Boxing


The Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito Drama Could Play Out In Front Of Over 60,000!

By James Slater - Top Rank promoter Bob Arum certainly has yet another blockbuster on his hands. According to Arum, in speaking with ESPN.com, the upcoming rumble between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito could well draw over 60,000 fans. So, despite the controversial, somewhat negative asides the fight has attached to it - with some members of the media appalled at how a known cheater gets rewarded with a huge-paying opportunity - the light-middleweight title fight has sold incredibly well.

Maybe it’s because of the controversy that surrounds, and looks like always surrounding, the Mexican warrior that the fight has done so well at the live gate (and the pay-per-view numbers are also sure to be massive), but the enormous star power of Pac-Man has once again been proven. Simple fact: whenever he fights, whether it be against a Joshua Clottey or a Margarito, Manny Pacquiao makes everyone want to watch..

But, despite the success the fight will enjoy at the box office, and despite the mega amounts of cash Arum and his team will have to count when all the dust settles; will the fight prove to be one worthy of such a large money paying audience?

Both men were talking to the media today, and both fighters said they are in great shape and are ready to win. Pac-Man, despite having “the worst ever camp” he has had since working with trainer Freddie Roach (according to Roach), says he is now 100-precent and that his fans have no need to worry. Roach concurred that everything is “on track now,” and that his charge will “break [Margarito] down in around eight or nine rounds.”

Margarito said he simply cannot wait to get into the ring, “to see what we can do against each other.”

Margarito’s trainer, Robert Garcia, also said he fighter is 100-precent ready to go.

One of the many big talking points surrounding Nov. 13th’s WBC 154-pound title clash is the weight of the two boxers. The weigh-in limit for the fight is, as fans know, 150-pounds. Margarito is expected to make that okay and then bulk up to around the 160-pound mark in the hours before he climbs into the ring. This will make the Mexican the heaviest opponent Pac-Man has ever faced, and some fans wonder if the strength of “Tony” will prove to be too much (even Arum has said it will be back to 147-pounds for Manny after this fight).

Roach, though, says speed wins fights.

“The more he weighs, the better off we are,” Roach said. “Size doesn’t win fights, speed does. He makes too many mistakes and has too many bad habits. We’ll take advantage of all of them.”

The news that the fight may draw over 60,000 fans (the indoor world record for a fight’s attendance is still held by the Ali-Spinks rematch from Sept. 1978, when The Superdome in New Orleans was crammed full with 63,315 paying fans) will allay fears some may have had that the withdrawal of Kelly Pavlik would affect fan attendance. The under-card may have lost some of its lustre with the disappearance of the Pavlik-Bryan Vera probable slugfest, but the main event is still going to play out in front of a monstrous crowd.

Most experts pick Pacquiao to win, many of them by stoppage, but the fight is no gimme for Pac-Man. Those 60,000 fans in attendance can expect to see a lively and eventful battle, for as long as it lasts. Roach’s 8th or 9th-round prediction looks a realistic one to me.

Article posted on 04.11.2010



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