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23 OCTOBER 2014

 

Pacquiao Destroys Brave Margarito


Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Photo by Tri Nguyen.

By Michael Norby: In front of tens of thousands of fans at the most spectacular venue that spectacular venue-rich America could offer, boxing’s super superstar Manny Pacquiao won an amazing eighth world title in as many weight divisions (WBC 154lbs) after he pummeled Antonio Margarito for 12 full rounds on Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA.

He is an all-time great, of that there is no doubt. Over the last decade, Pacquiao 51-3-2 (38) has picked up a ridiculous amount of world titles and beaten an even more ridiculous amount of elite fighters in a stunning run of performances that has made him millions, defined an otherwise sloppy era of boxing, and cemented the fame and adulation that helped him win a seat in his home country’s legislature.

For his part, Margarito 38-6 (27) was desperately looking for a measure of redemption. Reeling from the infamous 2009 hand-wrap controversy, and subsequent thumping from Shane Mosley, that will always define his career now, the Mexican entered the ring against Pacquiao looking to cleanse his reputation with a spectacular performance.

He didn’t get off to a good start. After apparently mocking Freddie Roach’s Parkinson’s Disease during fight week, he was accused before the fight of possibly ingesting an ephedrine containing drink (a banned substance). Reporting by HBO’s Max Kellerman backstage suggested that it could in fact have been a sugar substitute (the opposite of a banned substance) poured into a cup of coffee.

Either way, gamesmanship had ensued before a punch had been thrown and Margarito’s team furthered it by questioning Pacquiao’s hand wraps to a commission representative. That pre-fight back and forth ended abruptly, however, as Pacquiao stared up at his larger opponent seconds before referee, Laurence Cole, called for the beginning of hostilities.

After 12 punishingly brilliant rounds against a man that outweighed him by almost 20lbs on fight night, Pacquiao connected with a staggering 411 of 713 punches. In short, he made mincemeat of Margarito, whose face resembled a butcher’s apron by the end of the fight – a whitewash that Pacquiao, although unable to stop the gritty Mexican, completely dominated from start to finish.

Margarito began the fight by shooting a very good jab, which he landed often before Pacquiao began to connect with solid lefts, and rights to the head and body during the second half of the frame – out-landing the Mexican handily with stunning power punching.

Margarito’s corner encouraged their charge to continue shooting long jabs, which he did initially, but both men connected with decent shots on the inside during the first minute of the second round. Although Pacquiao’s hand speed was undoubtedly superior, Margarito more than held his own in the trenches this round. The big Mexican moved his man with thumping headshots, including a pair of snapping uppercuts late in the round that visibly annoyed Pacquiao.

Pacquiao dominated the third round, however, with hard hooks, straight punches and blistering combinations to the granite-like head of Margarito, who smiled in return and responded with single shots, sprinkled throughout the three minutes.

Margarito tried to tighten the contest in the fourth and he landed a handful of clean punches early on. He was supremely out-gunned, though, and for the vast majority of the round, Pacquiao clattered punches onto the dial and midriff of the Mexican – opening a nasty swollen gash under Margarito’s right eye and severely winding and slowing him with a staggering body attack.

With his right eye shutting rapidly and a wolverine-like opponent breathing down his neck, Margarito was in serious trouble as the fight entered the middle rounds. In the fifth, Pacquiao blasted the former champion with consistently sweat spraying punches from all angles as a weary Margarito trudged forward in Frankenstein fashion after eating a steady diet of punishment.

Margarito braved it through, however, and he almost hit pay dirt in the sixth after he caught Pacquiao against the ropes and hurt the Filipino with a trio of body shots – a rare moment of vulnerability from Pacquiao in what was a much closer round.

To his credit, Margarito provided a beefy performance in the seventh and, although he was on the business end of an intensely loud beating, he fought bravely, came forward and managed to catch Pacquiao on occasion. This seemed only to energize the smaller man, though, who punched and darted his way around the ring in an awesome display of boxing brilliance.

The same happened in the eighth. Margarito punched away at Pacquiao’s body early in the round before eating a cannon full of power for his efforts. The exchanges later in the round were extremely exciting and Margarito, grasping the redemption he sought inside the ring with his courage and fighting spirit, connected with some spectacular punches – matching his man shot for shot.

Down the stretch, however, Margarito, whose damaged right eye was horrendous, wilted badly. Although Pacquiao poured on the punishment in the ninth and tenth, though, he somehow found the strength to stay upright, but almost collapsed at the end of the latter after a counter right hook connected flush.

Rounds eleven and twelve were difficult to watch, such was the thumping that Margarito was exposed to. Clean, powerful head shot after clean, powerful headshot rained down on the Mexican, whose movement was beyond sluggish and whose punches were void of any power.

Pacquiao, who peered at referee Cole in the penultimate round, stepped off the gas in the twelfth, as if unwilling to punish his opponent further – content that this latest mission was effectively accomplished and his place in history secured.

Scores: 120-108; 118-110; 119-109
Although severely punished, a swollen and bloodied Margarito fought bravely. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Although severely punished, a swollen and bloodied Margarito fought bravely. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Pacquiao found Margarito at will with stunning accuracy and power. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Pacquiao found Margarito at will with stunning accuracy and power. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Manny Pacquiao pummeled a brave but outgunned Antonio Margarito. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Manny Pacquiao pummeled a brave but outgunned Antonio Margarito. Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Who is next? Pacquiao is running out of opponents. Will Mayweather step up? Photo by Tri Nguyen.
Who is next? Pacquiao is running out of opponents. Will Mayweather step up? Photo by Tri Nguyen.


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