After months of anticipation, we are within days before witnessing the clash of two of the top boxers in the world today, Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. Two opposite sides of the pendulum, two different sides of the spectrum.
A heavy-favorite who has been the darling of the media ever since his meteoric rise to the upper echelons of the sport, who now enjoys great measures of fame and fortune against a heavy underdog who has faced criticisms and controversies that almost ended his boxing career.
Pacquiao, through his dominating performances against the likes of former multi-titled champion Oscar de la Hoya, Puerto Rican sensation Miguel Cotto and British slugger Ricky Hatton, has cemented his legacy as one of the finest fighters the Philippine archipelago has produced—probably, one of the finest to have ever wore a boxing glove.
Pacquiao became an instant celebrity not just in his native country, but as well as in the United States and in other parts of the world, filming movies, commercials, hosting television shows, touring on concerts and just recently, winning a congressional seat as representative the lone district of Sarangani in the southern part of the Philippines.
On the other hand, Margarito was marred with controversies and was even suspended by boxing regulating commissions due to an "illegal hand wrapping" incident during the Mexican champion's bout against the American speedster Shane Mosley.
Despite his huge height and reach advantages, Margarito is still a heavy underdog considering that Pacquiao has beaten foes of all sizes and weight classes.
Pacquiao will go into the fight armed not only with his vast array of offensive repertoire and not just with the dreams and aspirations of a whole nation but also together with politicians, actors, singers and all the other big time personalities that somehow cling upon his immense popularity.
On that same night, Margarito, "the cheater," "the plaster of Paris guy"—the one who has been called names of such and such. The fighter which rarely receives the benefit of the doubt or even a tip of the attention Pacquiao has been getting will go into the ring a la Rocky Balboa, trained under primitive Balboa style and shaped to a typical Balboa story.
In a fight between one who has nothing to lose and everything to gain—a Tijuana-born tornado who is out to prove something against one who seems to be preoccupied with the vast riches he has accumulated -- a Filipino legend whose legendary status has probably gotten into his head, a spectator from afar naturally speculates; it's a battle between good and evil, as to which is which, it's up to you to decide.