Manny Pacquiao: 10 Reasons This Fight Might Be His Best Ever
Manny Pacquiao is all set to take on Antonio Margarito this Saturday in Dallas.
All I keep hearing about is how Manny could lose the fight. He is distracted. He hasn't trained as effectively. I can hear all of that, but I don't buy into it.
These may not be ideal circumstances for a fighter going into Saturday, but when is it ideal? There is always something a fighter could have worked on or trained harder for. But one glaring reality we are all forgetting is that Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter.
He could very well be the best fighter around. Saturday will answer all of our nagging questions. But I have a hunch that, rather than Margarito coming up with a huge upset, the fight will be a textbook example of Pac Man getting his man. Here are 10 reasons why this fight will be Manny's best.
10. He Will Care More
Before this week, the upcoming fight featured a fighter on the road to redemption in Margarito. It also provided a fighter that was distracted in Pacquiao. Well, you can now switch out the distracted Manny for a much more concentrated one.
Rule one in sports is to let sleeping dogs lie. You don't want to wake up a monster from dormancy. That is exactly what Antonio Margarito might have done when he mocked Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach. This week, a video depicting Margarito making fun of Freddie Roach and his Parkinson's disease circulated. Now Pac Man has the video to fuel his fire.
Believe me when I say that athletes will use anything to motivate them a bit further. Manny will be watching the internet video for the remainder of the week to get himself psyched up.
9. Last Fight
Manny Pacquiao is not shy about stating that he has accomplished all he wanted to in boxing. During his 60 Minutes interview last week he said as much.
With Floyd Mayweather Jr. increasingly defiant in his wish to not fight Pacquiao, you have to wonder where the diminutive pugilist goes from here. There really is no one else to fight that will leave much more of a mark on his career. If there is no Mayweather bout in sight after this bout, this could be Manny's last.
Of course. no one knows this for sure other than Manny Pacquiao. But if it is one of his last fights, you can bet that he will try to make it memorable.
8. Glory and Entertainment
Pacquiao could do something special on Saturday. He could capture his eighth belt in as many weight classes. If that were not enough motivation, he wants to entertain.
Pacquiao has stated "What I want right now is to maintain my greatness in boxing and to entertain people who can be satisfied by my performance."
Consider this fight to be Pacquiao's chance to show the world what a perfect fight looks like. With a slower opponent, Pacquiao can control the fight. Once he does that, he will want to put on a show.
Antonio Margarito, like most orthodox fighters, has trouble with southpaws. Since 2002, Margarito has fought 16 bouts. In those 16 fights, only two were southpaw fighters, Paul Williams and Daniel Santos. Margarito lost to both.
My point is simple: Pacquiao fights from the left.
6. Tempting Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. It just so happens he keeps getting ducked by the sport's other great boxer. Perhaps the best way to get Money May to fight is to work on his ego.
If Pacquiao dispatches of Margarito with speed and textbook boxing, he will again be touted as not only the best boxer, but one that challenges himself by again going up a weight class. The only way Mayweather could quiet the Manny fans is to fight the Filipino pugilist himself.
5. Margarito Punches Big
Antonio Margarito is a big puncher. What I mean is that he punches powerfully, but wide. His gloves take a while to get to their targets as they take the scenic route.
This is the kind of fighter that Pacquiao eats up. Granted, Margarito is a powerful puncher. But he will have trouble laying a hand on Pac Man. Take a quick look at some Manny highlights. He dodges better than anyone in boxing right now. A long puncher like Margarito will have a tough time getting Pacquiao to sit still for one of his punches.
4. Margarito Is a Brawler
Antonio Margarito is a brawler. He likes to invoke the action. Margarito is keen on throwing punches and getting his opponent to respond. Manny Pacquiao fought a similar, albeit smaller, fighter in Ricky Hatton.
In that fight, Manny successfully eluded Hatton with his quickness and countered with his power. The fight was over in two rounds, with Pacquiao still standing.
Manny Pacquiao is a well rounded fighter. Part of his arsenal is a stout defense. Power can be deadly to even Pac Man, but it is very tough to catch him unaware.
Pacquiao used to be a reckless fighter who took too many chances. What has made him a world class boxer is his ability to wait patiently for his chances. He does not have the wingspan to stay at a distance, but his ducks and doges are unparalleled. He will be content to take on whatever Margarito dishes out and counter with a beautiful flourish.
Sure Margarito packs a punch, especially when he is plastering his tape job. But in boxing, speed almost always trumps power.
I submit to you Oscar De la Hoya. He fought both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. In both cases, his main weapon going into the fight was his power. In both fights he was purely outmatched. During the Mayweather fight, Money May was content to sit back and rack up points. It may have been a boring fight, but it was flawless.
There are ways around power and speed is the greatest of all. Pacquiao is the fastest around. Even with his loss of speed during training, he will still be quicker than anyone Margarito has seen.
1. Best Pound-for-Pound Fighter
I think sometimes we get caught up in the hype before a fight. Nowadays we have to psyche ourselves up in order to justify dropping 60 bucks on a pay-per-view boxing match.
So we take in all the tidbits and believe them. Pacquiao is slower, he is distracted, and so on. But the only real fact that we know for certain before the fight on Saturday is that Manny Pacquiao is hands down the best fighter in the world. He has little to no holes in his game and he has shined in every match in the last five years.
This will be his best yet.