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The Manny Pacquiao – Antonio Margarito Cancellation

By Geno McGahee

November 13th is quickly coming and the biggest name in boxing, Manny Pacquiao is preparing for the showdown, and the backlash from the media and boxing fans demanding its cancellation because of the involvement of a known cheater have been getting quieter by the day. The continual press releases pushing this fight, glossing over the fact that we have another Luis Resto – Panama Lewis situation on our hands, along with the tons and tons of “Internet journalists” that are singing the praises of Pacquiao and this decision to take this fight.

I don’t mind being in the minority opposed to it, and this past weekend certainly reinforced my beliefs.

I attended a party and there sat an old man, the grandfather of the birthday girl, and I was sat beside him for the festivities and we began talking about boxing, since I do not follow the hot topic of the day, football. The conversation was very enjoyable, focusing mainly on the great boxing of the 1980s, and then I asked the question: “Do you follow boxing now?” He smirked and said “upon occasion,” but that the game had left a bad taste in his mouth. Out of all the fighters that duke it out in the ring today, one name was mentioned: Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao remains the biggest name in the sport. I stayed as neutral as I could and broke down the situation, telling him that one fighter served the time demanded after loading his gloves with plaster, and he quickly interrupted and said that the “only time he should have served was in prison, and he should never be allowed to box again.” When asked about those that support the fight and write in glowing terms of Pacquiao no matter what, he smirked and noted: “Fat prostitutes turn the trick to satisfy the john and if they find some vicarious love through an athlete and they want to turn the trick for him, so be it. They are a dime a dozen. They aren’t exclusively to the Internet either. They are across the board. We used to call them ‘jelly filled glazed donuts.”

The party was truly enjoyable. It’s a rare occasion that I meet a boxing fan nowadays, even if it’s a casual one. The conversation of ours became interesting enough to get the attention of other party goers and sadly, most did not know a thing about boxing, but became interested in the idea of a fighter facing off against a criminal in the ring. The topic of “death sells” came up by one of the party goers.

“They wanted to put executions on pay per view. Why not sell this?”

Regardless of whether it is a valid point or not, you see where this is going and how this fight is seen by anyone that has the facts. Margarito can be painted as a charitable sort…a blind dupe of an evil trainer, but the truth is that he knew about the plaster and enjoyed the success it brought, regardless of what may happen to the opposition because of it. Public executions would sell, but it doesn’t make it right.

If you ever watch FACES OF DEATH, a series of movies containing footage of real death, you will understand part of the demographic that wants Margarito to continue. The element of death is a big sell and everyone wants to be part of history…to be able to say that “they saw it,” and “was there,” but there is a much larger point here that only a handful of boxing fans and journalists see.

This fight is bad for boxing and it’s not too late to cancel it and save some face. Arum will be swimming in the money like Scrooge McDuck, Margarito will be cashing out his millions at the bank the next day, a little battered and bruised, and Pacquiao will be enjoying the vast amount of suck up articles that are so rampant nowadays on line. I wonder what he truly thinks of the praise of man crush proportions.

The bad guys will win if this pay per view is a success. Boxing is the black sheep of sports and is treated poorly by most. The movers and shakers have been pushing for its end for a long time, but they have settled on its exclusion from the mainstream. Out of sight, out of mind, but the sport deserves more than that. It will always be troubled by criminal behavior and corruption, but this is as obvious as anything that I have ever seen.

So what to expect from a Pacquiao/Margarito fight? Not much, unless we get some plaster of Paris mixed in there. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities either. Look at the facts. Margarito was loading his gloves when less money was involved. A win over Pacquiao puts him right back on top of the world and if he does it and they don’t find the bricks in his gloves, his past gets erased and he’s back on top until he gets exposed again. Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting the ears of Evander Holyfield after getting continuously bashed in the face by the head of the “Real Deal,” and despite the video evidence of foul play by Holyfield, instigating the situation, they still banned Iron Mike from boxing and he had a difficult time returning. What Tyson did was wrong, but provoked. What Andrew Golota did against Riddick Bowe was wrong. BUT neither man went into the ring knowing that they are carrying deadly weapons and could have potentially killed their opponent.

Miguel Cotto’s rapid decline should be blamed on the illegal activity of Margarito, but this is boxing and the boxing fans need to rise up and tell Arum to shove this pay per view. We are not going to support a guy like Margarito. Those Manny Pacquiao groupies out there that are praising him for taking this fight to “punish” Margarito, need to wake up. Like Margarito, Manny’s in it for the money, obviously. If he wasn’t, he would have not taken this particular fight.

I have never pushed for the cancellation of a fight. I was opposed to Joe Mesi fighting on after his brain injuries, because boxing is a brutal sport. People have died inside the ropes and why are we creating a situation where is more likely to happen? Why are we rewarding those that turn the sport into the circus that most outsiders claim it to be? I know that most of you are still going to rent the fight whether you agree with me or not, but if I can convince a handful of you not to, then it’s a start.

Read: Food For Thought: A Closer Look at the Negative Impact of Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito

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