When: Saturday, November 13, 2010
Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: PPV at 11:00 p.m. EST
Weight Class: Vacant WBC Light Middleweight Championship (Catchweight: 150lbs.): 12 Rounds
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Manny Pacquiao, 51-3-2 (38 KOs), General Santos City, Philippines Vs. Antonio Margarito, 38-6 (27 KOs), Tijuana, Mexico
Betting Odds: Manny Pacquiao (-625), Antonio Margarito (+475)
Over/Under: Over 9.5 (+140), Under 9.5 (-180)
Preview: Boxing megastar Manny Pacquiao returns to Cowboys Stadium to take on former welterweight titleholder Antonio Margarito. This is not one of Pacquiaos more celebrated bouts, though it could prove to be among his most dangerous. Antonio Margarito is a big and strong welterweight who at his best, is a very formidable nights work for any fighter alive.
This bout will be contested for a title at 154 pounds, even if there is a catchweight of 150. Pacquiao will be gunning for a title in his 8th different weight classa mind-numbing achievement. Frankly, this will not be one of Mannys more legitimate titles if he were to win it. Margarito really has no credentials at 154, but it is nevertheless an interesting matchup.
We know what we have with Pacquiao. Hes the best fighter in the world, at his relative peak, and basically unchallenged since his second fight with Marquez. With Margarito, more questions lurk. We all know how he was busted in the dressing room prior to his fight almost 2 years ago with Shane Mosley. He went out there and got his butt kicked in resounding fashion. He has since notched one comeback victory in which he looked unimpressive.
Margarito is fortunate that powerful promoter Bob Arum has a soft spot for him. Practically condemned by the entire boxing fraternity, Arum still maintains Margaritos innocence and is giving him an opportunity to make it all better. Margarito suffered the same fate that befalls all fighters who load their glovesa lengthy suspension and a dark glow cast over his entire career. Margarito is not only presently maligned for loading his gloves, but his prior body of work has also fallen under question. Did loaded gloves play a role in his success over the years? It seems doubtful that he would have been able to get away with that repeatedly, but it really puts a dark shadow around his entire career.
Those who are entertaining the possibility of backing Margarito are looking to the following factors: Margarito is a much bigger man and the kind of fighter to impose his physicality on his opponents. While all the time off, the drama, and the brutal beating by Mosley might have taken something out of Margarito, he may be getting written off prematurely. When he got busted in the dressing room with loaded gloves, it had to take something away from his focus on the fight. Mosley beat him lopsidedly, but Margarito was in a heavily compromised spiritual state. Margarito is a fighter who depends on a finely-honed mental edge. Mosley was only able to beat him after he was deprived of his best weapon.
If you take a leap of faith and assume that Margarito did not load his gloves his entire career and that he has maintained his skill and edge through this ordeal, this could be one of Pacmans more difficult outings. Margarito, at his best, could absorb punishment exceedingly well, before coming back to break his opponents will. One must also factor in that Margarito is fighting for his entire careerpast and present. If he wins, he reclaims his position as a top fighter, while lending credibility to his entire resume. The motivation for Margarito in this fight should be high indeed.
If Margarito proves to be a lesser version from his heyday, Pacquiao will chop him up with ease. A more vintage Margarito could potentially push Pacquiao to his limits. Pacquiao is at a distinct size disadvantage, but his edges in sharpness and speed will be telling. In addition, Manny has become a master of angles over the past several years, which should allow him to stay one step ahead of Margarito throughout the bout.
Scotty L’s Pick to Win the Money: Manny may be forced to take some punishment. Margarito is a big man, so Pacman will need to be careful. Expect him to use his legs, angles, and quickness to outscore Margarito for stretches of the first half of the bout. Margarito will press, but be forced to constantly reset, which will prevent him from establishing any rhythm. As he becomes more comfortable, Pacquiao will begin to dig in with greater venom. Margarito will find the last few rounds to be tough-going and will show a lot of grit to see the final bell.
This is a big challenge for Pacquiao. One has to wonder how long he can get away with fighting significantly bigger men without averse affects. I see Pacquiao having to put forth one of his more concentrated and sharp performances here, but he will rise to the occasion, as he always has. Manny will win most of the rounds and cruise to a wide decision win. Lay the 625 on Pacquiao to win and take +140 on the over.