Well, I've been writing all day. I blogged last night and now I'm taking a breather and looking at last night's fight and what it all means in the long run.
I just talked to my pal, Pepper Roach. He's Freddie's brother and a very good guy.
He just got back from the fight and as he reminded me on the phone, "Didn't I tell you it would be a good fight."
Yeah, Pep you did tell me. More than once in fact.
I wasn't really sure how this one would play out. I am one of the people that didn't think Margarito should really get a fight like this. And I wasn't sure how he would perform.
As the fight got closer and I heard and saw what Manny was doing at the gym I started to think it might not go the distance. I was wrong about that. Margarito was too big and tough to go down.
So what did we learn last night if anything.
First of all, we learned that Manny is simply an amazing fighter. He fought a much bigger man and punished him for 12 rounds. Something that a smaller man shouldn't be able to do against a top fighter.
Second, we learned that the one thing Manny can't do is grow six inches and add to his frame. The fact is he's a small welterweight at best and his massive skills and talent have been blinding us to this fact up until now.
The fact that Margarito was able to give him a tough time when he was on the ropes demonstrated the limitations of Manny's size. That's why a fight with the similarly small-framed Floyd Mayweather, who is 5'8" and started as a super featherweight makes so much sense right now. Both fighters are essentially the same size.
Third, we learned that Margarito may be a lot of things, but he is a competitor. And he's one tough kid. He had every reason to quit last night and he refused to do so.
Finally, we learned that HBO is hyping things like crazy.
When Jim Lampley announced that there were 100,000 at last night's fight, I reported it on my blog. So did several others. So imagine my surprise when the real numbers came in at 41,000. Or less than the attendance at last year's Joshua Clottey fight.
Boxing is one of HBO's lifelines at this point. A money-maker and a ratings-getter. With Boardwalk Empire tanking everywhere but in LA and New York and shows that only appeal to the denizens of Brooklyn, HBO needs boxing to keep those cable subscriptions up.
Without boxing and Real Sports, I'm not sure what the channel has to offer to most of America these days. Certainly not Made in America or the Life and Times of Tim.
So now we're back to square one. There's one fight everyone wants and no one is sure it will ever happen. Hopefully, the PPV numbers are strong enough to force Mayweather's hand, but we won't know for a few days.
On the other hand, there are a slew of fights coming up that could finally change the boxing landscape.
This week's Williams-Martinez bout will be a good one. And both Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. have matches in December. Hopefully those fights will be good ones and Money May will come to the table.
If all of those things happen, it will be a good Christmas for boxing fans and a happy new year as well.
That's my story after the weekend. And I'm sticking to it.
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