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Manny Pacquiao – Antonio Margarito: A Sucker’s Bet

By Geno McGahee

We’ve all had time to digest the fight, a one-sided beating of an overmatched opponent, but that’s not what we were led to believe. The general public was given the false hope that the heavy underdog Antonio Margarito was going to be a tougher challenge then most thought and would possibly pull the upset because Pacquiao did not have the focus and was not training well.

From the casinos in Las Vegas to the Online Boxing Betting sites, the money came in, bet on an upset victory for Margarito.

FOX Sports reported on the mediocre training of Pacquiao going into the fight. RSR also confirmed a report that Pacquiao was stopped in training by Amir Khan, but things changed in the camp after the wake up and eventual transfer to the Wildcard Gym. Pacquiao was the fighter of old, focused, and prepared, and going into a fight with a fighter of little defense and questionable power (when not wearing loaded gloves).

Boxing has been noted as the best sport to bet on. If you continually bet on the underdog, you will eventually win and make some money. There was the idea that there was an inside track to this fight for the gamblers out there and that Margarito was becoming as safe a bet can be, prompting a lot of bettors to place money down on him to win.

When the bell rang and the fight got going, there was no doubt as to who was going to win. Five and six punch combinations landed with consistency on the head of Margarito. Pacquiao was so quick that his opponent couldn’t pull the trigger fast enough to counter and was just a sitting duck.

Those that placed money down on the upset came to the realization that they got some bad information and were going to lose some money on the fight. In fact, there are recurring reports that Margarito had a fortune placed on him to win, much more so than any recent Pacquiao opponent, despite the recent lackluster performance and loss to Shane Mosley. They were betting that the height and reach were going to overcome the speed, that the grit was going to overcome the flash, and that the focus and will would overcome the talent, but it was a sucker’s bet and, as usual, the sucker loses, especially if you’re betting against a guy like Pacquiao.

In all the prefight hype and disinformation released to the media by Top Rank and HBO, most lost sight of the obvious.

This fight was meant to be a showcase for Pacquiao, matched against the perfect opponent that would stand there and just take the punishment. Pacquiao could show off his speed and combinations against a man that had little defense but a good chin, insuring that the audience would get some rounds. Considering the terrible undercard, that’s the least that Top Rank could offer.

With the one-sided beating of the overmatched opponent, hopefully the gamblers that placed their hard earned money on the Mexican fighter to win will be that much wiser and look beyond the continual misinformation sent to the media. Read in between the lines and think of motives. Top Rank knew that Margarito wasn’t a challenge, but did what a good promoter does…found a way to sell him.

Now we look ahead to a 2011 showdown with Floyd Mayweather, JR., and Manny Pacquiao, which is the fight that everyone wants to see and what boxing needs to get the sport back into the national limelight. Will Floyd take the challenge?

The safe bet may be that this fight doesn’t happen at all … it’s collapsed on two occasions and both men are stubborn and have egos that may not fit into any arena. The money involved in the fight and public demand may be enough to make this fight happen and if it does, the safest bet is that the arena will sell out quickly and the pay per view buy rates will go through the roof, surpassing any other pay per view in the history of boxing, and perhaps surpassing any pay per view that has ever been shown.

In the end, we got what we paid for in Pacquiao-Margarito, a mismatch, a beating, a fight that should have never been made. Let’s hope that the next Pacquiao breaking news includes a new negotiation with Mayweather, JR. There will be no sucker bet here…it’s a pick’em fight and the biggest fight in the last 10 years of boxing should it come through…but don’t bet on it.

Read: Manny Pacquiao – Antonio Margarito: A Fixed Fight?

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