Manny Pacquiao is set to return to the ring this Saturday in Dallas against the controversial former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito.
This fight will be contested in the light middleweight division and the vacant WBC title is up for grabs. This is a fight that has stirred the pot a bit and it will be interesting to see how things pan out.
There are questions about Pacquiao’s dedication and what his mindset is coming into the bout. Margarito of course has a checkered past and you have to question his big fight wins.
Most people are rooting against Margarito and downright hate the man while Pacquiao is the most beloved fighter of this generation, possibly of all time.
Here are 25 things you need to know about this upcoming fight.
This really doesn’t have anything to do with the fight itself, but if you are buying the pay per view you're going to watch the undercard.
The only fight that looks intriguing at all is the Guillermo Rigondeaux-Ricardo Cordoba fight for the interim WBA super bantamweight title.
Rigondeaux is a Cuban defector and amateur legend who is looking to win a title in his seventh pro bout. He is 30 years old and may be the most well rounder Cuban fighter out there today.
It is nice to see Brandon Rios get some exposure but his opponent is hopeless.
The undercard may be bad but the main event makes up for it. Pacquiao is arguably the best fighter of this generation and is looking to win yet another world title.
Even if you think this is a mismatch you should never miss the chance to watch one of the best fighters of the last 25 years go to work.
Margarito may not be the man to upset Pacquiao but he comes to fight every night. His style usually makes for an exciting fight and Pacquiao isn’t afraid to mix it up.
If the undercard doesn’t put you to sleep the main event will be worth the price of admission.
This is by far the best fight of the weekend and the only one close to it is the heavyweight title showdown between David Haye and Audley Harrison.
In all reality that fight is about ten light years away from this one and is only important because Haye is a somewhat exciting heavyweight.
November is an action packed month but as usual the big fight card gets a weekend to itself.
This fight isn’t the best of November. That honor belongs to Pacquiao rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
He will engage in a lightweight showdown with Michael Katsidis on Nov. 27. It is a guaranteed action-packed brawl.
With the passing of his brother, Katsidis may fight like he never has before. Both of the fighters are near their peak, and this bout will be free on HBO as well.
At the time of writing Margarito is a 5-1 underdog. He is a pretty sizable underdog at this point and it will be interesting to see how the numbers shift during the week.
Vegas' treatment of Margarito probably has to do with him getting beat down by Shane Mosley and then being out for a long time.
Personally that seems a little wide to me. If I was a betting man I might put in a bet on Margarito.
This is yet another all Bob Arum showdown for Pacquiao. Many people have been critical of Arum doing this and they should be.
There are better opponents out there for Pacquiao but Arum seems content on giving him decent opponents and keeping it in house. This could be the reason that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has yet to get in the ring with Pacquiao.
That is a discussion for a different time though. Arum is a huge Margarito supporter and was hell bent on making this fight no matter what happened with his fighter.
This is the second straight fight in Dallas for Pacquiao and that may not seem like a big deal, but another huge crowd is expected this Saturday.
Last time out he drew 41,843 and was fighting a guy that had no name recognition outside of hardcore boxing fans. This time he faces a fighter that has a name and a big Mexican following.
They expect more than 70,000 fans to show up for this fight and it once again proves that boxing is far from the deathbed.
Margarito is a man who was disgraced in the United States but remains a big star in Mexico. With the fight in Dallas there will be a large number of Mexican fans in attendance.
Don’t be shocked if you hear Margarito getting more cheers than Pacquiao. In the lead up to the fight Margarito has been getting big ovations from Mexican fans and seems to be totally loved by them.
This may boost the confidence and help him reach the level he needs to get to.
Margarito doesn’t want to be remembered as the fighter who got caught with plaster wraps in his gloves. If he loses that is exactly how the world is going to remember him and they will also remember him as the fighter who was unworthy of challenging the pound for pound champion of the time.
If he upsets the biggest star of his generation he won’t be remembered like that.
He is fighting not only for a win but to restore his pride. No fighter wants to be remembered as a cheater. This win could validate all his other wins that are now under suspicion.
As crazy as this sounds a Margarito win is actually good for boxing. If Pacquiao wins it will get covered in the mainstream media but will be somewhere behind the big four sports.
If Margarito somehow upsets the pound for pound king it will be the first thing you see on every sports channel. It will be the story of the day and you will probably get sick of hearing about it.
It would also set up a highly anticipated rematch between the two. This means that Pacquiao may stay around a little longer than he originally planned on.
If Pacquiao does get the win he plans on fighting one more time before calling it a day. That means that we have 24 rounds or less to watch one of the all time greats apply his craft.
I don’t know about you but that would make me want to watch every single second of his next two fights. Nothing is set in stone in boxing but Pacquiao has a future after boxing.
I truly believe him when he says he is getting ready to hang it up. He has a budding political career and a loving wife and four kids. He has accomplished everything he can and more.
There is no reason for him to stick around beyond a few more fights.
There are a lot of reports that Pacquiao is distracted by his budding political career. When it comes time to fight on Saturday his mind will be solely focused on Margarito.
He is a boxer first and knows what he is doing. He knows that it took a lot of hard work to get to this point and he isn’t going to throw it all away now.
Even if he wanted to be distracted, trainer Freddie Roach would make sure he is where he needs to be mentally. If he wasn’t Roach would come out and say so.
Roach is known as the best trainer in the game because he puts together a great game plan for every fight.
He will have another great strategy that Pacquiao will employ in the ring. Roach is a mastermind and never fails to deliver. It will be interesting how he tries to combat the size and strength of Margarito.
He will have something up his sleeve and will pull it out if he has to.
He is the tallest by half an inch and has the same reach as Oscar De La Hoya. He is going to be the biggest Pacquiao has faced as far as weight goes and that means a lot in this fight.
He has a swarming style and leans on his opponents all night long. This is going to take a toll on the much smaller Pacquiao. When the two stand together the size difference is almost shocking.
Margarito will probably come in on fight night weighing about 165 pounds or so compared to Pacquiao’s 154. It will be interesting to see how the style of Margarito will affect Pacquiao over a long fight.
If you have ever seen Margarito you already know this. He doesn’t use his height or reach at all and certainly is not a pure boxer.
He swarms you with over 100 punches a round, leans on you all night and takes the fight into a phone booth. If he tries to box Pacquiao he may end up getting destroyed.
There are people who say he should try to box from the outside but I am not one of them. It isn’t his strength and will probably get him beat up badly.
Stick with what you do best, swarming on the inside and throwing a lot of punches.
Pacquiao has faced a lot of good fighters since Marquez but this is the first fighter that truly has a chance of beating him.
He is the biggest fighter he has faced, has decent power and never stops throwing punches. Pacquiao struggles with great boxers and Margarito isn’t that but he is a much bigger man.
This isn’t Oscar De La Hoya who came in weight drained and it isn’t Miguel Cotto who was a blown up welterweight. This is a legitimately bigger fighter who is going to weigh around 160 on fight night.
Not the best challenge out there but certainly the best since Marquez.
If you haven’t already figured out this is the highest weight that Pacquiao has ever fought at. At some point this weight gain is going to catch up with him.
Question is, is that going to be this Saturday or will he get by yet again? The only way you’ll know is if you tune in.
This means something different to everyone and quite frankly belts mean next to nothing to me but may mean a lot to you.
But this is an impressive feat no matter what and he would be the only fighter to win a title in eight weight classes. He is also the only fighter to win the lineal title in four weight classes.
This achievement would be more important to historians than it is to fight fans. The value of titles has been watered down greatly.
Margarito is a notoriously slow starter and it has cost him before. He can get caught cold early but his chin usually saves him from getting knocked out.
He was far behind against Miguel Cotto and Paul Williams going into the later rounds. He came back and knocked out Cotto but lost a close decision to Williams after his rally fell short.
If he gets behind against Pacquiao he may have no chance of winning. Pacquiao comes into fights in shape and usually doesn’t tire out as the fight goes on.
If he can't tire out Pacquiao he may lose a wide decision or get knocked out late going all out.
If the fight gets into the later rounds Margarito is going to win his fair share of them. He gets stronger as a fight goes on and should be able to wear Pacquiao out with his constant pressure and size.
As long as he can keep from getting hit cleanly often he should have enough gas at the end of the fight to give Pacquiao some problems.
If Margarito can get the fight into the late rounds he has the kind of style that can hurt any fighter. His relentless pressure and nonstop punching style will eventually get to anyone.
It has been a long time since we saw Pacquiao in trouble but Margarito has the goods to do it.
He may not knock Manny down or hurt him badly but he has the chance to wobble him at the least. If he uses his frame right and leans on Pacquiao all night he will wobble him at least one time.
He has better hand/foot speed, better one punch power, is the better boxer and probably has a better chin if by the slightest of margins.
Margarito can win this fight but he needs to execute a perfect game plan and get the fight into the late rounds. If he cannot do that or if he is getting beat by a wide margin he will have no chance.
That may very well happen because Pacquiao is just the better fighter. The only advantage he doesn’t have is size but that means nothing to him.
I have spent a lot of slides telling you Margarito’s style gives anyone problems and that is true. He may give Pacquiao problems at some point but in the end Pacquiao will figure it out.
Pacquiao has trouble with pure boxers and Margarito is not a boxer by any means. The wild card here is the size difference and how Pacquiao will deal with that.
If he can handle it with no problem he will run right through Margarito.
Margarito has a great chin but has been cracked and once you're knocked out it is easier to get knocked out again. Pacquiao guns for the knockout and likes to entertain the fans.
Margarito has a style that leaves himself open and he gets hit often. If Pacquiao pinpoints his punches and lands them often enough he may be able to get him out of the ring towards the end of the fight.
Pacquiao is the better fighter and he is an all time great. I do believe that Margarito is a stiff challenge who can give him problems but he has almost every advantage.
He comes into every fight super focused and ready to go, has the best trainer in the world in his corner and doesn’t want to disappoint his fans.
It is going to be an entertaining scrap but Pacquiao is going to do whatever he needs to do to see his hand raised in the end.