Saturday, September 25, 2010
MANILA, Philippines – After carefully studying Antonio Margarito’s fight tapes, trainer Freddie Roach pointed to poor fundamentals as a major drawback in the Mexican roughhouser’s style and said the other day his lack of ring generalship will make it easy for Manny Pacquiao to score a knockout in their 12-round bout for the WBC superwelterweight title at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 13.
“Margarito has no control of the ring,” noted Roach. “He has little foot movement. He doesn’t cut the ring off. Instead, he follows his opponent around. I don’t see sound fundamentals. His strong point is a good chin, a better chin than Ricky Hatton. But he quits - something he showed in the Sugar Shane Mosley fight.”
What makes Margarito dangerous is he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain. And he’s desperate to straighten out his career tainted by a suspension stemming from a finding that his handwraps contained traces of sulfur and calcium to form a hardened plaster in the dressing room before the Mosley fight in January last year.
“If he wins (over Pacquiao), all of a sudden, he’s up there,” said Roach. “I think he got away with just a slap on the wrist for his loaded handwraps. The sentence was kind to him. Of course, he knew his handwraps were loaded. How could anyone not know he’s weighed down by a brick? Luis Resto and Panama Lewis served three years in prison and were banned for life when it was proved they conspired to pad handwraps in the Billy Collins fight. I’m assuming Margarito used loaded handwraps when he knocked out Miguel Cotto. Margarito came back from his suspension last May and is now fighting Manny - that’s getting off lightly.”
Because Margarito is known for his dirty tricks, Roach said it wouldn’t be smart for Pacquiao to stay on the ropes and invite the Mexican to bang away. Pacquiao used the rope-a-dope trick on Cotto who took the bait, abandoned his left jab and bore in only to absorb a brutal beating en route to a 12th round technical knockout loss in Las Vegas last year.
“Margarito’s an in between a Cotto and an Oscar de la Hoya,” said Roach. “Manny won’t fight him like he did Cotto. Margarito’s a dirty fighter. He’ll do whatever he can to win. He’ll throw low blows, butt and elbow. Manny’s watched tape, too. We compared notes about his habits and we observed the same things. We’ve talked about our gameplan and we’ll develop it as we go along in training camp.”
Roach said he has nothing against Margarito but didn’t appreciate his comments about Pacquiao during a recent press conference in Dallas.
“He likened his handwraps issue with (Floyd) Mayweather’s accusation of Manny taking performance enhancing drugs,” said Roach. “Wait a minute. Margarito got caught. Manny was accused but nothing was substantiated because he doesn’t do drugs. There’s a big difference between his issue and Manny’s. When I mentioned the Tijuana Tornado would get downgraded to a tropical storm, he stared me down.”
Roach said Margarito’s 4 1/2- inch height advantage doesn’t worry him.
“Size doesn’t win fights,” he explained. “Speed kills and Manny’s just too fast for Margarito. It’s easier to bring down a bigger guy than a smaller guy or someone who’s your size. Margarito’s not a mover. Besides, we still don’t really know if he can punch. I’ve talked to three guys who’ve sparred with him and they’re giving me different impressions. Rashad Holloway sparred with Margarito and broke his eye socket. One guy, Zavala, swore Margarito can’t punch after sparring with him but another guy, the Scottish kid Craig McEwan, told me he hits like a hammer. Whatever, we’ll be ready. Margarito is a volume puncher, he’s no Joshua Clottey. He’ll keep Manny busy.”
Roach said he expects the first four rounds to be explosive.
“We’ll see a very competitive first four rounds,” he said. “Margarito will come out attacking. Then, Manny will start breaking him down with his power and speed. He won’t be able to handle Manny’s speed. He’ll begin feeling Manny’s power and remember, he cuts easily. Manny will go on to beat him up badly. I think it’ll be over by the eighth round.”
Margarito, 32, is coming off a unanimous 10-round decision over Roberto Garcia for the vacant WBC International superwelterweight crown in Aguascalientes, Mexico, last May. Garcia was floored in the first round and was never in contention as the judges scored it 100-88, 99-90 and 99-89. Margarito’s record is 38-6, with 27 KOs compared to Pacquiao’s 51-3-2, with 38 KOs.
Pacquiao, 31, has won his last 12 fights, eight inside the distance, and hasn’t lost since dropping a decision to Erik Morales five years ago. If he beats Margarito, Pacquiao will set a new record by capturing his eighth world title in eight different divisions.
We sit here today approaching the last week of a hot September month. October is right around the corner, so what does this mean for fight fans? Nothing but silence and a whole lot of nothing. Do not get me wrong, there are quite a few fights scheduled for October but nothing that really sticks out. Well actually there is one hot date in October that I really want to see. That date is October 16th when Vitali Klitschko takes on Shannon Briggs, Live from the O2 World Arena in Germany.
As good as I think Klitschko is, I have always felt that Briggs has the ability to shock the World. The key will be conditioning and the mental state must also be at an all time high. Other than this fight, nothing in October really grabs my attention. In this day and age, we have way too many promoters and top fighters for this to be going on. Other than my sons birthday party in late October, in which we will be going to Disneyland for, I will pretty much be free all month long. So if you have a party, a late night cricket match, dinner, a card game, or heck anything else that you want to invite me for, feel free to invite me, I’m all yours.
Now come November, that is a whole different story. In the first week of November we will have JuanMa vs. Rafa, Judah vs. Matthysse, Guerrero vs. Escobedo. Then the very next week we will have the loaded Pacquiao vs. Margarito card, Haye vs. Harrison, followed by Danny Green vs. BJ Flores. Third week of November we will have the explosive rematch between Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams, we will also have a loaded card brought to you by none other than Andre Rozier, it will feature Chin Checker Curtis Stevens, Will Rosinsky, the complete package that is Sadam Ali, and the future problem that is Shemuel Pagan. Then we close out the month with Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Katsidis, and Celestino Caballero vs. Jason Litzau.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few fighters that tangle in October that I will have a close eye on. Like Tor Hamer, Ismayl Sillakh who I feel will be the future at 175, Dallas Jr., Shawn Estrada, Javi Molina, Kevin Hoskins, Danny Garcia, Lucian Bute, Shawn Porter, Kendall Holt at welterweight, Eloy Perez who I feel is a very good young boxer, Charles Huerta, Randy Caballero, Deontay Wilder, Wilfredo Vasquez Jr., Jorge Linares, David Lemieux, Jorge Diaz vs. Emmanuel Lucero is going to be a shoot out, Glen Tapia, and Povetkin. Other than the solo performances of these very good fighters, only the match up between Klitschko and Briggs gets my attention. Oh and how could I forget the clash between Cain Velasquez vs. Brock Lesnar in Anaheim. As I mentioned above, I will already be in Anaheim that weekend in Disneyland celebrating my son’s Birthday, so I just may have to stop by and take a peek.
I am not really a MMA fan, but I am however a Cain Velasquez fan. My good friend went to High School with Cain and are both good friends with one another, and my brother who is a huge MMA fan is the one responsible for getting me into digging Cain as well. Like I said, I am not a MMA follower, so I really couldn’t tell you who will win this clash. But I will go on to tell you that Cain Velasquez is a very good exciting fighter. So in October it will be Klitschko vs. Briggs and Lesnar vs. Velasquez. If you guys feel that there is something that I am missing for the month of October that you feel I should check out, please comment below and let me know. until then I will pretty much be gone till November.
MANILA , Philippines – If he’d need to throw Manny Pacquiao inside that black Escalade he’d do it.
Freddie Roach yesterday said he’d done with the one-week pre-camp at the Elorde Gym in Quezon City and can’t wait to get to Baguio City for the tough grind heading to the fight with Antonio Margarito.
“We’re done here. We need to move to Baguio,” said Roach, who said it’s difficult to deal with the traffic in Manila since it takes him easily more than an hour to get to the gym from the New World Hotel.
“It’s the traffic,” said Roach who had planned to take Pacquiao to Baguio last Wednesday. But a sudden change in plan had them pushing the trip to today, just in time for the start of the sparring on Tuesday.
Traffic was so bad Thursday evening that Roach, along with conditioning coach Alex Ariza, and sparring partners Michael Medina and Glen Tapia, jumped out of their van along North Edsa and took an MRT to Makati.
Roach was asked if he’d go up to Baguio today with or without Pacquiao.
“Manny knows me,” he said.
The 31-year-old boxer, however, assured his coach that they’d be taking the five-hour drive to Baguio today, just in time to rest in the evening, go out for a good run tomorrow morning.
“Tuloy na tayo bukas. Baguio na. (We’ll push through tomorrow. It’s on to Baguio),” said Pacquiao after his two-hour workout.
Roach said seven weeks before the fight is just the right time to get to Baguio. They can stay there for four weeks, then spend two weeks in Los Angeles, and the last one in Dallas heading to the fight.
“It’s time to get a little more serious now. This is the last day here. I will open the gym in Baguio a couple of times maybe on Saturdays but we’ll have it closed down in sparring. We need to start working within ourselves a little bit more,” said Roach.
Again, Pacquiao assured him of today’s trip to Baguio.
MANILA, Philippines — Just before working out Saturday afternoon, Manny Pacquiao told his conditioning coach about a sharp pain on the sole of his left foot, although it doesn’t appear to be much of a big concern as the pound-for-pound king went on to train like hell before a big crowd at the Elorde Boxing Gym in Quezon City.
Pacquiao went to the Cardinal Santos in San Juan late Friday and the fighter summoned Alex Ariza to tell him about it.
“That’s why I am here for,” Ariza shouted back at Pacquiao as the Filipino was doing light exercises on top of the ring 50 days before he collides with Mexican Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on November 13.
Although Ariza was not actually alarmed, Pacquiao was a bit bothered, citing what happened to Yuri Foreman against Miguel Cotto last June.
Foreman was winning the fight with Cotto when he suffered an ankle injury and eventually got stopped by Cotto in the ninth round.
“Do you remember the guy Cotto fought who kept on falling down because he could not endure the pain?” Pacquiao told a handful of scribes who were on the ring apron.
While his current injury is not even remotely related to what struck Foreman, Pacquiao was obviously affected as he pointed to the writers where exactly the pain was like a kid telling his mother that his thumb was sore.
Still, Pacquiao went on with his calisthenics as people from all walks of life took pictures and giggled at his mere presence on the eve of his departure for Baguio City where the most crucial part of training camp will take place.
Roach said he is going to Baguio “with or without Manny.”
The past six days, Roach has been working with Pacquiao and the fighter has given his master nothing but praise.
But Roach insists the atmosphere in the City of Pines offers more than what Metro Manila could.
“I hate the traffic here (in Metro Manila),” said Roach, whose opinion was seconded by Ariza.
“It took us one and a half hours going here (from Makati),” said an exasperated Ariza.
Last Thursday, Roach and company had to get off their service vehicle and rode the MRT after being caught in a monstrous traffic jam.
Manny Pacquiao continued to give trainer Freddie Roach a million and one reasons to smile after they held their last training session in Metro Manila on Saturday afternoon. Pacquiao and Roach have been working out at the Elorde Boxing Gym on Del Monte Avenue corner Roosevelt since Monday and the celebrated trainer has nothing but praises for the pound-for-pound king who has a Nov. 13 date against Antonio Margarito in Dallas.
“Manny continues to work hard and he is good to fight in the next four years if he still continues to show the drive,” said Roach told reporters, stressing that the power is still there even though the Filipino hasn’t fought since March.
Even if Pacquiao had earlier complained of pain on the sole of his left foot, Roach said he hardly noticed that Pacquiao was bothered by it.
“He is still fast and he beat the hell out of me today in the mitts,” added Roach, who joins Pacquiao and members of his entourage on a road trip to Baguio on Sunday afternoon.
Pacquiao’s performance in the gym is expected to reach another level once they set up camp in Baguio, a mountain resort that is five to six hours from Manila by land and which has an elevation of more than 5,000 feet.
“I am only about 50 to 60 percent right now,” Pacquiao told the same set of reporters who had quizzed Roach.
And when told about Roach’s observation that he could still fight for the next four years, Pacquiao was quick to say that “nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.”
Roach has scheduled Pacquiao’s first sparring session with Michael Medina on Tuesday.
I was talking to my friend, boxing writer Ryan Songalia of BoxingScene.com when he brought up the idea of "Manny Pacquiao should dedicate his fight against Margarito to abused women". At first the thought sounds like a simple and clever way for Pacquiao to get back at and shame Floyd Mayweather Jr. who is facing domestic charges, for all the trash talk he has unleashed against the newly elected Congressman of Saranggani Province. But as I delved deeper into the issue, I started to seriously say to myself, "why not?"
Boxers have had a very highly publicized violence against women rap. Without going too deep into it, fighters like Arturo Gatti and Edwin Valero have been involved in domestic violence which ended in tragedy. Abuse against women should not be tolerated in any society and boxers of all people should not be involved in such acts of violence.
If Mayweather as well as his uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather who is also charged with assault against one of his former female boxers Melissa St. Vil, are indeed proven guilty of charges filed against them, they should be penalized for it fully. Pacquiao on the other hand has not had any history of domestic violence or abuse against women in any form. The 31-year-old Filipino slugger is happily married to his beautiful wife Jinky who is the mother of his four children.
With Pacquiao's history of standing up for worthy causes, this issue should be a 'no brainer'. The Philippine legislator can really help bring attention to this often swept under the rug issue and promote a zero tolerance approach to abuse against women. A true fighter has no business laying his hands on a female. One might wonder, had Mayweather focused more on trying to lay his hands on Pacquiao and making their fight happen, instead of facing jail time and counting days while he is in the slammer, he would be worrying about facing the best southpaw he will ever have faced while counting the millions he will make against him.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Below is the current working bout sheet for Top Rank’s November 13 Pacquiao-Margarito mega-show at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas:
Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito
Kelly Pavlik vs TBA
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Ricardo Cordoba
Mike Jones vs Jesus Soto Karass
Robert Marroquin vs TBA
Richie Mepranum vs TBA
Jose Benavidez vs Winston Mathis
Joe Hanks vs TBA
Mike Lee vs Keith DeBow
Rising Philadelphia welterweight (147 pounds) Mike Jones will face Mexican-born Jesus Soto Karass on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito, Doc Nowicki, told FanHouse on Wednesday. The card will take place on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium.
A 27-year-old who stands nearly 6-foot-1, Jones (22-0, 18 knockouts) is coming off of July's Showtime-televised, fifth-round knockout of 31-year-old Irving Garcia as the main event at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
"(Promoter) Russell Peltz and I were discussing the Nov. 13 today, and he informed me today that tomorrow, Thursday, we should have the contract for Mike Jones to fight Jesus Soto Karass at Cowboys Stadium," said Nowicki. "I think that it feels fabulous, and it's a terrific opportunity for Mike. We've been asking for him to be matched against this opponent for about a year, and it was never put together. Now, to fight him in front of the world on HBO pay-per-view is fantastic."
Considered to be among the next generation of young welterweights stars, Jones had been discussed as a potential opponent for 27-year-old WBC king Andre Berto (26-0, 20 KOs).
Nowicki called it "huge" that Jones could be a part of a card on which the 31-year-old Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs), the present WBO welterweight titlist, would be pursuing his eighth crown in as many different weight classes in facing the 32-year-old Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) for the vacant WBC junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt.
Freddie Roach has been on fine form ahead of his fighter Manny Pacquiao's November 13th showdown with Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC light middleweight title, and predicted that his charge would finish the much taller Mexican within 8 rounds.
Given the size difference between the 5,6 Pacquiao and the 5,11 Margarito, that's an ambitious prediction to make, especially given Margarito's well earned reputation for absorbing punishment. Not to mention that Margarito will be trying to come in as big as he possibly can on top of that, and could well be stepping into the ring somewhere closer to super middleweight rather than junior middleweight if he cuts weight the right way.
Roach's prediction was made sitting face to face with Margarito and his trainer Robert Garcia, during HBO's face off with Max Kellermen, and seemed to get under Margarito's skin, who replied with:
"What does he see he crippled or something?"
Roach without missing a beat simply replied: "I saw your last two fights"
To which there was really nothing Margarito could say in return. His last fight was a somewhat lackluster decision against the clearly over-matched Roberto Garcia, and before this he was famously battered over nine rounds by Shane Mosley, being stopped for the first time in his career.
Margarito's trainer Robert Garcia, speaking to John Martinez of BoxScoreNews, predictably differed in his prediction for the fight, instead opting for an 11th round stoppage in Margarito's favor. He also added:
"This isn't going to just be a win for Margarito, this is going to be a f**king beatdown we put on him. A bigtime beating is what we got for Manny Pacquiao."
Which seems to differ from Garcia's talk of trying to outbox Pacquiao only a few months ago. So what kind of approach Margarito will be taking will have to remain to be seen for the time being, but most picking him to win have done so expecting to see the Margarito of old rather than him keeping Pacquiao on the end of his jab.
Some of Roach's predictions are undoubtedly made in order to rile up his fighter's opponent, which works more often that you might expect. This time though, the bookmakers are agreeing with him, and most odds sites have Pacquiao winning by knockout as the most likely outcome.
Margarito wasn't the only one on the receiving end of Freddie Roach's wit this week though, he also had some choice words for his stable's increasingly beleaguered rival Floyd Mayweather.
Speaking to DaTruthBoxing prior to his trip to the Philippines to train Manny Pacquiao, Roach was asked about what has probably become a familiar topic over the last couple of years, his star pupil fighting Floyd Mayweather. His response was:
"Mayweather's busy beating up girls"
When asked about the possibility of a fight occurring in the future, Roach said:
"Who knows with him, he's so sporadic, he's here, he's there, he's negotiating, he's not negotiating"
A response from Floyd himself is probably not on the cards on this occasion due to his current legal predicament, but should Floyd Sr get wind of Roach's remarks, an at least amusing response will undoubtedly be forthcoming.
Jim Pallis, Pittsburgh: "Can't wait to hear Pappa Mayweather's repsonse to Roach"
Earnie Fleishmann, Philly: "Roach can run circles around most trainers, even when he's just trying to annoy his guy's opponent"
World pound for pound boxing king Manny Pacquiao is a prohibitive favorite against Mexican Antonio Margarito, with whom he will do battle for the alphabet soup World Boxing Council super welterweight crown on November 13 (November 14 in the Philippines).
Although Margarito is taller, bigger and arguably the harder puncher, his last two fights suggest he may no longer be the feared boxer he once was.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, has been on a roll, piling up 12 straight victories since losing to Erik Morales in 2005 while continually moving up in weight.
Pacquiao also morphed from a whirlwind knock-out puncher into a more complete boxer while still retaining his explosiveness as well as crowd pleasing style.
While the Filipino southpaw, who is now member of Philippine Congress, is known for his aggressiveness, he has also managed to develop an underrated defense such that no opponent has really tagged him with four or five punch combinations at a given time during this incredible stretch.
Since moving up in weight as a full-blown featherweight, Pacquiao also has never been knocked down, even against the heaviest punchers in the weight classes where he toiled and earned his keeps.
Margarito, however, is a unique challenge for Pacquiao if the Filipino is to keep that unblemished record during the last five years.
For one, Margarito, along with Miguel Cotto, is one of the couple of boxers that current pound for pound rival Floyd Mayweather Jr had avoided. Pacquiao already stopped Cotto who was also KOed by Margarito. Margarito, however, has yet to erase the stigma of being called a cheat for trying to load up his hand wraps in his fight with Shane Mosley. For that, he was suspended for one year and his comeback fight against Robert Garcia in May this year was far from impressive.
But Margarito could quickly turn the tables around if he manages to pull an “upset” against Pacquiao. He certainly has the tools to shock the boxing world.
If Margarito can manage to land stinging jabs, which he must double or triple up, he may able to set up his powerful right against Manny. Pacquiao is also not used to being bullied around and it is important for Margarito to establish his dominance in the early rounds and go for a knockout inside the first half of the fight. With Pacquiao, you simply have to take your chances because Manny will come charging at you, but won’t be there at the blink of an eye once he's done breaking you down slowly. That’s how quick and speedy Manny is.
Or if you wish, you may lay a trap against Manny by waiting for him to commit and then throw counterpunches in bunches. The only fighter who came close to knocking down Manny using this technique was Juan Manuel Marquez. I doubt however if Margarito can load up his punches as quick Marquez does.
You also need to give Manny different angles and see to it that you can avoid his onrushing style.
It is important to upset Manny’s rhythm if you want to pull an upset. The last man to do that was the 2005 version of Erik Morales, but only because Manny suffered a huge gash over his right eye - caused by a head butt, by the way - which affected the Filipino’s vision.
It will take a boxer that has the combined skill set of a prime Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez to finally end Manny’s winning streak.
Margarito, however, is simply too old to learn new tricks. Margarito will be his old self when he faces Pacquiao in November. He will be an aggressor and will come charging forward – a bad strategy against Manny who throws powerful punches from weird angles.
If Margarito does that, I will have to agree with Pacquiao's coach Freddie Roach that the Mexican will look like a younger Oscar de la Hoya against Manny Pacquiao. And he will suffer the same fate as the man described by Roach as the one who can’t pull the trigger anymore.
With a mega world title fight between Pacquiao and Margarito on the fast-approaching November horizon, it's getting close to put-up-or-shut-up-time for these two warriors that will step into the squared circle. Or to quote what Roger Mayweather said to me a couple days ago, "It ain't about what you say you can do . . . it's about what you will eventually do and prove."
On November 13, broadcasting live on HBO PPV, Manny Pacquiao will go for a record eight titles in as many weight divisions when he squares off against the dangerous and former world champion Antonio Margarito for the coveted WBC junior middleweight title belt from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"He's (Antonio Margarito) training like a monster right now," said Robert Garcia (Margarito's trainer) before boldly predicting to me his fighter would win with an, "11- Round knock out."
He's not the only one that now believes Margarito will be the victor on November 13. "If Margarito keeps Pacquiao cornered and throws uppercuts along with roughing him up on the inside, Margarito should knock his ass out," said Roger Mayweather (undefeated former world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s Uncle and trainer).
Mayweather added, " Manny can't be allowed in the middle of the ring; if Margarito wants this, he's gonna have to work him on the ropes and get him there with lots of jabs and pushing and shoving him and oh yeah, it also helps if Manny aint got that sh*t in his system."
When this fight was first announced, I agreed with what Dan Rafael (ESPN.com) now describes this fight as being, "not enough to make the fight with 'Cheato' all that attractive."
However, now I believe Rafael and others sharing his view are just ignorant and short sighted about whats to come.
If war is the place for evil, then on November 13th Cowboys Stadium will be the Devil's playground where these two warriors will do the evil that men do to one another.
Make no mistake about it; these two combatants are going to fight like dogs of war. Not even the rabid Filipino fight fans (who on occasion let their blind loyalty get in the way of sometimes sound judgment) would disagree that neither fighter will ever be known as a well rounded pugilist; rather, what they are and will definitely display on November 13 is their renowned reputations for brutally assaulting their opponents with malicious intent.
I thoroughly believe that Margarito is a live horse in this match up. He is longer, leaner,bigger, and more importantly, focused on this task of beating Manny Pacquiao.
"We've been watching a lot of Manny's fights and know exactly how to attack him. Right now Manny is considered "The Man", but he's also kinda overlooking us," said Garcia.
"We have been especially interested in his fights with (Miguel)Cotto and (Juan Manuel)Marquez."
It should be noted that in the Cotto fight, though Manny won, he suffered a busted eardrum and took heavy shots to the head. After the fight, he looked just as beat up as Cotto did and Cotto is far smaller than Margarito.
Right after Garcia said this to me, he looked at me with a cold demeanor and emphatically claimed, "This isn't going to just be a win for Margarito, this is going to be a f**king beatdown we put on him (Pacquiao). A bigtime beating is what we got for Manny Pacquiao."
Antonio Margarito was cast aside ever since his hands were found to have been illegally wrapped by his former trainer, Javier Capetillo, on the night he was facing Shane Mosley in January 2009.
He served a suspension that lasted well over a year and his comeback fight was a ten- rounder against a nondescript fighter named Roberto Garcia from Texas which left many people wondering if Margarito was finished.
How lucky can Margarito be now?
Getting the assignment to face Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the equivalent of hitting the Powerball Lotto in boxing.
Margarito, in my opinion, isn't going to let this chance pass him by. There's no way Antonio lets this opportunity skate by him by letting the wind blow his golden ticket out of his hands before he can cash it in.
In an interview I did with Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, he told me he wasn't all that confident about picking Margarito as Manny's next opponent.
"Well at first, I wasn't, and to some degree, even now that comfortable with fighting Margarito, but Manny wanted this fight and I saw how he handles some other big guys and so I went with it, but those other guys aren't Antonio Margarito."
Roach continued, "Antonio brings size and power, but he also knows how to box and use his jab when he's focused and I believe he's focused for this fight against Manny; he has to be."
In fact, Robert Garcia told me that come fight night, "Antonio will probably rehydrate about twelve pounds."
Roger Mayweather added, "Look, Manny fights at weights that are in between recognized weight divisions like 143 instead of 140 or 147."
"It's like a lot of people say my nephew is scared of Manny. Really? Lil Floyd fought Oscar De La Hoya at 154, but Oscar came into the fight at around 165. Oscar never hurt my nephew. Floyd out-boxed and outgunned Oscar that night so what is there to be scared of from Manny Pacquiao when they fight at 147?
If Manny fights Floyd at 147, he's gonna get the same that 41 others before him got-a loss. Manny can't outbox or out think my nephew in the ring. He doesn't have my nephew's head movement, defense, or hand-speed. He just moves forward with very little side to side movement. He's gonna get his ass whooped by Floyd, but before that, if Margarito can keep the fight chest to chest and Manny on his heels, then Margarito should be able to lean on him and use his weight and strength to wear Pacquiao's legs down."
I think that strategy rings true. The problem with that is, Manny and Freddie can come up with a plan to counter that. But it's the intangibles that make this fight a dangerous one for Manny.
When Antonio Margarito enters the ring in November, he will slide through the ring ropes looking to prove something. His name and record will be introduced from the dramatic bellowing of Michael Buffer's voice only to be drowned out by the crowd's serenading of boos and cat-calls as his body of work is and has been questioned since the Mosley fight.
So what does he fight for? Probably not the green belt. He's probably fighting for pride, restoration of his name, and family.
These are three things Freddie can't strategize for and Manny can't hit with blazing speed and rapid power. These intangibles come from the hearty and mind and like Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya did in June of 2000, Margarito is going to go "soul searching."
Kelly Ferguson, a former Army boxer and strategist added this:
"It's not what you say you're gonna do, it's about how you do what you said you'd do when it comes time to do it."
Well on November 13, Mayweather and Ferguson along with the "millions watching from around the world" will see just what Pacquiao and Margarito have as they set out to prove that their actions will speak louder than their words.
In a side note of silliness, according to Rhonda Lee, meteorologist from KXAN in Austin, Texas, Freddie Roach may have misspoke when he valiantly stated that. "the tornado(Margarito) has been downgraded to a tropical storm" because though taking a direct hit from a tornado is very devastating and lethal, a lingering tropical storm would cause severe flooding, damage, and bring torrential rains which could prove to be fatal and most definitely be very destructive.
Perhaps the miscalculations in the Pacquiao camp has already begun, eh?
Lastly, be on the look out for hot junior welterweight prospect Jesse Vargas as he next enters the ring on September 30 at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Sporting a record of 11 and 0 with six wins by way of knock out, this fighter has his trainer gushing with pride.
" He's got hand speed, great defense, and has been fighting guys weighing 170 pounds and outclassing them."
"He's an all around well schooled fighter and he IS the next big thing in boxing," said his trainer Roger Mayweather.
"Also, light middleweight, Omar Henry. He's undefeated with 10 wins and 8 of them by KO." "He's got speed and power and people will definitely be seeing more of him."
I agree. Omar Henry was trained for a good while by my good friend, Jay Johns out of Savannah's Boxing Gym in Houston, Texas.
If Henry is improving under the tutelage of Mayweather, it's because Jay Johns created the ferocity, technique, and foundation for Omar Henry first.
For this, Roger Mayweather owes Johns.
On January 21 of 2009, Antonio Margarito lost via ninth round TKO at the hands of Shane Mosley. It was the only time in his career he was ever stopped.
His lack of success with Mosley has been used as a gauge to predict how he will fare against Pacquiao, but there are a few significant differences that should be noted.
Prior to the Mosley fight, it was discovered by Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson, that plaster of Paris objects had been inserted into Margarito’s handwraps. His hands were rewrapped, and the fight went on as scheduled.
The psychological aspect of boxing is extremely important. On that night, Margarito knew that he was in big trouble for what had just occurred. It’s a dangerous thing for any boxer to enter the ring when he isn’t focused on the task at hand. Margarito was at a very significant psychological disadvantage, and Mosley capitalized fully.
The boxer was suspended for fighting in the United States for one year before being denied a license by the California State Athletic Commission.
Texas, which had already been selected as the state that Pacquiao – Margarito would take place, granted Margarito’s appeal for a license.
Pacquiao has stated that he believes that Margarito knew that he had the little surprises in his handwraps. Most boxing fans agree with Pacquiao’s opinion.
Now that Margarito is set to face Pacquiao on November 13 at Cowboys Stadium, he has everything to gain.
The much bigger man will be physically and mentally prepared, and he will give it everything he has in his attempt to upset the Pound-for-Pound king. He will undoubtedly consider a win over the world’s greatest fighter to be his first step toward redemption.
Dale Pippin of Seligman believes that Margarito’s size and power could create problems for Pacquiao.
“He could beat Pacquiao. He’s a lot bigger, and he has a puncher’s chance,” Pippin said.
Margarito is known to have a granite chin, and good power. He’ll most likely come to the ring weighing at least 10 lbs more than the Pacman.
It would be foolish for any pundit to neglect to factor Margarito’s height, reach, toughness and mental and physical conditioning into the equation. He's going to want a win, and he's going to want it badly.
A multitude of great fighters have come to the ring fully confident that they had everything it would take to beat the Filipino warrior, only to be completely overwhelmed by Pacquiao’s speed, power and angles.
Margarito’s resilience and willingness to slug toe-to-toe should make for an exciting fight, but whether he can make it a competitive fight for more than a few rounds remains a question.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Three-time world champion Antonio Margarito is running up the mountains in San Bernardino, Ca. in his first phase of training for the mega fight against Manny Pacquiao on November 13.
"Margarito goes straight up - no trails - he runs through brambles and bushes," said chief trainer Robert Garcia today.
Garcia said he drives Margarito to Mount Baldy, elevation 4,193 feet, in San Bernardino County.
"We need strong legs to beat Pacquio," Garcia said. "Antonio runs up the mountain for a hour, returns and then we're off right away to the El Monte Gym which is nearby. There, Antonio goes into a hard workout - mitts, then heavy bag, jump rope, speed bag, It's a long, hard workout. No sparring - at least, not yet."
Garcia said Margarito will break camp at the El Monte Gym at the end of this week and then begin phase two of training in Oxnard, Calif.
"Margarito will spar for six weeks beginning next week," said Garcia. "This is our game plan and we are right on schedule."
Pacquiao vs. Margarito on November 13 is promoted by Top Rank in association with MP Promotions and Cowboys Stadium. Pacquiao vs. Margarito will be available on HBO Pay Per View. For the latest event updates, log into Toprank.com
MANILA, Philippines - With the arrival of coach Freddie Roach on Sunday (Sept. 19), the Team Pacquiao training group in Manila is complete.
From here on, they will watch over Manny's preparation for the fight against Mexican Antonio Margarito.
Also in town from the US are fitness coach Alex Ariza, 2 very tall sparring partners, Glen Tapia and Michael Medina, and local coaches Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.
The group will train in Manila the next couple of days before moving up to Baguio City.
Roach says Manny needs to be in tip top condition to beat Margarito.
On the first day of training, it was all business and very serious.
Today was their first mitt session, and one could immediately see the great connection between the coach and his ward.
Roach and Pacquiao did 7 rounds in the mitts, with no rest in between.
Coach was quite pleased with Manny's starting condition.
"Very good , he's got the game plan already in mind. He knows the angles we have to use against this guy, knows he has to stay away from the right hand," Roach said.
Sparring will start next week, and both Tapia and Medina promise they will give Pacquiao the work he needs to get ready for the taller and bigger Margarito.
"I'll give him power and just go in and give him the hard work, that pressure, you know, that Margarito has," says Tapia.
"This is sparring and I'm gonna make him pay up and get prepared for a very hard fight," says Medina.
Aside from Medina and Tapia, 2 more sparring partners will be coming in, one of them, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Pacquiao worked out almost 2 hours, then did a quick change to attend to duties in Congress.
MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao made a lot of noise yesterday, the type of noise champions should be making when they gear up for a big fight.
For seven rounds, Pacquiao pounded the mitts with his chief trainer Freddie Roach, fired away at the heavy bag, worked the double-end and made the speed ball sound like a jackhammer at the Elorde Gym in Quezon City.
Officially, it was the first day of workout for Pacquiao, even if he’d been to the same gym at least twice last week, and at the oven-hot gym in General Santos City the other day. There’ve been morning runs for almost two weeks now.
It’s safe to say that Pacquiao isn’t taking his Nov. 13 fight with Antonio Margarito lightly.
“He’s not underestimating his opponent. He’s taking things seriously,” said Pacquiao’s adviser, Mike Koncz, during their quick trip to the House of Representatives right after the two-hour workout at the spacious gym.
Koncz said there’s more than enough time considering that the fight is eight weeks away.
Roach flew in the other day with a couple of sparring partners, and according to Koncz, the celebrated trainer was surprised at how Pacquiao moved on top of the ring, and hit the mitts like he’s never stopped hitting them.
“Freddie was really surprised after the seven rounds with the mitts with Manny. He said it was like Manny’s been training for weeks now. Well actually he is. He’s been playing basketball, too and that kept him in shape,” said Koncz.
From the gym, Pacquiao gave Roach a brief tour of Congress and showed him his office.
Last week, Pacquiao said he weighs around 150 to 151 lb, meaning there’s nothing much to worry about when it comes to the 151 lb catchweight as he disputes the vacant WBC super-welterweight (154) crown with Margarito.
Koncz said Pacquiao will continue to train in Manila until he leaves on Wednesday evening, with the entire team, for Baguio City. Pacquiao may skip Thursday’s morning run then report to the gym in the City of Pines in the afternoon.
They’re all in, including strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza, Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.
While in Baguio, Pacquiao will set his duties as a congressman aside even if he may continue to run his office through the wonders of technology. Then after a month or so, it’s on to Los Angeles for the final push.
House Speaker Sonny Belmonte had said that the rest of the members of the Lower House won’t mind if Pacquiao skips the sessions as he prepares for another big fight at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“He’s already doing the country a great service,” Belmonte said in way of excusing Pacquiao from the sessions.
Already in town to spar with Pacquiao when tapped by Roach are Glen Tapia (7-0) of the Dominican Republic and Michael Medina (24-2 with 19 KOs) of Mexico.
Also coming in soon are Vanes Martirosyan of Armenia and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, of Mexico.
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao training at the Elorde Gym in Manila's Quezon city in the Philippines for his WBC super welterweight title fight against Margarito Antonio at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on November 13. Trainer Freddie Roach will have three sparring on hand, undefeated welterweight Glen Tapia, light middleweight Michael Medina and welterweight Rashad Holloway.
With training camp for his upcoming title fight not yet formally on the go, Manny Pacquiao already got a passing mark from no less than trainer Freddie Roach.
Reunited with his famed boxer Monday after six long months, Roach was very satisfied with what he saw following a two-hour workout with the Filipino boxing icon at the Elorde boxing gym in Quezon City.
After doing seven rounds with the mitts, Roach came down from the ring convinced that the world’s pound-for-pound king hardly lost a step despite not being active following his unanimous 12-round decision over Joshua Clottey last March.
“We had a very good start," said Roach, who plunged outright into the ring less than 48 hours since arriving in the country Sunday.
“We didn’t rest in between rounds. Manny already knows what to do with that guy (Margarito)."
The showdown with the 5-foot-11 Margarito is set Nov. 13 at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, giving Pacquiao and Roach at least eight good weeks to train and be in shape for the bout where the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) light-middleweight title is at stake.
Training camp kicks off either on Wednesday or Thursday in the mountains of Baguio City, which will serve home for Pacquiao and his group for the next four weeks.
By mid-October, Pacquiao and Co., travel to Los Angeles, California and resume training at the Wild Card gym for the remaining weeks.
Roach came over with sparring partners Glen Tapia and Michael Medina, both of whom also worked out at the gym Monday.
Training had to be moved two hours later as Pacquiao was caught up in heavy traffic at the Southern Luzon Expressway since the boxing champion came all the way from his home in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
But the hassle hardly affected the boxer-turned congressman as he was all smiles during the workout.
Shortly after, Pacquiao admitted he’s still a bit slow and has yet to get his timing, although he expects to get better once training camp gets into full swing.
Roach said sparring session starts next week and will be held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Two more other sparring mates in Vanes Martirosyan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. are expected to arrive here in two weeks time. - RCJ, GMANews.TV
Sunday, September 19, 2010
MANILA, Philippines – Playtime for Manny Pacquiao is over.
Top trainer Freddie Roach arrived in Manila early Sunday morning from Los Angeles accompanied by a pair of mean-looking junior-middleweights who will lend a hand in Pacquiao’s buildup for the Nov. 13 showdown with Antonio Margarito.
“We’re going to train tomorrow (Monday),” Roach told the Bulletin as soon as he emerged from a throng of well-wishers and fellow passengers at the Centennial Airport.
Roach came in with Glen Tapia (from the Dominican Republic) and Michael Medina (Mexico), who will be the other half of sparring partners that would also include Vanes Martirosyan (Armenia) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Mexico).
Tapia has a 7-0 record with five knockouts, while Medina has a 24-2 mark with 19 stoppages.
“We’re looking forward to working with Manny Pacquiao,” said Tapia, who got Roach’s attention as he shadow-boxed while waiting for their hotel keys at the lobby of the New World.
Martirosyan and Chavez Jr., son of the legendary Julio Cesar Sr., are expected to hit town anytime this week in time for the start of training camp in Baguio City, according to Roach.
Roach said Rashad Holloway, who was tapped when Pacquiao revved up for Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, will be utilized once Pacquiao and the celebrated cornerman return to the familiar confines of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood in the third or fourth week of October.
Roach had wanted to proceed immediately to Baguio City but Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz said the pound-for-pound king plans to send a few more days or the rest of the week in Manila before going up to the City of Pines.
Baguio had been used by Roach and Pacquiao as training camp when they were preparing to face Miguel Cotto at around the same time last year.
Last week, Pacquiao trained briefly at the Elorde Gym on Del Monte Ave. in Quezon City before returning to General Santos City for a brief R&R.
Already in the country since last week is Alex Ariza, the revered conditioning coach and nutritionist of Pacquiao.