As much as this writer believes that Manny Pacquiao, holder of seven belts from seven different weight divisions, will trump Mexican mauler Antonio Margarito on November 13th, it seems apparent that the fighter who is hell bent on winning is the disgraced former champion.
After seeing clips of Margarito’s training camp in the US, sources are suddenly making this writer believe that Margarito might, just might, end Pacquiao’s winning streak. If dedication and commitment to the sport is looked at, the Mexican visibly shows it. Pacquiao’s own devotion isn't in question, but Margarito is simply the more obvious choice.
Margarito has been working his a** off, clocking in each training day to pursue his goal to beat the best fighter in the world and shut out the demons from the past. And looking at various clips of Margarito’s training camp, that man is really in good shape.
The same can be said about Pacquiao. But if this was a contest of who wants it more, the Tijuana Tornado is the clear victor.
Pacquiao’s training camp in the Philippines has been plagued by politics and other obligations. An environmental fun run and a meeting with the president could have been avoided, as anyone would probably understand the circumstances Pacquiao is in at the moment. It's good to support environmental stability and good politics, but I don’t think they would blame the Filipino champ if he declined to attend, would they?
As trainer Freddie Roach puts it, training camp in the Philippines was a mess.
And while the shift to the U.S. was welcome news to Pacquiao fans, Bob Arum came with U.S. senatorial bet Harry Reid in tow and made a request to Pacquiao to show his “supposed” support for the running politician. This was another distraction of epic proportions, as reflected by Freddie Roach’s and Alex Ariza’s concerns.
They could have let the man train. Or for Pacquiao, he could have just trained. But while a boxer’s life revolves mainly on training and fighting, Pacquiao’s existence has evolved from that of an ordinary prizefighter. Pacquiao has now transcended the boundaries of the sport and his name in the mainstream means gold.
Stamp Pacquiao’s name on anything and it will likely sell like pancakes. Harry Reid and sponsor Nike already knew that.
Just 14 days away from the title bout, will Pacquiao be in peak form once he faces off with the biggest, strongest, and tallest opponent he has fought to date? Will flashes of trademark greatness be enough assurances? Will Pacquiao nab that 8th belt and again rewrite boxing history? The answers may lay in the training camps.
Or perhaps Ariza has the best answer to those questions, “I don’t know".
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