First off, apologies for the software problem that has mysteriously butchered up my Pacquiao vs Margarito—Superbowl Del Boxeo article. I’m attempting to edit it back, but I’m not sure of any success, so it may be edited in an inferior fashion to the original or it may just have to be grammatically interpretated as best as possible.
Now, as to last night’s fight at Cowboy stadium, let’s be clear here, regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about Manny Pacquiao or Antonio Margarito, these two fighters deserve high praise for showing up in as fine a condition as any fighters in history ever have, taking last night’s fight to each other with skill and ferocity.
The fight was mostly staged at ring center with each doing as much as they are capable within parameters of their styles and talents, yet by the end, the superiority of Manny Pacquiao stood out as bright as the multiple rotating sky lights that spectacularly lit up the night sky and Cowboy stadium.
I am not of the persuasion that derides lesser losing fighters with banal common descriptors such as “Bum” or dismissing them as ”Shot” or “Trash” and so on. Some fans just don’t understand how this also greatly diminishes their own favored fighter who have apparently only beaten bums or fought trash by extension.
Still, it’s only natural that we the people can have a little fun with metaphors, similes, euphemisms, and captioned photos, all of which paint a picture of the life of a fighter, typically mixed with humbling doses of public pain and humiliation in the ring with shining moments of public glory and satisfaction, even adulation.
It’s no fun getting your face punched in and your guts tenderized in the public view, but to then keep fighting back in a losing cause or having anything left to storm back for ultimate victory, that my friends, takes a special fighter’s heart that was on display last night.
Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito have been two of the highest ranked fighters of their generation with Manny ascending to the top of the fistic heap in these last few years to sweep all the prestigious Fighter of the Decade awards in the first decade of the newly minted 3rd Millennium.
There was a reason that Manny batted clean up for last Sunday’s 60 Minutes that opened with President Obama’s Asian tour and G-20 summit. When the smoke clears, the history will be that Manny Pacquiao will be one of the few seminal world names that kicked off this new decade and millennium.
The fight may have seemed an easy night’s work to the unstudied eye for Senator Manny, but it ain’t easy taking those famed Tijuana Tornado left hooks to the liver, “El Gancho,” anymore than it is eating the famed uppercuts that are Margarito trademark. Those shots brought down highly acclaimed contenders such as Sergio Martinez, Kermit Cintron, and Miguel Cotto and had Oscar de la Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr avoiding him like the plague.
Mr. Manny controlled the ring center with brilliantly dazzling footwork, negating most of Margarito’s offense before it could be triggered.
Credit to Margarito for starting strong with a nice, long, sharp jab that controlled much of the distance between the two early on as Manny probed around the perimeter, getting his timing and openings set to gradually ease into the full measure of the formidable fighter that Margarito is. Some forget or dismiss that Margarito was a Ring ranked fighter for near a decade before being stripped after his wrap fiasco and suspension. He’d earned the WBC #1 contender status by fight night along with the more impartial formulaic Boxrec rankings that had him #2. He made his comeback with renewed vigor, conditioning, and learned some new tricks from his new trainer, so it’s important to understand Antonio Margarito in context.
Margarito has never been more experienced in ring craft, never been in better condition, never been as physically strong as he was last night in Cowboy Stadium, yet Pacquiao slowly chopped him up and then minced him for good measure, one of the most brilliant pieces of ring generalship and talent I’ve ever seen in one fighter.
Cynics may say that Margarito was chosen exactly because his style could be exploited, but folks, I’m here to tell you that any style, any fighter can be exploited by the right talent melding with the right fight plan and style on the night, but it takes a fearless master to put it all together to tame a monster like Margarito who looked like a giant next to the little Filipino.
Sure, I agree that the 150lb catchweight was a bit of a joke, and it’s a mystery only deciphered by the shrouded “public” regulations of the ABC orgs that create these title matches where one of the fighters, Pacquiao, technically failed to make the minimum weight limit of the junior middleweight division which would be one ounce over 147lbs up to 154lbs, not the 144+ figure Manny weighed in at.
The actual fight night weights are no joke however, giving us a rough comparison of the actual size differences in the ring after the fighters have undergone some 36 hours of rehydration and the replenishing and topping off nutritional reserves.
Manny was weighed in at 148lbs and Margarito at 165lbs, or what used to be a standard welter vs middleweight match up of the old days when weight division discrepancies were no big deal.
Boxing needs to be more careful with the way it promotes these types of bouts these days since had Margarito’s strength and power overcome the diminutive Pacquiao with injurious results, the lurking enemies wishing to ban boxing would scurry out in force and the general public would be outraged.
Thankfully, what we saw is what many already knew, Manny Pacquiao is simply a class above any fighter of this generation no matter how much size and strength he has given away in the ring, no matter how many distractions he has outside the ring. He only seems to have grown more nuanced and gotten better and better with every fight, begging the question of whether a limit can ever be reached?
It’s shocking that he can be a sitting Senator, a music and movie star, a husband, a father, an icon for the ages, and still be improving as the best fighter of the decade.
Some are now mentioning Pacquiao as the best ever, and to be fair, he earned the #2 spot in a well publicized world wide public poll held last year, just behind the fabled Sugar Ray Robinson, but ahead of Muhammad Ali.
His admittedly biased promoter, Bob Arum has been proclaiming Manny as the best ever, and with the gravitas he carries as promoter of some 25 Ali bouts, his view is starting to gather some public steam.
I don’t get into many of those lineal, top down descriptors that limit understanding of all the great fighters that have come down the pike in every generation, but it’s out there now folks, a new “beauty contest,” so there it is for any to chew on as they see fit.
Mainly a big thanks to Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito for leaving everything they have in the ring, and to their highly developed training teams that provided some well publicized handwrap controversies and drug accusations in the final countdown before the first bell sounded to kick off the fight.
It’s all settled now. Classic Boxing 101 in Spades!