By Don Donatello
Antonio Margarito has 0.1% chance of winning. If he throws 1,000 punches in the entire fight against Manny Pacquiao, he needs to land one lucky punch that knocks out Pacquiao to win. Oscar De La Hoya, even at his age when he fought against Pacquiao, was a faster and more accurate puncher than the current Margarito. I didn’t see Oscar land but 4 significant punches against Pacquiao. Margarito loops many of his punches, unlike Oscar. That leaves him wide open and more susceptible than Oscar was against Pacquiao. It is when throwing a punch that makes a fighter the most vulnerable to get hit with one. Margarito is a high volume punch fighter, so is Pacquiao. This fight will have more action and entertainment excitement in one round than an entire Floyd Mayweather fight.
On HBO’s 24/7, I keep hearing Margarito’s mantra about his power being able to knock out Pacquiao. Camp Margarito talks almost exclusively of the size and power advantage they have over Pacquiao. They don’t talk about out boxing, outsmarting, outworking, or having better skills, better talent, or better at anything over Pacquiao. So they repeat the one thing that they do have over Pacquiao, size and power. Pacquiao is also selling the size and power issue. Camp Margarito tries to sell that they got a good chance to beat Pacquiao, but they solely repeat on Margarito’s power advantage and not much on anything else. Having the power is good, but he must be able to land a punch in order for that power to be relevant. When Oscar fought Pacquiao, it was like Oscar was trying to hit a fly with a sledgehammer. This time, Margarito has a bigger and heavier sledgehammer trying to hit the same fly.
Margarito is very limited in his outside game. He was out boxed by Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, and totally dominated by Shane Mosley. Cotto’s mistake was that he back pedaled into the ropes and then tried to punch it out with Margarito while staying there. Shane corrected Cotto’s mistake by staying in the middle of the ring and never allowing Margarito to back him into the ropes. Clottey was beating Margarito by boxing him in the middle of the ring; then Clottey inexplicably just stop doing what he was doing right and subsequently lost by decision to Margarito.
Margarito’s style is tailor made to order for Pacquiao. Margarito is a slower, and more hittable than Oscar. Pacquiao will dance around Margarito; he will avoid the ropes like Mayweather avoids risk. Look for Oscar Versus Pacquiao: The Sequel. But this time, like any other bad and totally predictable slasher-type movie sequel, it’s going to be more of what the people talked about in the first movie, the slaughter, and the repetitive stupidity of the victims to place themselves directly in the path to be killed.
For those who think that Margarito can win, you probably fell for HBO’s 24/7 hype machine that made it look like Juan Manuel Marquez had any kind of chance of beating Floyd Mayweather where he had none. The obvious that the pro-Marquez group could not process correctly were Mayweather’s advantage in youth, speed, size, defense, offense, strength, reach, skills, talent, and the extra two pounds that Floyd came with. With those kinds of advantages, the outcome was obvious, very.
Pacquiao’s advantage over Margarito are obvious in some but not all. The obvious ones are speed, skills, and talent. One of the less obvious is Pacquiao’s defense. Against Oscar, Pacquiao showed great defense, he will use the same against Margarito and be as effective. Adaptability, Pacquiao boxed Oscar, manhandled Cotto, and was a slugger against Ricky Hatton. On the other hand, Margarito fights the same way in all his fights; he comes straight in and throws high volume punches. Due to Margarito’s style and starting early in boxing, Pacquiao has a much bigger advantage in age. Sure Pacquiao’s style is very taxing on the body, but he started much later in boxing than Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Antonio Margarito.
Pacquiao’s domination of Margarito will equal or surpass Mayweather’s domination over Marquez. The difference is that Manny is fighting a much bigger opponent while Mayweather fought a much smaller one; and Margarito has a one punch change to win while Marquez did not. If Margarito steps into the ring weighing 10-15 pounds bigger than Pacquiao, at maybe 160-165, it would not be an advantage. It would be a detriment to Margarito, he’ll be too big and too slow. But I think Camp Margarito knows that and they’ll probably step into the right at fight night at about 158-160. Pacquiao will weigh no more than 149-151 pounds. Remember this when you watch the fight, speed and movement versus size and power. Try swatting a fly with a big sledgehammer.
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