late stoppage or a unanimous decision.


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