Although Saturday's fight between Filipino Superstar Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito isn’t in any way as glamorous or as big as Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather would have been, it is still stylistically a very intriguing clash.
Even though Manny Pacquiao is attempting to go for an unprecedented eighth title in as many divisions there are questions regarding his focus for the bout, also is he finally stepping up a weight too far?
Then there are questions regarding the legitimacy of Margarito earning this fight, and also how he will cope with the speed of Pacman?
Let’s look at 10 different predictions for the fight.
The tale of the tape for this bout shows that Margarito seemingly has all the physical advantages with height, reach, weight in his favour.
Because of the weight differential, it’s no guarantee that “Pacman” will have the upper-hand when it comes to power between the two fighters,
One thing that is for certain though is that Manny has a huge advantage in Speed and that will be the key to his victory.
He has not been quite as lightning quick as usual in his training camp so far, but for the last stage of preparations, his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza has stated that they will be looking to give up even more pounds in weight.
He hopes to maximize that extra speed and Pacman has told the media “Speed will carry me through.”
It’s fair to question why on earth Antonio Margarito is even getting this fight, he has been inactive largely due to his suspension.
His comeback fight in Mexico against Roberto García was his only win in two-plus years and it was a performance that really didn’t warrant a megabucks payday against one of the biggest names in sports.
In a recent teleconference, a very confident Manny Pacquiao was heard telling his fans “I'm worried how we can give a good fight to the people,” causing many boxing fans and experts to predict that that “Pacman” will prolong an early stoppage in order to give his fans a longer and more entertaining fight.
Landing one of his trademark hammering straight lefts and surprising a weight-drained Margarito early on, Pacman wins by early stoppage and Margarito joins De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton as fighters beaten into retirement by “the Mexicutioner.”
During his rise in divisions and class a lot of people had anticipated Pacman losing or at least having problems against De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, and or Clottey.
But because he was so dominant in everyone of those bouts, nearly everybody is predicting another one sided Pacman victory come Saturday night but boxing is definitely a sport where we have learnt to expect the unexpected.
If Margarito can find a way to smother Pacquiao’s early onslaughts and perform the way he did against Cotto, then it is difficult to imagine Manny having an easy night.
It’s no secret who is the most focused for this bout and if the strategies of cutting the ring down and going to the body are successful then Team Margarito’s prediction of a win in the 11th round could prove to be true.
Logically thinking, this is the most likely outcome of the fight.
With Pacquiao being the faster and sharper fighter, I expect him to keep off the ropes, land combinations and use his improved footwork to keep out of any serious trouble.
With his incredible workrate, it’s difficult to envision Manny losing on points or even any rounds.
Margarito’s camp have kept it no secret that they aim to go to the body as they feel this is a weakness of Pacman, rarely exposed.
Margarito is arguably the biggest puncher Pacman has faced and Manny has been stopped with a body shot before, albeit a long time ago, can it happen again?
Remember what happened when Oscar De La Hoya moved up too far to face Bernard Hopkins?
With only one loss in the past decade, there is very little to argue why Pac is so heavily favoured in this fight.
If he can perform the way he did against Cotto attacking from crazy angles with lightning-fast combinations, then he could very easily cause a late stoppage after a brave effort from the Tijuana Tornado.
A lot of people are trying to sell this fight on Pacman again moving up, remember he will be fighting for his eighth championship in as many divisions, however, if you look at HBO's 24/7 series Margarito can be seen training whilst wearing a trash bag.
This is a clear indication that he is struggling to cut weight. Whoever is most comfortable at this catch weight will win what is sure to be a very demanding fight for both guys, who will not be in their natural division.
Sometimes, it’s easier to fight above your weight than below it. Just remember how a weight-trained De La Hoya performed against Pacman?
It may sound crazy, but bear with me. Margarito cannot fight as well on the outside as he would need to do in order to maximize his advantages.
Both of these guys are used to being the aggressor, both come forward but for Pacman to win he needs to be on the inside more so this will work in his favor.
I do not think Margarito has a plan B if he gets beaten up on the inside and instead will have to resort to spoiling tactics just to last the distance.
If this does happen, expect a very boring fight.
“I miss my job,” Pacquiao told Trainer Freddie Roach at the beginning of his training for Saturday's fight, referring to the political work of which it is clear Manny’s future is in.
Many believe that the apparent struggles of this training camp are due to a loss of love for the boxing game.
If he wins or loses, Pacman with his trademark grin, may just announce retirement inside the square ring at Dallas Cowboys Stadium.