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The Manny Pacquiao – Antonio Margarito PPV: The Breakdown of a Scam

By Geno McGahee

This Saturday is the date when Filipino superstar, arguably the biggest name in boxing, Manny Pacquiao, 51-3-2, 38 KO’s, steps into the ring, with the “Hands of Plaster” Antonio Margarito, 38-6, 27 KO’s, in a 12 round bout with the vacant WBC Light Middleweight Title hanging in the balance. The price tag is around 60 bucks for those of you that will rent it at home, but think about what you are supporting before you put that money down.

HBO does a wonderful job with their 24/7 programs, featuring both camps, but certainly candy-coats the entire “plaster” situation. They sort of mention it in passing, glossing over the fact that he had his gloves loaded against Miguel Cotto and Kermit Cintron. Although it has never been definitively proven that this is a fact, I think that it is far more likely than not. If this is the case and it is, then why is HBO glorifying the beating of a great fighter like Cotto when it was done by a guy that came in with bricks in his gloves, basically? Unfortunately, the answer is that HBO is just as dirty as Bob Arum, Margarito, and Pacquiao in this sewer of a fight.

In one of the scenes of the third installment of the 24/7 series, Margarito playfully closes his eyes as he gets his hands wrapped, laughing up a storm with the hanger-ons around him. He has already gotten away with the crime, has said on HBO’s program that he knew nothing of it, and now has a good laugh at the expense of the sport, and he may laugh harder come Sunday and the PPV buy rate comes in.

There has been a lot of talk of Pacquiao not having a great training camp and RSR can certainly verify that, initially, but the “PacMan” has gotten his focus back and has been looking better in training. He is most likely taking Margarito lightly and a Margarito without plaster of Paris in his gloves might just be taken easily by a less than perfect Pacquiao.

The hype around this fight has been somewhat manufactured by the promoters and HBO and they have used the media well in pushing what doesn’t look like a competitive fight on paper. The sale is that Pacquiao is not focused, which was somewhat true. Was it blown out of proportion to sell the fight? Perhaps, but even if it wasn’t, it has been used well to push the fight.

Unfortunately, the “bad boy” image of Margarito has drawn a lot of people. There are a lot of idiots out there that support criminal behavior. Look at the show Prison Wives. Look at the amount of fan mail that Charles Manson gets. There are a group of people that support the evil people of this world, and we’ve got a large group of them behind Margarito. We also have the “dupes.” There is a group out there that believes that Margarito was a victim and he didn’t have any idea of what was going on with his hand wraps. Everyone within the boxing community from trainers to fighters, laugh this off. It’s absurd. They were co-conspirators.

With all of the nonsense aside, we have a fight on Saturday night, and despite the beautiful way that it was portrayed on HBO’s 24/7, don’t expect a war in the ring. Expect a one-sided beating and a bruised and battered Margarito smiling as he walks to the bank with the big check…your money that you invested into this scam.

The Breakdown

Speed Beats Power … and Manny actually has both…

Since 2003, Manny Pacquiao has been knocking out quality opposition, including Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto. He is extremely quick and powerful. The Margarito contention that he is the extremely powerful guy is an overstatement.

Margarito, with loaded gloves, is a good puncher without question, but when he faced Shane Mosley without them, he looked like an average puncher at best. He couldn’t put a dent in Sugar Shane, and now, if this fight is on the level, and it appears to be, then the punches will not really bother Manny. Miguel Cotto, a much bigger puncher then Margarito couldn’t get to the Filipino superstar when he landed his haymakers.

Many focus on the speed as the difference in the fight and to a great degree, it is, but the power that Pacquiao possesses is going to end the fight, and could do it relatively early.

Chin of Stone… Hmmm…I don’t know if I totally agree…

There is the thought that Margarito can walk right through the incoming to press Pacquiao and wear him down, leading to a late TKO, but I have to beg to differ. Margarito has been known for his will in the ring…his ability to take a beating and keep coming, but he has never faced a pinpoint puncher like Pacquiao and he will have a field day with the “face first” approach that Margarito applies. Margarito has a good chin, but Mosley proved that you can knock him out and if an old Sugar Shane is sending him into dreamland, what will a prime Pacquiao do? I’ll give you a hint: Margarito will be on his back.

Amir Khan’s sparring stoppage is good news for Margarito…

As first reported by RSR, Amir Khan achieved a victory in sparring over Manny Pacquiao, and amazingly, it was by stoppage. There is validity to the fact that Manny was not sharp and paid dearly for it, but you cannot compare a guy like Khan to a guy like Margarito.

Khan is a boxer, a technical counter-puncher…just the type of guy that gives Pacquiao trouble. Juan Manuel Marquez: counter puncher. Erik Morales: counter puncher. Amir Khan: counter puncher. Manny prefers to face the guys that are easy to find like Cotto, Hatton, and Margarito. I don’t believe that Margarito will turn into a defensive counter puncher overnight, so I assume we are going to see him run face first into the tank on Saturday. It’s not going to be pretty.

Size Matters….or a bigger target…

I have seen the publicity photos of the two boxers standing next to each other and facing off and all sorts of other poses and Margarito towers over Pacquiao, but extra size and weight is not going to matter in this fight. In fact, it may hurt Margarito. I don’t think that there are many out there that would pick Nikolay Valuev to beat Joe Louis in a fight if they were both in their primes. It’s an extreme example, but the idea is the same. Margarito is not in the same class as Pacquiao and once he gets near, the fight will most likely be over.

Size will not matter. We will have a slow fighter being overwhelmed by a very quick one.

$60.00…worth it?

I am a fan of Manny Pacquiao, but this fight has certainly tarnished his reputation. He has stepped into the filth that Bob Arum has created, to grab dollar bills. In a just world, Margarito would be behind bars for his criminal activity and for the permanent damage that he did to Cotto’s career, but this is boxing, the most disrespected sport on the planet, and when you look at this fight, you understand why.

Don’t support this fight. Manny Pacquiao is going to win and you can watch it on HBO for free on November 20th…save your money and spend it on a night of bowling, some DVDs, or take it to the casino. This fight is wrong for boxing. It’s a scam being played on the public and it’s up to you if you want to buy into it.

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