PACQUIAO FOOLS AROUND: I'M SCARED OF MARGARITO

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny Pacquiao: “Malaki kasi masyado si Margarito. Natatakot ako (Margarito is too big. I’m scared),” he said with a foolish smile.]

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero  - Manny Pacquiao had plenty of fun breaking sweat on his first day at the gym in preparation for his Nov. 13 title fight with Antonio Margarito in Arlington, Texas.

The pound-for-pound champion started the day with a 30-minute run inside the exclusive Brentville International Community in Laguna, and shortly after lunch he proceeded to the gym.

Temporary training quarters for Pacquiao is the Elorde Gym in Quezon City. He will be back today for the same routine and is scheduled to leave for Baguio City on Sunday for the heavy training that starts on Sept. 20.

Pacquiao, according to his aide, Jojo Sta. Teresa, did four rounds with the mitts with an in-house trainer, and had fun working out. He horsed around with those who were present, and brought laughter to the sweatshop.

“Natatakot ako kay Margarito (I’m scared of Margarito),” he said repeatedly.

Alex Ariza, his strength and conditioning coach, flew in from Los Angeles yesterday morning but opted to rest the whole day. He is expected to be at the gym today when Pacquiao shows up.

Buboy Fernandez will also report for duty starting today.

From the gym, Pacquiao put on his business suit and headed straight to the House of Representatives to perform his duties as congressman from the lone district of Sarangani.

Pacquiao is the overwhelming favorite against Margarito, despite a four-inch disadvantage in height although at the gym yesterday, he acted as if he was the underdog.

FROM RINGSIDE REPORT http://ringsidereport.com/?p=4527

Tainted Fight: Manny Pacquiao Vs Antonio Margarito September 6th, 2010 Bad Brad By Jorge “BoxWrite” Garcia

(Managing Editor’s Note: Jorge “BoxWrite” Garcia is our newest Feature Writer here at RSR and I, along with the team welcome him aboard.)

On November 13th from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao will take on Tijuana’s own Antonio (photo)) Margarito in a 12 round world title bout. The Top Rank promoted event will also feature fighters such as former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik and up and comers Mike Jones and Guillermo Rigondeaux in separate bouts.

Nowadays, every boxing fan you talk to has an opinion about Margarito, which usually leads towards remarks of support or despise toward the former world champ. The current debate about Margarito’s awareness of the fixed wraps will go on for a long time; it has become boxing’s version of the O.J. Simpson trial. I won’t waste your time with the specific details that lead to the forced year layoff from the sport as I’m sure you have read numerous articles detailing that issue in the last couple of months. The purpose of this written piece is to figure out, as you read along with me, my overall reaction of what will transpire in about 2 1/2 months from now.

Early on I became a fan of Margarito with his relentless dispatching of talented fighters like Sergio Martinez and Kermit Cintron. His style of pressuring and wearing his opponents down, usually before the 47th minute mark, intrigued my interest as a new boxing fan.

“A young and tall welterweight with a chin? I’m on board. When is his next fight?” I exclaimed.

Another thing that made it easy to follow Margarito’s career was the label that he embodied as “The most feared man in boxing”, fueled in part by Floyd Mayweather’s unwillingness to fight him. That in itself triggered endless fan speculation of what would happen if this strong welterweight would step into the ring against a future hall-of-famer in Mayweather?

In what seemed as a long journey for Margarito, his big break had finally arrived via his fight against then Puerto Rican phenom Miguel Cotto. In the summer of 2008 Antonio Margarito had done what many people thought was impossible in knocking out a very talented and dangerous Cotto in the 11th round.

Margarito was on top of the Boxing World.

Margarito was heavily praised everywhere he went for what was easily his biggest achievement to date inside a boxing ring. A couple of months later Margarito’s invincibility grew on a daily basis as did his fan base in route towards a title defense against the legendary “Sugar” Shane Mosley and on that night everything that could have gone wrong, did.

As a fan I was shocked and in disbelief as Jim Lampley explained the reason for the delay of the anticipated main event. In my attempt to process what had happened, I kept on questioning.

First: “What?! I can’t believe he got caught cheating.” (Confused)

Moments later: “What?! I can’t believe he got caught cheating!” (Enraged)

After several minutes repeating the same questions with alternating emotions in trying to decipher what was said, the main event was underway. Looking back on that fight I question what would be the overall reaction if Margarito would have beaten Mosley. But the fashion in which Margarito crumbled to Mosley not just added that “Barry Bonds” stain to his whole career but it made it easy for people to disclaim any defense Margarito’s camp tried to explain.

But here we are now, about 20 months later and Margarito has a shot at arguably the best fighter in the world in Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao. But what has he accomplished to get such a shot at in the biggest stage available?

Nothing.

If I were to go to any promoter and tell him that I have a fighter that was caught trying to cheat, was sent into inactivity for more than a year and struggled in his return bout against an “easy” opponent and requested a title match… I would be laughed out of every office. Well, that’s not true Top Rank would probably give me a shot.

After the latest failed negotiations to make one of the biggest fights in modern boxing history, Pacquiao was left standing around looking for a new opponent. Several opponents were willing and able to step up and fight the newly crown congressman but as it occurs way too often in boxing the fight was awarded to the fighter with the biggest profit gain. Let’s face it, if you were the promoter chances are you would also make this fight, they’re simply too many things that point in that direction. First, The amount of negative publicity that Margarito is getting outside of the just the hardcore fans is huge and Top Rank is banking on those casual fans to tune in even if it’s just to watch Margarito get his ass kicked, publicly. On the flip side, Margarito still has a huge fan base throughout the world and that coupled in with Manny Pacquiao’s almost unreal popularity points towards record numbers and huge profit potential. Business is Business and that’s why these types of matches will always be made, unless you want it to change.

These network PPV’s and ringside seats don’t sell themselves, plain and simple. Promoters are counting on your loyalty to keep on purchasing their product and even though every boxing fan from here to Japan has bitched about something that doesn’t keep anyone from still watching the fights, myself included.

At the end of the day my thoughts on the upcoming title fight leaves me with an all too familiar bad taste in my mouth. And now that Margarito has a date with Pacquiao his 4 1/2” height advantage and 6” reach advantage might give Manny some trouble and could be a huge factor in a long tough fight. Manny is a fighter and is willing to fight anyone even if they “knew” but if Pacquiao comes out in this fight with a loss it would be a shame it came to such an unworthy opponent.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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