MANILA, NOVEMBER 14, 2010 (STAR) Mexican all poised to seek redemption By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated November 14, 2010 12:00 AM

Antonio Margarito.  | Zoom DALLAS – Overweight or overtrained or not, Antonio Margarito is ready to fight.

“The time is here and there’s no excuses. I’m ready for this fight,” said the heavy Mexican who squares off with the world’s best fighter Saturday evening at the Cowboys Stadium.

Things have been said about Margarito’s weight or that he had overtrained for this showdown for the vacant WBC super-welterweight crown.

But the Mexican camp said none of these are true.

“I’m the best I’ve ever trained and I’m the best I’ve ever been for a fight,” said Margarito, coming off a long layoff that was cut short by a 10-round session with Robert Garcia in Mexico last May.

Margarito is getting the biggest paycheck of his career, $3 million and even more when all else comes in, for fighting the pound-for-pound champion from the Philippines.

But he said it’s really not about the money.

He said it’s the opportunity to fight the best, clear his name and get the bigger fights later on.

“The money is not important to me. I just want to continue with my career and get those kind of purses in the future. The layoff didn’t bother me because the only thing I’ve been thinking off the last 18 months is to get back in the ring,” he said.

“What’s in the past is in the past, and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m right now in the present and thinking about the future,” said the boxer who got into a nasty handwraps in issue January of 2009, and took a one-year suspension.

Top Rank’s Ricardo Jimenez joined Pinoy scribes in a table hours after the weigh-in, and brushed off all the talk the Margarito had great trouble making weight.

“He (Margarito) said this is the best camp he can ever remember because he was eating everyday. He said he felt so good and that he was playing with two pounds all week long (and not eight pounds as others claimed).”

Margarito said he woke up at around 6:30 in the morning Friday and was just a little over 150, and at around three hours later he was at 150.

“He said he felt great and that he felt real strong. He said ‘I needed to weigh 150 so I came in at 150,’” Jimenez said.

“Training is the key for winning this fight. I couldn’t feel any better than I do. I’m very motivated for the fight. I don’t think of any problems. He’s faster but we are prepared. This is my best preparation ever for a fight,” Margarito said.

Freddie Roach thought Margarito looked drawn during the weigh-in.

“Margarito was really drawn and a little weak, and Manny was at his natural weight. He’s a little bit light (at 144.6) but he’s fine,” he said.

Roach was told of what Margarito said after the weigh-in, and the celebrated trainer smiled.

“Good. We’ll see tomorrow,” then politely, he walked away.

'Manny can stay on the ropes' By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated November 14, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)

DALLAS – Freddie Roach said Manny Pacquiao can spend some time on the ropes.

Because this time, it will happen for a reason, unlike when he did against Miguel Cotto last year.

“I told him if he wants to go the ropes we better work on a plan to counter the attack,” said Roach, recalling some moments during the Cotto fight where Pacquiao almost voluntarily took punches from the heavy Puerto Rican.

Roach said this time, Pacquiao can lean on the ropes, draw Margarito, force him to commit, and then throw the counter.

“It’ll be for a reason this time. If he goes to the ropes, it’s for the counter shot and we can knock him out with that counter shot,” said the four-time Trainer of the Year.

A possible scenario, he added, is Margarito throwing his left or right uppercuts while Pacquiao has his backs against the ropes.

“He steps out with his left foot to throw the right uppercut, and then he goes the other way he’s gonna throw the left uppercut,” he said.

It’s when Pacquiao can land a very good counter just as Margarito is about to throw some of his own.

Margarito true warrior, Arum warns By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated November 14, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (2)

[PHOTO LOADING...Manny Pacquiao, left, promoter Bob Arum, center, and Mexican Antonio Margarito hold the WBC Super Welterweight Championship belt during their press conference at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. EPA | DALLAS]

 – Oscar dela Hoya. Miguel Cotto. Joshua Clottey. Three big men Manny Pacquiao had faced. Three big men Manny Pacquiao had defeated.

Now comes Antonio Margarito, taller, heavier and maybe even better than the three who had come before him.

Bob Arum last Thursday spelled the difference.

“Oscar is the kind of fighter that when he saw how much speed Manny has, in his heart he quit,” Arum, his slow, distinct voice, told reporters at the makeshift gym of the Gaylord Texan Hotel.

“It took him eight rounds before he finally threw it in, but he quit right from the first round. Joshua Clottey did the same thing even though he lasted 12 rounds,” said the chief of Top Rank Promotions.

And Cotto?

“Miguel is the same kind of guy as Margarito. But he was able to wear Miguel down,” said Arum of his Top Rank fighters who figured in a bruising 11-round encounter in 2008.

Margarito won that one. In 2009, Pacquiao made Cotto quit in the 12th.

Does this make Margarito a tougher opponent for Pacquiao?

“This guy is no quitter,” said Arum.

“This guy is a true Mexican warrior and he’s not gonna be discouraged, he’s not gonna quit, he’s gonna be in there trying right from the beginning. Therefore it becomes a much more difficult fight.”

Arum remembered the night Margarito and Cotto clashed in Las Vegas for the WBA welterweight crown.

“The first four rounds Miguel gave him hell, and then he (Margarito) came on, turned the fight and Miguel had nothing left,” Arum said.

Pacquiao has to bring the fight to Margarito because, Arum continued, this Mexican will always be there until he’s made to quit.

“He has to fight Margarito until there’s nothing left in Margarito’s tank and it stops. Margarito is never gonna stop willingly,” he told reporters.

Manny's stuff stirs market By J. Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated November 14, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)

[PHOTO LOADING...Out in the market are Nike trainer 1.2 Pacman shoes and Nike Team Pacquiao dri-fit t-shirt ‘Respeto’. | Zoom MANILA, Philippines]

There’s new merchandise in Nike’s exclusive Manny Pacquiao apparel and footwear lines out in the market for fans to commemorate his fight against Antonio Margarito at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this morning (Manila time).

Nike product director for athletic training Stephen Clifton and product director for footwear Zac Bromert worked with Pacquiao himself for 18 months to develop the latest designs. Clifton and Bromert even flew in from the Nike headquarters in Beaverton to soak in the Filipino mood in drawing inspiration for the collection.

What the Nike innovators came up with is a range of products that is uniquely different from other Pacquiao merchandise. A trademark is the superior storytelling that is featured in the three T-shirt, hoodie and two shoe designs.

The three dri-fit T-shirts represent aspects of Pacquiao’s personality and life. One design centers on “Respect” – it’s what the Filipino icon has earned in capturing seven world titles in seven weight divisions and it’s what he shows his opponents in the ring. The shirt will resonate with Filipino and Mexican fans alike who respect what Pacquiao has done in his fighting career and how he has treated his opponents off the ring. It’s a fitting tribute to the Mexecutioner who is out to add Margarito to his list of victims.

Another design is inspired by a Bruce Lee movie poster reflecting the epic nature of Pacquiao’s bouts and his superstar status. The third design shouts out “Boom” with a meteor print similar to the tattoo on Pacquiao’s left forearm, acknowledging his powerful punch. Pacquiao recently appeared in Nike’s “Boom” campaign. Each shirt is priced at P995 at select Nike stores nationwide.

The Nike KO hoodie comes in grey and red, showing the “MP” icon. It retails for P3,795.

As for the shoes, there are two distinct colorways – the black and red selling for P4,995 and the limited edition gold with only less than 400 pairs in the country for P5,895. The word “Team” appears on the left heel counter and “Pacquiao” on the right. The gold shoes are destined to be highly sought-after collectors’ items.

The black and red model incorporates the Pacquiao elements of a meteor print on the insole, representing speed, power and destruction – an appropriate metaphor on his left forearm where the tattoo is found. The red colorway honors the Philippines while the outsole and sheen symbolize the heat of a meteor as it enters the earth’s atmosphere.

The key features include flex grooves for multi-directional movement, delta node traction, contoured heel providing a softer heel strike landing and a smoother transition to the forefoot, “MP” icon on the heel counter, Max Air unit for impact protection, lightweight cushioning and durability, extended outrigger for lateral stability and full coverage toe rubber.

The gold version shows the seven stars on the left insole, representing Pacquiao’s seven world titles. The right insole reads “Manny ‘PacMan’ Pacquiao.” The left insole is red and the right insole is blue in honor of the Philippines. All members of Team Pacquiao and the champion himself wear this shoe whose other features are identical with the black and red model.

Pacquiao has been a Nike endorser since 2006 and is on his second contract with the brand acknowledged as “the world’s largest designer, marketer and distributor of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.”

Nike Philippines country marketing manager Mae Dichupa said, “We are very proud to support Manny in all his battles and feats – he embodies the good sportsmanship and athleticism that Nike athletes possess, we are committed to being a part of his battle from his rigid training to the actual fight in the ring.”

Pacquiao is listed by Forbes Magazine in the top 10 of the most influential athletes in the world. For the Margarito fight, he is guaranteed P17 Million and may earn up to $20 Million with his pay-per-view share.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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