Friday, November 12, 2010
Manny Pacquiao weighed in at a mere 144.6 pounds which was 9.4 pounds below the 154 pound super welterweight/light middleweight limit and 5.4 pounds below the stipulated catch-weight agreed upon while his opponent Antonio Margarito tipped the sc ales at the official weigh in at 150 pounds.
The weights gave Margarito an initial advantage of 5.4 pounds which is likely to grow to around 20 pounds at fight time which was an issue strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza had expressed his concern about several times in the recent past.
Ariza’s efforts to build Pacquiao’s body to be able to handle the bigger and stronger Margarito were scuttled by Pacquiao who claimed he felt sluggish even though the strength and conditioning coach wanted him to be around the weight at which he fought Miguel Cotto.
Even Pacquiao’s boyhood friend Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez was against Pacquiao bulking up saying he is a boxer not a body builder.
The pound-for-pound king with a record of 51-3-2 and 28 knockouts will vie for his eighth world title in a battle with Margarito whose record is 38-6 with 27 knockouts for the vacant WBC title at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Sunday, Manila Time.
James Slater of East Side Boxing quotes Top Rank promoter Bob Arum as saying that Pacquiao will in the future fight only at welterweight where the maximum is 147 pounds. Arum said “It’s just too much size difference fighting these bigger guys” which raises the question as to why Arum made the fight in the first place.
Arum predicted that Margarito will enter the ring at around 165 pounds which would give him a tremendous weight advantage .
Arum claimed that trainer Freddie Roach and Ariza were telling him that Pacquiao would weigh in at 149 or 150 pounds which didn’t happen because Pacquiao and his Filipino assistants Fernandez and Nonoy Neri were against the strength and conditioning program of Ariza claiming it made him sluggish which was evident when he sparred against Glen Tapia and WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan during his training camp in the Philippines.
But experts told us the reason was that Pacquiao, because of his many commitments and distractions which cut into his training hours, didn’t have time to allow the regimen to settle in before he regained his explosiveness as he did in previous fights against Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky “Hitman” Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey.
While most boxing writers and fight fans have shown concern about the gaunt and emaciated look of Margarito who struggled to make the weight now concern is shifting to why Pacquiao came in so much lower than his expected weight of 148 despite eating heartily.
It also means that when he woke up in the morning Pacquiao was probably around 141 pounds.
Top photo: (L-R) Superstar Manny Pacquiao and three-time world champion Antonio Margarito weigh in at (Pacquiao 144.6 lb,Margarito 150 lb) for their superfight on November 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Pacquiao vs Margarito is promoted by Top Rank in association with MP Promotions and Cowboys Stadium. The Pacquiao vs Margarito telecast will be available live on HBO Pay Per View. -- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank.
Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito both met mixed reactions from an excited crowd inside Cowboys Stadium at Friday's weigh-in, and both came in at what appeared to be strong weights.
Margarito, the controversial former welterweight titlist, hit the fight's 150-pound limit on the nose. He and stablemate Brandon Rios both met boos from the crowd in Arlington, but Margarito also had his vocal supporters, who chanted "Margarito" after the initial reaction.
Pacquiao, who has won titles in seven different weight classes and seeks an eighth tomorrow night, came in at 144.6 pounds, which to me seems like a very good weight. Some may worry that he's too light, but remember that Manny weighed in light against Miguel Cotto (144) and Oscar de la Hoya (142), as well. He has said that the "struggles" early in camp came from trying to put on too much weight, which slowed him down. Instead, they've focused on trying to exploit their greatest advantage: speed. We've seen Manny around this weight, and he's been lightning.
Interestingly, Manny also received a very mixed reaction from the crowd all the way through his weigh-in, and like Margarito, was recipient of a chant meant to drown out the booing portion. Tomorrow night's atmosphere could be really something in Cowboys Stadium, as clearly both men have their supporters out in force.
Undercard weights: Mike Jones 145.5 versus Jesus Soto Karass 148 ... Guillermo Rigondeaux 121.5 versus Ricardo Cordoba 121 ... Brandon Rios 140 versus Omri Lowther 137.5.
ARLINGTON, TX -- Pound for pound king and 7 weight division champion Manny Pacquiao (center, left) of the Philippines and former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (center, right) of Mexico pose during the official weighin at the Cowboys Stadium Friday afternoon for their WBC Junior Middleweight Title bout Saturday night at the same venue here. Pacquiao came in at 144.6 lbs. while Margarito stepped in at 150 lbs.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
In a recent exclusive interview , Philboxing’s Canadian correspondent Socrates Celestial caught up with the IBF’s number one ranked Cruiserweight (175lb-200lb) Troy “The Boss” Ross(24-2 and 16 KO’s). He spoke openly inside the Bramalea Boxing club, a place he calls home that is enriched with the sport he endorses. Ross was a celebrated amateur boxer before turning professional which led him to train south of the border in the United States for a part of his career.
He represented Canada in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, was a Silver medalist at the 1998 Commonwealth games, a Bronze finalist in the 1999 Pan American games and an Olympic fighter in the 2000 Sidney games. He has had an illustrious resume as an amateur even before making his professional debut. “The Boss” and I spent several hours together where we did a light workout, talked about his career and his analysis of the upcoming blockbuster fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito to be held this weekend, November 13th, 2010.
Socrates Celestial: From the 2000 Olympics in Australia you went proffesional, is that correct?
Troy Ross: That’s right, after the 2000 Olympics I had made a decision that if I win a medal, don’t win a medal I’m going to turn pro because it’s another stage of my life and I wanted to see what the other side had to offer.
SC: How many fights did you accumulate before you went into your first retirement?
TR: (laughing) I would hate to say retirement because I have read people say that I’ve retired for a period of time, but during that time I just couldn’t get any fights. Until 2004 I had about 10 fights and kept training but I couldn’t get fights. I had either fights pending or promoters promising me fights, but then a fighter would withdraw or the entire event would be canceled.
SC: So to clarify this was not a retirement, but a hiatus. Is there anything notable you did during this period of time?
TR: I had an opportunity to be in a movie with Russell Crowe. I played John Henry Lewis in the movie ‘Cinderella Man’ (2005). I also played a young Samuel Jackson in the movie ‘Resurrecting the Champ’ (2007) and I played in another movie called ‘Phantom Punch’ (2008) with Ving Rhames. Every time I had a break from boxing, I had to find ways to put food on the table so it came down to acting and personally training.
SC: After completing all the movies, there was a television show you took part in. That would be the fourth season of ‘The Contender ‘(2008). How was that whole experience?
TR: The experience with the Contender? It was amazing because that actually helped me to resurrect my career as a boxer. Going into that tournament I thought the only way I can help resurrect my career is by winning the entire tournament. That’s exactly what I set out to do and that’s what I did. It gave me so much exposure all around the world and helped my boxing career and now I’m a well known name in the division.
SC: Currently, is there anyone you would like to fight right now, living or dead?
TR: The only person I really want is Steve Cunningham because I felt the fight was ended unjustly and the real champion is the person that’s talking to you right now, and it’s me. That’s a fight that I really want, but right now I’m ready to go after any title. The WBC, WBA, WBO it doesn’t really matter to me. I want to make sure I have a world title within a year. Definitely I want to fight Cunningham, but I know Cunningham doesn’t want to fight me.
SC: What is your prediction for the Pacquiao/Margarito fight coming this Saturday?
TR: I love Pacquiao, I love the way he fights, and he’s a south-paw like me. I have to support the South-Paw fighter. I’ve studied Pacquiao and I like the way he fights. There’s no way he’s going to lose to Margarito. I don’t believe that Margarito deserves that chance to fight him considering what he’s done to the sport with the Paris of Plaster on his hands. I don’t believe that’s fair for him to get the biggest shot, the biggest pay day of his career. I believe Pacquiao will win the fight hands down.
SC: How do you see this fight going?
TR: Pacquiao is a fighter that can stop an opponent or go the distance. I would like to see him outbox Margarito and put a lot of pain on him because of what he’s done. Pacquiao has a beautiful style. He’s unorthodox and has some serious punching speed.
SC: On the topic of Filipino fighters, there are several that come to the Toronto area to fight. What would you recommend for them coming from a hot climate to a cold one and also factoring in the time and altitude differences? Do you have any advice?
TR: Anyone coming from the Philippines to anywhere in this country (Canada) will need time for their body to acclimatize to the various conditions. A week would not be enough, because of the time difference. You would want to come at least two or three weeks to properly acclimatize to the constantly changing weather in Canada. Their bodies have to adjust to the time difference, the weather conditions depending on the season they’re fighting in, cutting weight in a different environment and the fact that they’ll be fighting at night too. A simple way to look at it is to factor a day for every hour difference. So in respect to the Philippines being twelve to thirteen hours different by a time zone, that’s realistically twelve to thirteen days. And that’s at a minimum. It’s hard for boxers because you don’t always have the luxury to decide when it’s time to go when everything is pre-arranged by flights and schedules.
SC: Besides your brilliant boxing career, you’re also a fashion designer. Where can someone find your clothing line? What if someone wanted to find out more about you, where could they get this information?
TR: The website you can to go and follow up on my career and see the next thing that I’m doing would be www.TroyRoss.ca. You can also go there to see my clothing line. My clothing line consists of boxing attire such as boxing shorts, boxing tops and assorted T-shirts.
ARLINGTON – The relative civility of Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito fight week was disrupted Wednesday with the circulation of a YouTube video showing Margarito and Brandon Rios, an undercard fighter from Lubbock, apparently mocking Freddie Roach.
Roach is Pacquiao's trainer, whose battle with Parkinson's disease has been well documented in the boxing world. Like actor Michael J. Fox, who is also afflicted with the disease, Roach's hands and head often shake and his speech slurs.
The video was apparently shot in the California gym of Robert Garcia, trainer of Margarito and Rios. It was distributed by a member of the Pacquiao camp.
In the video, which was taken down later in the day, Margarito, his hands trembling, mentions Roach. That is followed by Rios speaking about Roach with his head violently shaking.
No one could address the timing of the video's release but it did bring notoriety to the event, which never seems to hurt boxing ticket sales or pay-per-view buys.
Roach consistently has said Margarito had to know his hand wraps were loaded with an illegal substance before his January 2009 bout against Shane Mosley in Los Angeles . The plaster of Paris insert was removed before the fight. Margarito accused his then-trainer of trying to perpetrate a crime without his knowledge.
The California State Athletic Commission suspended Margarito and the trainer and has refused to re-license Margarito. That ultimately moved the fight to Texas, which welcomed it with open arms.
"They stooped kind of low this time," Roach said before Wednesday's Cowboys Stadium news conference to hype Saturday night's fight. "They showed their true colors."
At the news conference, Garcia said the fighters' antics had nothing to do with the disease.
"This is something personal between Team Margarito and Team Pacquiao," he said.
Said Margarito: "I respect the man. If you look at the video, I did not ridicule him. I only reacted as if I was afraid. I don't need to mock him, much less about that condition, nor any other illness."
Pacquiao said he had not seen the video but didn't appreciate his trainer being mocked.
"To me, it's not good," Pacquiao said. "You have to respect people. I don't like personal attacks."
WBC head a Cowboys fan: Mexico's Jose Sulaiman, president of the World Boxing Council – the sanctioning body for the 154-pound title fight – used a sliver of his time on the news conference podium to proclaim his loyalty to the Cowboys.
"I am a Cowboy by heart," he said. "My family, we cry when they lose and get drunk when they win."
Megafight? HBO officials won't be delighted to hear that promoter Bob Arum predicted pay-per-view buys will be "way over 1.2 million" in sales. Arum said he has not seen any data but was basing his number on prefight "buzz and exposure."
HBO prefers to speak in more nebulous terms, but Mark Taffet, who runs the cable network's pay-per-view division, labeled Pacquiao-Margarito a "megafight," which HBO defines as a fight with more than 1 million buys.
Briefly: Arum introduced William Kuntz, the executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, as "a real American. A man who stands up for principle." Kuntz, of course, was responsible for licensing Margarito days after California's refusal. ... After the news conference, visiting media peppered Arum with questions about the seating configuration and sale of party passes for the fight. Arum threw up his hands and said he couldn't answer the questions. "Last time, Jerry [Jones] was with me every step of the way," Arum said. "He handled those things. I just don't know." Jones has been noticeably absent from the fight scene, preferring to attend to his 1-7 team and other football business. ... The Cowboys cheerleaders escorted both fighters to the news conference, prompting someone in the crowd to "thank the heavens the cheerleaders look better than their team."
Reporting from Arlington, Texas —
The low blows started before Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito stepped into the ring.
In a video that appeared on various websites Tuesday, Margarito, his trainer Robert Garcia and Oxnard fighter Brandon Rios mocked the symptoms of Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who has Parkinson's disease.
"I had trouble sleeping last night," Roach said Wednesday after reviewing the video. "I want to fight all those guys myself, but I'm too old. … I'll never talk to any of those guys again."
Pacquiao and Margarito will fight for the World Boxing Council junior-middleweight title Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
The news conference Wednesday went beyond the typical big-fight testiness at the end of long training camps, when fighters, and those closest to them, finally come face to face with their opponent after weeks of derogatory talk with a battle looming.
Garcia tried to apologize at the news conference without saying the word "sorry," adding that Rios "didn't know [Roach's condition] was a disease. He thought it was from his 13 losses [as a fighter]. I want to make that clear."
Garcia said he wanted to apologize to Roach face to face at a later date and admitted, "Anything to win a fight, we'll use. This is part of the game: head games."
Margarito (38-6, 27 knockouts) appeared on the stage in sunglasses to contrast the beaming smiles of Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs).
Margarito, nicknamed the "Tijuana Tornado," laughed at the suggestion he was unwise to provoke the popular Pacquiao, who has won 12 consecutive marquee fights, eight by knockout, and is seeking a record eighth world weight-class belt.
"Saturday, you'll have a new champion," Margarito said of himself, a 6-to-1 underdog. "They've been saying stuff about us, too. This is nothing, we'll move on. I think they're very nervous. That's all this is — nerves.
"They see my size [advantage], how good I look."
Said Pacquiao: "My main focus is to give a good clean fight. I'm praying for my opponent, and on Saturday we will be happy."
He'll have a fierce motivator in Roach, who along with Pacquiao, has pulled no punches in scoffing at Margarito's insistence that he never knew there were plaster-hardened inserts inside his hand wraps before a 2009 loss to Shane Mosley at Staples Center.
The wraps were confiscated before Margarito fought, and he had his license revoked by the California State Athletic Commission.
Wednesday, fight promoter Bob Arum praised the Texas commissioner who reinstated Margarito.
He called William Kuncz "a real American who stands up for principle [when] other commissions feasted on innuendoes, lies and smears. … We don't convict a man on innuendo and suspicion.
"This man [Margarito] did nothing wrong and for 18 months he's gone through hell. On Saturday night, he'll give you the fight of his life."
Roach, proud of his motto, "I don't trust anybody," said he'll have someone inspect Margarito's entire hand-wrapping procedure Saturday night "from start to finish.
"I don't trust those guys," Roach said. "He's a cheater."
Roach said Margarito's recent videotape, and his playful use of a concrete chunk during a hand wrap on HBO's "24/7," has been an insult to the sport.
Roach spent nearly four hours Wednesday working with Pacquiao, and his other star fighters, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and junior-welterweight world champion Amir Khan, at a public workout.
The trainer said he doubled his Parkinson's medication Wednesday to reduce the tremors he experiences.
"This shows who those guys are," Roach said. "What I have is something boxers attain when they get hit a lot, like Margarito does. I hope he doesn't get this."
Pacquiao said he won't meet the catchweight limit of 150 pounds for the bout and will probably weigh in Friday around 148 to "maximize my advantage: speed."
Said Pacquiao: "Don't be surprised if this fight doesn't last one round."
Pacquiao wouldn't say how he uses anger to motivate him, except to note, "We won't let [Margarito] do that cheating again."
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Bob Arum is confident.
The long-time promoter and founder of Top Rank, one of the more successful promotional companies in the sport of boxing, believes Saturday night's Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito super welterweight title fight at Cowboys Stadium will reach record numbers.
Arum thinks the $1.2 billion venue located between Dallas and Fort Worth will draw 60,000 fans.
The first boxing match in this venue, March 13 between Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey, drew 50,994, the third-largest indoor crowd in boxing history.
"It's on a very good time of year," Arum said this week. "It's well before Thanksgiving, way before Christmas and it's the first big fight in about four months. All the stars are aligned."
It will be interesting to see just what the North Texas sports fan has left for a boxing match.
In the past two months there have been an additional eight Texas Rangers home games, thanks to a three-round playoff run that ended with the franchise's first World Series trip.
The Dallas Cowboys, including preseason, have had five home games since September. Add six college football games between the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and Cowboys Stadium, and the sports fans around here might be tapped out.
"I don't think so," said Scott Buss, a fan from North Richland Hills who attended an open workout Tuesday for Saturday night's fight. "There's always room for more events. I don't think people are tired. It's a new buzz in Dallas we haven't seen before."
Promoters for the bout believe several things are factoring into their favor. The ticket prices remain the same as they were for the March fight, but the number of higher-priced tickets were reduced and more medium-priced tickets are available to attract more fans.
Pacquiao, considered along with Floyd Mayweather Jr. as one of the top fighters in the sport, is an attraction himself.
Then there's Margarito from Tijuana, Mexico. His Mexican heritage appeals to the huge Latino fan base in the Southwest. Plus, Margarito is a better fighter than Clottey and has more appeal.
In addition to his appearance in big fights in the past, he Margarito is fighting in the United States for the first time since a year-long ban for getting caught using illegal hand wraps.
"You have a guy in the ring now with a better chance of winning," said Fort Worth-based promoter/manager Lester Bedford. "He knows what it takes to win a major fight. He knows how to win in these big-fight situations. He's more of a threat than Clottey."
The first fight at Cowboys Stadium was challenging for the promoters. They had 5 1/2 weeks to promote it because talks had broken down for a potential blockbuster event for Pacquiao-Mayweather.
With Saturday's fight in the works since August, promoters think the result will be better.
"Boxing is a world sport, and this is played to a world stage," said Todd du Boef, president of Top Rank. "The Rangers and Cowboys are localized products. The Super Bowl is a global product, and that's what championship fights bring. It brings global products."
Promoters won't say how many tickets have been sold, but the first fight at Cowboys Stadium had an estimated walk-up of 20,000 fans. Arum said walk-up sales are counted from Friday to Saturday night.
Arum expects another big walk-up.
"They say when they do Mexican soccer games, the walk-up is more than the advance sales," Arum said. "If you have an event that appeals to Mexicans, they tend to be the last-minute buyers."
Will fight fans buy it?
"Big time," said Stan Holmes, a fight fan from Arlington. "Hispanics will come to the fight and people want to see Pacquiao. It's going to be a big mix of fans. I think it will be a one-sided fight, to be honest with you, but everyone wants to see this fight. I don't think fans are tapped out in any way."
What to Expect from Manny Pacquiao Vs Antonio Margarito Nov. 13 Fight? The whole boxing universe is looking forward to the 13th of November when Manny Pacquiao takes on Antonio Margarito for the main event of the WBC. The speculation about this match is over the top and people, be they fans or media people, don’t seem to get enough of predicting what could happen when the world’s best boxer gets in the ring once again.
Pacquiao Vs Margarito Preview: During the initial previews of the match the media was focusing on the reports that PacMan wasn’t actually training at his best and was getting distracted by other sports and his involvement in politics. But well, there will always be a section that would believe that Manny being pushed to the limits even is next to impossible.
However, that there is mixed reactions in the world of boxing makes a statement of its own. After all, the Filipino boxer hasn’t lost a match for the last six years and there must be something to it. And then there is the Margarito factor; Antonio is certainly not a fighter to be taken lightly.
However, one speculation that has been totally eliminated now is that of Manny being distracted by things other than the sport. He is training great lately and Freddie Roach acknowledges. Another thing is that the fight is being betted heavily on and to nobody’s surprised that it’s stacked in favor of Manny.
But the match is certainly going to be competitive and great to watch. If anything then Pacquiao would have to be up pace to reach the weight division and that’s a task in itself. The two boxers of contrasting styles makes for an interesting watch. As for Margarito, it will be a matter of surviving multiple rounds.
Pacquiao, who intends to fight at least one more fight after this, would make great pitting against Floyd “Money” Mayweather. Of course, Paul Williams may be a good second choice.
GRAPEVINE, TEXAS—There was one emotional guy who took the mike at the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito press conference Wednesday who sounded as though he was ready to remove his suit jacket and rumble right there.
Unfortunately for the promotion, it wasn't Nice Guy Manny or the disgraced handwrap cheater, Margarito.
The mad as hell guy was promoter Bob Arum, who is an exceptional actor as he nears age 79 next month.
Arum was buttering up the rep from the Texas boxing commission, William Kuntz, and praising the Lone State State for licensing Margarito even though California and Nevada refused to do so.
“Where other commissions feasted on innuendoes, lies and smears,” Arum snorted, “a real American who stands up for principle did that and I mean Bill Kuntz.”
Arum also prefaced his intro of Tijuana resident Margarito with some angst.
“This man has gone through horror because of California, where he got no fair shake,” Arum said.
“We did not think they would convict this man because of innuendo and suspicion but, for 18 months, this man has gone through hell and, on Saturday night, he will come up with the fight of his life.”
Margarito sounded all business but, unlike Arum, he spit no venom.
“The time is here and there are no excuses. I am ready for the fight. I had one of my best (training) camps, one of the best I have ever had and I am here to show I am back.”
(Bookmakers, pegging Pacman as wide as a 6 /12-1 betting choice, indicate they think the Mexican will wind up on his back or lose a decision over 12 rounds.)
Pacquaio was more upbeat.
“I expect a good fight on Saturday night,” the 31 year old said. “He's a very good fighter and he throws a lot of punches and this is what I want. It is going to be fun.”
After Pacquiao took to the podium for his usual, confident but not offensive spiel, which did include a plug for an authorized book about his life, Arum said the Pinoy Idol was more garrulous since he became a solon.
“He used to speak in small sentences,” Arum said, “but since he became a Congressman, he speaks in paragraphs.”
Don Jose Sulaiman, president for life of the World Boxing Council, interjected a Mexico versus Philippines historical note and drew laughs with a reference to the absent Jerry Jones' stuggling badly at 1-7 Cowboys.
Sulaiman said research shows the Philippines has won 24 of 61 title bouts against Mexican rivals and Pacman is responsible for half of those dozen victories.
“The Sulaimans, we are Cowboys,” he said. “When they lose, we cry, When they win, we get drunk.”
All that losing this year and attendant drinking must have been music to the ears of the guy on the dais who represented Mexican beer sponsor Tecate.
HBO PPV exec Mark Taffet spoke about Pacman's drawing power.
He noted that in 12 PPV TV bouts, Pacman's numbers indicate 6.25 million buys with the last four bouts all over one million buys.
“This is a megafight,” Taffet said.
Arum on the Pacquiao segment on Sunday's “60 Minutes” program:
“Too bad they gave me a lousy opening act.”
The news magazine led off with a long Steve Kroft interview of President Barack Obama.
Arum revealed to me that Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, just aided by a Pacquiao appearance at a last minute Las Vegas campaign rally, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarznegger would both attend the fight.
Interesting splits in fight outcome opinions from rising star and son of the legend Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and longtime Esto boxing scribe Jose Luis Camarillo.
Chavez said Margarito is coming to fight but will get licked by Pacquiao. His being trained by Coach Freddie Roach may compromise his forecast, though.
Old friend Camarillo believes “that Margarito will knock Manny out.”
Monday, November 8, 2010
The first two episodes of Pacquiao-Margarito 24/7 dealt with distractions in the Manny Pacquiao camp due to Pacquiao’s obligations to his politics and celebrity and Margarito’s quest for redemption.
In episode three the camera is zoomed out a bit and behind Margarito’s redemption bid we are shown in boxer Rashad Holloway what could be some of the lasting effects of Margarito’s hand-wraps scandal.
Holloway, who is currently working as a Pacquiao sparring partner training for his own fight on the undercard, was brought in to spar with Margarito in preparationfor his 2008 bout against Shane Mosley, a bout that would be known for Margarito being caught before the bout with an illegal substance, likened to plaster of paris, in his gloves. Holloway, in one sparring session preparing Margarito for Mosley was hit with a potentially career-ending punch to the right eye.
“I remember when I got hit,” Holloway said. “I can’t describe the feeling I felt but I remember that everything scrambled and I know something was wrong. I broke my orbital bone; the nerves and the muscles were damaged to the point that they were smashed.
Holloway, not sure if he would ever be able to fight again, then describes the feeling he had when information started coming out about Margarito’sillegal wraps. Holloway intimated that although he knew Margarito very well could have been using illegal hand-wraps in the sparring session that he (Holloway) wasn’t bitter or spiteful about it and also was not going to go around pointing fingers.
“It is what it is,” Holloway said.
As we are shown a close up of Holloway’s face, Antonio Margarito is voiced ominously over the shot.
“They can say what they want,” Margarito replied. “I have already had two years of it. My reply will always be the same. I don’t cheat and I’m going to prove it on November 13.”
Two things here.
Holloway seems honest in his recollection of the sparring incident. In the past Holloway has said that Margarito’s damaging punch “didn’t feel like a padded glove hit me. It was like a hard, solid impact. I felt like I had been hit with a bag of rocks.”
Holloway stated that “It is was it is” but he also seems to know what it wasn’t.
Secondly, Margarito’s claim that beating Pacquiao will somehow prove that he never cheated is akin to taking a test in high school with the student body watching you because you have been caught cheating in the past, claiming that this highly surveyed test will prove you never cheated on any test, never threw a stink bomb into the girls bathroom and never slipped a flask-full of whiskey in the prom punch bowl.
Basically, it is a ludicrous claim, and Margarito’s insistence that “my reply will always be the same” makes it seem that Margarito has hypnotized himself into believing that he never cheated.
HBO has shown in the first two installments of 24/7 a prideful Margarito ready to prove he is worthy of the sport he love, a family-oriented Margarito sharing time with loved ones and a funny Margarito who derides the hand-wraps incident as something farcical.
The Margarito shown in the third installment is a much different character. In the face of Rashad Holloway we see an Antonio Margarito who may have permanently ended or possibly derailed more than one career.
In the face of Holloway we see Miguel Cotto and Kermit Citron.
In the face of Holloway we see that maybe Margarito shouldn’t be given this chance. Maybe he is not deserving of redemption in the ring.
It is what it is?
Other Musings From 24/7:
– It seem Alex Ariza’s irritation from the last installment of 24/7 has boiled over. Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach is shown combative with Pacquiao prior to the fighter’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
“Jesus Christ, Why did I even say anything man, I should have stayed here and kept quiet,” the clearly perturbed Ariza said after complaining of the heat spurring a response from Pacquiao telling Ariza to use common sense and take his coat off.
Ariza is shown later in the episode pontificating on the condition of Pacquiao.
“I think he is about 80 percent,” Ariza said. “Am I confident that I did all that I was supposed to do, no I am not.”
– Freddie Roach seems to have regained all his confidence in Manny.
“I thought this was going to be a tough fight,” Roach said during a training session. “I don’t think so anymore.”
–Margarito’s camp is seen bringing in a bunch of southpaws to imitate Pacquiao and trainer Robert Garcia talks a bit about different strategies to use against a southpaw. The strategies are then thrown out the window when it is revealed Margarito’s focus in the fight will revolve around pressure and physical dominance.
With the lack of strategy, Margarito’s camp might consider substituting the Vaseline in the corner with liquid cement.
–Line of the episode easily goes to Freddie Roach: “He thinks he’s a tornado, the fucking real tornado is coming.”
If Antonio Margarito is the villain in Saturday's title fight against Manny Pacquiao, someone forgot to give the screenplay to boxing fans.
Fort Worth's Eric Reyna, 29, gathered with about 1,000 fans Sunday at La Gran Plaza Mall to listen as Margarito took questions and signed autographs in what morphed into more of a pep rally than a public appearance.
For fans such as Reyna and older brother Jose, a sports hero can do no wrong even if he does wrong. Such is the case of "The Tijuana Tornado," who was found to have plaster on his hand wraps before a 2009 fight with Shane Mosley. Margarito served a one-year suspension. Yet, Margarito was handpicked by promoter Bob Arum and Jerry Jones to help boost attendance for Saturday's bout at Cowboys Stadium and stands to make around $5 million.
Sports history is filled with athletes or coaches who've looked to take shortcuts, whether with performance-enhancing substances or other schemes, and the results have been mixed in how they recover from these scandals.
Certainly, Margarito appears to have recovered from the controversy.
The Reyna brothers buy into the notion that Margarito's former trainer, Javier Capetillo, could have doctored the gloves and wraps without Margarito's knowledge.
"I honestly try to ignore it because I don't want to look at him as a bad guy if he didn't know about the wraps," Eric Reyna said. "Either way, I liked him before. If he knew about it, I doubt he wrapped his hands like that all the time. Maybe he just did it for that fight if that is what happened.
"I don't want to look at him as the bad guy. I'm willing to give him a second chance and, hopefully, he wins or gives Pacquiao a good fight at least."
Based on the enthusiastic reaction Margarito received during two local public appearances Sunday, his fans aren't just standing beside him but are ready to hoist him upon their shoulders.
Margarito's fan base includes Milwaukee Brewers pitcher and Fort Worth product Yovani Gallardo, who presented Margarito with a customized Brewers jersey.
"[Fan support] means a lot; any professional athlete can tell you that," Gallardo said. "The fans are going to be behind you. They're going to support you and it means a lot."
The HBO series 24/7 has certainly painted Margarito as more than a shady figure, but as a mentor to young fighters and a devout family man.
Trainer Robert Garcia said the personal look at Margarito has won the boxer even more fans.
"I think it did [help his image]," Garcia said. "They see the way we do training camp. They see we have fun. They see we joke around. They see we train hard. They see things that Margarito is doing with the kids, the amateurs, and I think it's helped a lot."
While fans may have forgiven or believe Margarito's claims of innocence, Pacquiao trainer Freddy Roach isn't that trusting.
He said last week he will personally oversee the wrapping of Margarito's hands before the fight.
"It helps the fight in general because of the press and the notoriety of the fight," Roach said. "But it doesn't change the fight at all; it will be on the up-and-up. Both will be equal in hand wraps and that's the way it is."
Boxing - Seven-time world champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (51-3-2) of the Philippines and his entourage landed at Love Field in Dallas, Texas late Monday evening.
PHOTOS: Pacquiao at Wild Card Gym
Team Pacquiao arrived on a chartered Boeing 757 and immediately proceeded to the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. The hotel is owned by Jerry Jones, who also has ownership interests in the Dallas Cowboys as well as the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys team also stays at the hotel during home games.
The pound-for-pound king's chartered flight cost close to a hundred thousand dollars, and flew in over a hundred members of his entourage, family members, boxing trainers, Filipino lawmakers, and various friends.
The 'fighting congressman' from Sarangani province has a showdown with Antonio "Tijuana Tornado" Margarito (38-6) of Mexico on November 13 at Cowboys Stadium.
After going through five rounds of sparring Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Manny Pacquiao declared that he's "totally ready" to do battle with Antonio Margarito for the vacant World Boxing Council super welterweight crown on Nov. 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"I'm just perfecting my movements," said Pacquiao in Filipino. "I am polishing my moves, how to counter, my balance and timing."
"I need to be ready on whatever will happen on top of the ring. My style will depend on what he'll do early in the fight."
Pacquiao, of course, has an inkling of Margarito's battle plan.
"We all know that he's a body puncher so I need to harden up my mid-section," said Pacquiao, who does 2,160 sit-ups a day for that purpose.
"When he comes in, I'll meet him with upper cuts left and right," said Pacquiao, noting that the Mexican hits wide and therefore telegraphs his punches.
Asked if he'll beat Margarito to the punch, Pacquiao said. "He'd be hit first."
Pacquiao attributes his newfound zest and vigor during training and sparring with Rashad Holloway and David Rodela to his reduced weight of 147 to 148 pounds.
Pacquiao said trainer Freddie Roach's assessment about his superb condition was right on the dot.
"He (Roach) wouldn't lie that I'm ready when I'm not," said Pacquiao. "Or it will put him to shame."
Admitting that he was sluggish in the early part of training camp in Baguio City, Pacquiao said it was due to the excess weight.
"I was trying to gain weight and become larger because Margarito is bigger and taller," said Pacquiao. "But it didn't do any good because I couldn't move."
According to Pacquiao, he'll just maintain his weight at 147 and 148 till the end of training.
"As long as I'm fast, I'm okay."
"We haven't done many stories on boxers, but there's good reason to do one now. Next Saturday there will be a fight in Dallas featuring a 31-year-old Filipino who is quite simply, the best boxer in the world today. His name is Manny Pacquiao and he's generating excitement not seen in the ring since Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard or Muhammad Ali. Incredibly, Manny or 'Pac Man' as he's called, holds world titles in seven weight divisions; from 105 pounds to 148- that's never been done before."
Those were the opening statements of distinguished and multi-awarded journalist Bob Simon of CBS' 60 Minutes in his segment featuring Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao. The feature, which lasted about 13 minutes, came after CBS correspondent Steve Kroft's interview with US President Barrack Obama who addressed the first 2 years of his term as president. In boxing lingo, you can say Obama was on Pacquiao's "undercard".
The feature wasn't just a tribute to Pacquiao's impact in the sport and his nation, it was also a win for boxing as it brought back memories from its golden ages when mainstream media cared about the sport.
Here are some other noteworthy and quotable quotes from the 60 Minutes feature on Pacquiao:
On Pacquiao's smiling ring entrances:
Simon - "I've never seen a fighter walk towards the ring smiling. Are you just doing that, is it a tactic, or are you really happy?"
Pacquiao - "That's just me; I'm always smiling."
On Pacquiao's ranking among the greats:
Simon - "Just how good is Manny Pacquiao?"
Arum - "I think Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter that I have ever seen."
**Simon narration: Bob Arum has promoted many of the world's great fighters including "The Greatest".
Arum - "I did 25 fights for Ali,"
Simon - "You're saying.. you're saying that Manny Pacquiao is a greater fighter than Muhammad Ali?"
Arum - "Yes he is, because Muhammad Ali was essentially a one-handed fighter. Manny Pacquiao really shocks these fighters, because he hits equally hard from the left side or the right side."
On Pacquiao using boxing as a means to get out of poverty:
**Simon narration: She (Manny's mom) wanted him to be a priest. He wanted to play basketball. But basketball didn't bring in bread, boxing did.
Simon - "How much?" (asking how much Pacquiao made when he started boxing)
Pacquiao - "100 pesos."
Simon - "100 pesos?"
Pacquiao - "Which is equivalent to 2 dollars."
Simon - "2 dollars to box?"
Pacquiao - "Yes" (laughing)
Simon - "And what are you making now?"
Pacquiao - (laughing) "Huh? Millions haha" (laughing)
On when trainer Freddie Roach realized Pacquiao was special:
Simon - "When did you realize that Manny was more than a really good boxer, that he was going to be a champion?"
Roach - "You know that first round really told me something." (Referring to the first time he did mitts with Manny)
Simon - "Already, the first round?"
Roach - "Because I never saw somebody with so much explosion on a punch. Bang! Bang! Bang! He was just like a gun firing off, and I never saw that all my life. And I've been with a lot of good fighters." (28 World Champions)
TRIVIA: Can you name the other 27 world champions Roach has handled? I'll give you a few: Mike Tyson, Gerry Penalosa, James Toney and Ana Julaton are some of them.
On Pacquiao's popularity in the Philippines:
Arum - There is nobody.. In the Philippines, nobody, who is not watching Manny Pacquiao fight and there must be blind Filipinos and they are listening.
In closing, Simon asked Pacquiao the money question:
Simon - "Who do you think is the greatest boxer ever?"
Pacquiao - "Including me?"
Simon - "Including you..."
Pacquiao - "Of course me." (smiling)
LOS ANGELES, CA (via Pera Padala) – A lot of seats will be vacant in the House of Representatives when Congress opens its session Monday.
The reason is at least more than 50 members of the Lower House are reportedly in the United States to watch the fight of their fellow lawmaker, seven-division champion Manny Pacquiao against Mexican three-time titlist Antonio Margarito Nov. 13 (Nov. 14 in Manila).
Pacquiao, the World Boxing Organization welterweight titleholder, and Margarito, known in the international boxing world as the “Tijuana Tornado,” dispute the World Boxing Council super-welterweight championship at the huge $1.2 million Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington,Texas.
Sources in Team Pacquiao, who requested anonymity revealed that the number of congressmen presently here in Los Angeles to join their colleague’s group bloated the entourage flying to Arlington Monday and forced Pacquiao to charter a bigger plane going to the site of the bout.
Members of Monday’s entourage, sources said, reached at least 200.
They said they are going on invitation of Pacquiao, who will undertake their plane and hotel expenses.
Members of the country’s rich and powerful as well as national and local government officials, cabinet members and entertainment personalities are also joining the trip.
House top officials disclosed that since Congress is not in session majority of its members have filed requests with the office of Speaker Sonny Belmonte to travel to different international destinations.
They, in fact, feared that Monday’s opening of session might be held without a quorum since most of those who requested travel authorities have yet to report in their offices.
Belmonte himself announced even before the close of the last session that he would watch the Pacquiao fight himself although it was not sure whether he proceeded with the trip.
At least seven members of media covering the House have also been raffled off to join the Texas exodus under the expense of Pacquiao, reports also said.
Lawmakers, including senators and members of the cabinet, their wives and children, have always been a permanent fixtures in all fights whether they be championship or title defenses.
In one of Pacquiao’s fights held in Las Vegas, Nevada, the world pound-for-pound king had reportedly spent more than $650,000.
Members of the Filipino community here, meanwhile, denounce the government officials and even members of the business community and entertainment for joining the trip which they said is proof of their lack of concern for their poor constituents, especially victims of the recent floods that hit Central and Northern Luzon.
Echoing the sentiment expressed by the Pamalakaya fisherfolks in the two regions calling for all government officials concerned instead channel their resources, whether coming from their own pocket or the government to the victims of those calamities.