Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito: Why This Will Be His Toughest Fight Yet
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The hype for the Antonio Margarito-Manny Paquiao is set for high gear. It will be interesting to see if four weeks of promotion will change the public's tepid response to this match-up.
There are a lot of things going against this one.
A lot of people did not see Margarito's last fight. A good win over a solid Roberto Garcia that took place in Aguascalientes, Mexico because Margarito couldn't get a license to fight in the US.
That means that the last time most fans saw Margarito in action he was sleep walking through a fight with Shane Mosley two years ago after getting caught with loaded gloves in the dressing room before the fight.
Talk about a double whammy. Margarito ended up looking like a cheater and a bum all in one fight.
That development and the subsequent beat down Tony received from Sugar Shane Mosley made the Tijuana based fighter's entire career suspect to many sports fans.
Those fans would be wrong, however.
I know a couple of guys who have done the mitts with Margarito and they swear he hits like a mule. With or without loaded wraps.
He's also got a great chin. No one had ever knocked out Margarito before Mosely.
That fight was an aberration in my opinion.
I've watched that fight several times and I don't think Margarito was all there that night at the Staples Center. I think the commotion in the dressing room changed the entire complexion of the fight.
That's doesn't let Antonio off the hook.
Margarito claimed he knew nothing about his wraps but very few people are buying that. Nor should they. Loaded gloves are the worst thing a fighter can do in my opinion.
But it doesn't change the fact that Margarito is a big hitter with a good chin.
Which is why this will be a tough fight for Manny. Probably the toughest he's ever had.
So far Manny has fought the best at the lower divisions. His best wins at welter are not of the same calibre in my opinion.
He was a huge underdog when he fought Oscar De La Hoya and it was a stunning victory. In retrospect, though, Oscar never had a chance against Manny's blinding speed.
Since then, he's destroyed Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto while Joshua Clottey refused to fight him.
Those wins look good on paper but Hatton was always overrated, Cotto was too slow for Manny and Clottey was... well, there's not much to say about Clottey.
Margarito will also struggle with Manny's speed.
But unlike Cotto, Antonio is used to being the slowest guy in the ring. That means he's used to adjusting to faster fighters.
On the other hand, Manny isn't used to being hit by a big welterweight.
Not only that but they're fighting at 151 so Manny can fight for another belt.
Usually a catch weight fight favors the smaller man. But since Margarito has campaigned almost exclusively as a welterweight there won't be any advantage for either man.
It just means, Margarito can come in 4 pounds heavier than usual. On a frame that can easily handle it.
Then there's the question of Manny's dedication. This will be his first fight since being elected to the Senate in his home country and he spent most of the spring campaigning for office.
That makes Manny a patriot in his home country. The question is if it also makes him less effective as a fighter.
I still think Manny wins this fight. I think he's too fast for Margarito and his speed should make him victorious.
He also love to fight. A trait that has made him one of the all time greats.
But if Margarito catches him flush even once, we going to see if Manny is a real welterweight. Or a fighter that just caught a bunch of bigger fighters at the downward point of their careers.
That alone should make this one interesting.
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