Thursday, November 4, 2010
On Nov. 13 at the Dallas Cowboys' Stadium, Manny Pacquiao (pictured above, center) will pursue what is widely regarded as his eighth title in as many different weight classes when he faces former world champion, Antonio Margarito.
Already the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king, the 31-year-old Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 knockouts) will face the 32-year-old Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) in an HBO pay per view televised, Top Rank Promotions clash for the WBC's junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt.
Their fight is being contested at catch weight of 150 pounds, meaning that neither fighter can weigh more than that, and, marking the second time that Pacquiao's contract has mandated such an agreement for a title bout. The last time, in November of 2009, the Filipino superstar dethroned Miguel Cotto for his current belt in the 12th round at a catch weight of 145.
Because of the catch weight, however, there are some in the sport who consider it deceptive to call Pacquiao-Margarito a true title fight.
"The notion of championships has already become almost meaningless in this day and age, because you have so many different weight divisions and so many different sanctioning bodies," said boxing historian Thomas Hauser. "And then, you have them being further diluted by the idea of catch weights."
Pacquiao began his career as a 106-pound, 16-year-old with a four-round decision over Edmund Enting Ignacio in January 1995, and earned his first world title with an April 1999, fourth-round knockout of Gabriel Mira at 112 pounds.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports notes that Pacquiao has won crowns in either six, or, seven divisions, depending upon how it is calculated.
Pacquiao has earned sanctioning body belts at 112, 122, 130, 135, 140 and 147 pounds. At 126, Pacquiao defeated Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera, who was considered the linear champion even as he already had vacated all of his belts without having lost before facing Pacquiao.
Pacquiao has won 12 straight with eight KOs during that run, having last suffered defeat in March of 2005 against Erik Morales by unanimous decision as a super featherweight (130 pounds).