With the Pacquiao vs Margarito fight at Cowboy Stadium just a few days away now, physical training is winding down as the fighters enter the tapering stage. Maximum physical gains and sharpness are realized by relaxing their bodies as their mental states gear up for the weigh-in and first bell. Promotions are entering their final push as the public interest fleshes out, so there have been some interesting developments that are worth noting.
Also, some interesting links to follow and of course you can read the main course fight preview as the next article on this home page or click this link directly or copy and paste it into your search:
First off, controversial Texas referee Laurence Cole has been named as the 3rd man in the ring to oversee the actions and insure a fair contest according to the rules of the sport. I last saw him in action when he butchered the Abraham/Dirrell match up in Detroit by being woefully out of position to see or intervene in the “final knockdown” of Dirrell by Abraham. This he compounded by delivering a count over the convulsing Dirrell before stopping to yell at Abraham in the neutral corner before asking the ring doc for medical assistance a full 20 seconds after Dirrell had been convulsing. Amazingly, Cole then loudly proclaimed his ruling of a disqualification by foul in spite of not seeing what actually occurred and without consulting anyone or any reflection that I could see.
Maybe I’ve seen worse officiating efforts, but it’s up there near the top. I get too riled reliving it, so you can read a more detailed report here. Fighters deserve much better for sure, so I can only hope and pray he can do better for Manny and Tony’s sake this Saturday.
Moving on, Manny had scarcely arrived in Los Angeles before Bob Arum asked him to make a campaign appearance to boost US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a former boxer himself. The Senator was targeted in a bruising re-election battle during a hellacious take no prisoners election cycle, being knocked down and taking the count according to many polls.
Manny eats up this stuff like candy, so of course he showed up to plug the Senator, and of course Arum, Manny, and Tony all got a bonu$ by this unusual opportunity to plug their fight to a national political audience not usually plugged in on fight night. The fighting Senator Reid edged out a split hair decision on the cards.
Naturally some are crediting Super Manny who furthered his political connections for his own newest senatorial, ahem……..Presidential ambitions :
Here’s a link to an interesting 24/7 series showing Pacquiao and Margarito in fine training camp form and confident in their respective victories. I believe the final 24-7 segment will be released shortly:
How about his CBS 60 Minutes appearance this last Sunday:
Here’s a brief 60 Minutes clip talking about Mama Manny and her new career. She has apparently never seen one of his fights, disliking boxing and fearing for her son’s safety like so many boxing moms:
Here’s the clip of Manny singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” with Will Ferrel on the Jimmy Kimmel show.
Here’s a photo of Margarito soaking in all his adulation in Fort Worth at a tamale festival. It’s worth noting that Margarito fans seemed to have outnumbered Manny fans at the Cowboy Stadium press conferences, perhaps more a reflection of the huge Mexican presence in Texas.
Below are some photos Sports Illustrated graciously dug out of their archives showing Manny’s development through fight photos into a world wide icon and superstar.
Note: It begins with a concussive shot on Marcos Antonio Barrera, a huge upset at the time. I almost got to see it first hand from ringside but for the last minute timing of joining the old Boxing Central website writing staff, later hacked out of existence. It’s big brother, Boxrec lives on gloriously and recently resurrected a new staff of sorts, reporting on the British fight scene. Had I joined up the week or two before the fight, there would’ve been time to properly sort out press credentials instead of the 2 day timeline we had, but what a FIGHT!
Final Thoughts on the fight:
The conditioning issues have already been addressed in the original article that you can read next. Roach is on record as stating he expects Margarito to be at 160 lbs or more come fight night, so apparently the rehydration clause was just a rumor. We shall see if Tony allows himself to be weighed on fight night.
Manny of course will have to be over 147 lbs to make this fight an official WBC superwelter title fight, and the reports indicated that he chose to abandon excessive strength training and weight gaining programs to come in at a more natural 147+ so as to concentrate on his speed that he and Roach see as key to this fight. Interesting to see the difference they think those 3 extra pounds might impose on Manny.
Margarito is in the best condition of his life, impressive considering he holds the Compubox punch stat record for the most punches thrown, some near 1400 punches in a 12 rd fight against Joshua Clottey who Manny beat up earlier this year in Cowboy Stadium’s first boxing match. I personally think Compubox is a bunch a marketing hooey, but regardless, he holds the record and means to come right at Manny, bulling him around with a blizzard of sledgehammers, which is exactly the kind of fight Manny, the press, and the fans want to see.
Manny will move some, give angles, and pick openings to dart in with lightning combos and disappear. He has been sparring with some big middleweight types so should be well prepared for Margarito’s style. There are fewer options for Margarito to prepare for Manny, him being a one off once in a century type of fighter, but Team Margarito has brought in a few southpaws who did their best with the best being tallish WBC middle champ, Sergio Martinez. It’s hard to know if Margarito can cope with Manny’s control over ring center, because that is where 90% of the battle will be waged, who to be the King of the Ring?
Quien es mas macho?
Watch for Manny cutting and swelling up. Clottey didn’t throw and land much, but Manny was a bit marked up after the fight, and Margarito will throw and try to land 10x that. Could be a factor as might the natural lefty/righty style unintentional headbutts that stopped two of Margarito’s title fights against Daniel Santos, one of which he lost a technical split decision on.
I’m picking Manny for all the obvious reasons, but Margarito should prove to be a serious danger in the ring and he’s the hungrier, more motivated fighter looking for redemption and a measure of the considerable respect he used to enjoy. If anyone can stage an upset on Manny at this point in time, he’s one of the select few.
This is a REAL FIGHT, a classic little man/BIG MAN battle, so enjoy……..