Manny Pacquiao will fight Antonio Margarito on November 13th, 2010 for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight title. This fight has a lot going on; Margarito will be trying to clear his name after cheating allegations and a suspension for wrapping his hands in a plaster like material. Margarito will be trying to be the first fighter to beat Manny since 2005, while trying to dethrone what some are calling the greatest boxer of time, Manny Pacquiao. Manny on the other hand, will be trying to get back into fighting shape after winning a seat in Congress in his native Philippines. He will also be going after his 8th title in eight different weight classes.
Eight weight classes, eight titles? You read it right, that’s something no other boxer has ever done. If Manny wins this fight he may and should go down as the greatest fighter of all time. Manny has spent his career winning, but not in the fashion he has shown since having Freddie Roach training him. Freddie Roach has pushed Manny to his highest level and I don’t think Manny will show much rust in this fight. A lot has been talked about his training and conditioning while in his home land. Things change when he walks back into the little 2nd story gym in Hollywood. Freddie Roach will have his top fighter in top shape come fight time.
Margarito has a new trainer in Robert Garcia, who just so happens to have trained two of Manny’s fellow Pinoys; Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire. Garcia has made comments that Manny better pray and he has never faced a fighter as big and strong as Antonio Margarito. That much is true, Manny has never fought an opponent that stands 5’11’’ and weighing 150 pounds. Margarito is a HUGE 150 pound guy. Margarito has an enormous height advantage standing 5 inches taller than Manny and having a 6 inch reach advantage. Antonio will be the biggest fighter Manny Pacquiao has ever and he will have to rely on what got him to this point to begin with, SPEED and Determination.
Margarito is the most dangerous fight for Manny, a huge guy with knock out power and tough chin. By all accounts Antonio is in supreme shape and looks like a giant next to the smaller Pacquiao. Margarito could use this size to keep Manny in the corners and up against the ropes and really put a thumping on him. That is if Margarito can catch Paquiao.
From what I can tell it seems like Antonio Margarito is training harder than he ever has. Manny is just staying steady with his system. It’s a system he knows and it has worked time after time. I’m at the point that I think Margarito may train himself into a state of fatigue by the time the fight rolls around and punch himself out before the fight even starts. He is no doubt in the best physical shape of his career, but in the lower weight classes one rule always stay the same, SPEED KILLS! Manny has some of the fastest hands and quickest movements you will ever see.
How will Manny stand up to the power? Speed; if you can’t see it you can’t hit it. Manny will use his speed while Antonio will use his power. Don’t forget that Manny hits hard in his own right too, ask Ricky Hatton or Eric Morales. Manny will force Antonio off his step and have to reach to make contact. Manny will counter with fast jabs and wicked combinations. There is not a boxer alive that can stop the speed of Manny Pacquiao.
I’d like to think that Manny will be able to move enough to ensure Margarito will not get a bull’s-eye shot. Shane Mosley was the last to beat Margarito and he did it using his speed. Paul Williams, another fighter that was able to beat Margarito and Willaims did it with hand speed as well and punches in bunches. Both Mosley and Williams threw more punches than Margarito by 2-1.
The last time Manny fought, it was against Joshua Clottey, Manny threw 1,231 punches, which was a career record. Manny does not fade as the rounds go on; he smiles, as he throws lightning quick punches and uses masterful footwork. If speed is all he had I’d say it would be a closer fight, but as I mentioned before Manny has the ability to knock his opponents out just as easy as Margarito does.
Margarito will be able to counter in time to put a lasting effect on Manny. I don’t think Manny will throw 1,231 punches, but he may have to. Margarito will have to hope for a lapse in cardio or a lapse in thinking on Manny’s part to catch him flush and straight on. A lot of questions will be answered on November 13th; does Manny have a strong chin? Did Manny let his political dreams crush his boxing legacy? Can Margarito keep up with the Pac-man? Can a boy from the streets of the Philippines that started off weighing 108 pounds in his first fight and will be fighting at 150 pounds on November 13th become the greatest of all time?
I’m calling it now; Manny wins due to a TKO (referee stoppage in the 9th). Margarito will not be able to catch Manny and test his chin. With this win Manny and Freddie Roach will have to be known as the greatest fighter and trainer of all time because much of what Manny does is because of how Freddie trains him. The mental part of the fight, the game plan, the preparation and trash talking are all on the shoulders of Freddie Roach. The punches, the will to win and the everlasting smile, well that’s all Manny!