Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Manny Pacquiao’s conditioning coach Alex Ariza is worried his ward may be too small against Antonio Margarito, whom the Filipino will fight November 13 (November 14 Philippine time) at a catch weight of 151 pounds.
Ariza wants Pacquiao to bulk up and tip the scale between 146 to 148 pounds during the weigh in. To achieve that objective, he devised a regimen that will allow Manny to bulk up but still maintain his speed, or at least still fast enough against Margarito.
Pacquiao’s walking weight is said to be between 150 to 155 pounds, when not in training. Bulking him a little bit should not be a problem for Pacquiao.
Across the other training camp, little has been said about Antonio Margarito’s current and actual weight. He is at home fighting at the regulation weight of 147 – that was before he was suspended for trying to load up his hand wraps prior to his fight with Shane Mosley.
When the two were presented to the press in August, the disparity in the heft and height between them was so pronounced most of the photos released were head shots. Margarito however was at least 170 pounds, or more than 20 pounds over the contracted weight limit. Nobody dared or even bothered report his actual weight during the press conference.
Between two gladiators fighting at a catch weight, I’d take an undersized welterweight moving up five pounds than a bloated one trying to shed off 20 pounds. Especially if the smaller guy happens to go by the name of Manny Pacquiao.
Prominent boxing writer Michael Marley, with whom I shared more than a couple of beers while he was in General Santos, swore Margarito was pale and looked decimated at training camp, obviously trimming down in weight.
Manny should have sparred at least 100 rounds by now but nobody is volunteering information about it.
If all the reports on Margarito and Pacquiao are true, I will still go for Pacquiao if stamina and endurance are key factors to the fight.
My take is that it should hold true unless Margarito is able to sneak in a violent punch to end Manny’s night - either by a severe cut or a knockout.
The last time Manny was disadvantaged due to a cut was against Morales and that was more than five years ago. Manny lost that one via a unanimous decision. And the last time Manny was stopped? It was in 1999 as a lanky flyweight struggling to put his weight in check. In fact, he lost his title in that one at the scales, even before he climbed the ring.