Manny Pacquiao/Antonio Margarito 24/7: 20 Things We Learned From 1st HBO Show
Pacquiao/Margarito 24/7 aired on HBO for the first time on Saturday night, hyping up the highly anticipated fight between boxing’s pound-for-pound best, Manny Pacquiao, and the recently reinstated Antonio Margarito.
Over the course of the next few weeks, HBO will air a total of four episodes before the fight takes place at Cowboys Stadium on November 13.
Each installment of this series is only 30 minutes long, but they’re all jam-packed with information you can’t find anywhere else unless you watch the show or read our recaps.
Without further ado, here are 20 things we learned from the first episode.
Pacquiao Says He's Focused
It’s hard to believe, but Manny said he’s more focused on boxing than he’s ever been. While even his trainer Freddie Roach will disagree with that statement, Pacquiao seems to believe it.
He claims his main motivation for this fight is the opportunity to win a world title in his eighth weight class.
He started his professional boxing career back in 1995 weighing just 106 lbs. This past March he tipped the scale at 145 lbs for his unanimous decision win over Joshua Clottey.
Pacquiao and Margarito will fight at an agreed catch-weight of 151 lbs.
Margarito Hopes We’ll Forget
Antonio Margarito’s reputation took a huge hit when he was caught cheating with illegal hand wraps against Shane Mosley.
His plaster fists have not only affected his reputation and personal life, but he was also suspended from the California State Athletic Commission.
This will be his first fight in the United States since getting caught with the hand wraps back in January of 2009.
He believes a victory over Pacquiao would make everyone forget he’s a cheater.
Pacquiao may be a little older and less focused on the sport of boxing, but when he was hitting the mitts with trainer Freddie Roach you could tell he still hasn’t lost any hand speed.
His fast fists continue to be the one thing that sets him apart from every other boxer in the world.
The footage in the first episode of 24/7 was likely very early in training camp, so nobody should be alarmed. However, Manny did look skinnier than the last time we’ve seen him.
With his busy schedule, is it possible he doesn’t have time to eating right or focus on his strength conditioning? Only time will tell.
Now that he’s a congressman in the Philippines, periodic interruptions are expected.
In this episode we learned his associates have pulled him away from sparring sessions and training time with Freddie Roach.
How can get focused on the fight if he can’t even finish a sparring session without being interrupted?
This is an obvious concern for his fans and trainer.
Is Boxing Still His Life?
Pacquiao claims boxing is still his life, but Roach disagrees. The highly respected trainer revealed that Manny told him he “missed his job” while in the middle of a training session. Roach supposedly replied, “This is your job.”
Freddie didn’t try to hide his concern. He admitted he’s very worried about his fighter’s dedication to the sport because he knows Pacquiao is always thinking about his job as a congressman.
Antonio and the people around him have always sworn they didn’t know his hand wraps against Mosley were illegal. They say whole thing was just a mistake.
Even after the suspension, the public humiliation and the huge hit to his reputation he still isn’t willing to swallow his pride and admit he cheated.
Manny Pacquiao claimed he’s fine if he never gets to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. He calmly stated that his “achievements in Boxing speak for themselves.”
While one could argue Floyd needs Manny more than the other way around, both of these guys need to fight each other.
Even if they never meet, they’re both going down in history as two of the best boxers ever. But if they fought each other, the winner would be mentioned within the top 10 fighters of all time.
Manny Has Wanted Margarito for a While
Pacquiao told Freddie that he wanted to fight Margarito immediately after he beat Oscar De La Hoya.
Why has he wanted to fight him for such a long time? Manny says he just loves knocking out guys who are so much bigger than him.
Despite the hit he took to his reputation, Margarito’s Mexican fanbase appears to have only grown in size.
During a portion of the first episode, he was flooded with fans who just wanted an opportunity to see their beloved boxer.
During the show Margarito tipped the scale at 158 lbs. That’s just seven pounds heavier than this fight’s weight limit.
Antonio says he’s better than he’s ever been and he won’t be weight drained like he was in the Mosley fight.
We won’t know until he actually steps in the ring, but 158 lbs is an impressive weight when we’re still weeks away from the fight.
One of my favorite clips from this episode was a short segment which showed Manny Pacquiao jogging alongside light welterweight champion Amir Khan.
Khan also trains under Freddie Roach and has a bright future ahead of him. He’s believed to be one of the few candidates to carry the torch for boxing once Pacquiao decides to hangs up his gloves.
It’s amazing to see such a mega star take an up-and-comer under his wing and train side-by-side with him.
This episode thankfully showed us a recent clip of Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, and I can now confirm that she’s still very gorgeous.
I have no idea why he wants to stay so busy all of the time with boxing, singing, acting and congress when he could stay home and spend time with her.
If Manny Pacqiuao is the most famous person in the Philippines, Freddie Roach is the second-most famous.
He was filmed going into a Filipino mall where he was quickly swarmed by fans who wanted their picture taken with the legendary trainer.
It’s a good thing popularity doesn’t bother him one bit. He said he loves taking pictures with his fans and he appeared to genuinely enjoy the attention.
It was revealed that Manny has been sparring with Michael Medina and Glen Tapia. Both are right around six feet tall and are being told to simulate Margarito’s fighting style when they spar with Pacquiao.
Both Medina and Tapia are way more talented than an average sparring partner and should be able to mimic Margarito’s style well.
During a short sparring session Pacquiao was obviously exhausted and gasping for air. At one point Roach told him he needed to throw more combinations instead of one punch at a time.
Whenever this clip was filmed, Manny was no way in fighting shape to go 12 rounds.
He blames a heel injury he suffered while doing roadwork. Freddie blames it on a lack of focus.
Not only is she beautiful, but she’s also in training camp every single day to support her husband.
He claims that he hasn’t gone a day without her since getting married 12 years ago.
For some reason both Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito incorporate stick training into their regimen.
In other words, they let guys hit them in the stomach with thick wooden sticks until they can no longer feel the pain.
In this episode of 24/7, HBO focused on Margarito’s stick training. However, Pacquiao has been known for participating in this odd workout as well.
Throughout the entire first episode, Antonio Margarito played the pity card for what he went through after he was caught cheating.
While I’m sure it has been a rough time for him, it’s his own fault.
If you’re going to do the crime, don’t complain about the time!
Margarito Predicts a Knockout
Just like many of Pacquiao’s opponents, Margarito is predicting he’ll knock Manny out.
I can understand while many of Pacquiao’s recent opponents think they’ll be able to get the knockout. They’re way bigger than him and tower over him.
Unfortunately, as soon as they feel the power he’s packing behind his lightning-fast fists, they end up hiding behind their own gloves until they eventually get put to sleep.