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Pacquiao vs Margarito

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pacquiao is for a beating - Robert Garcia

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will be in major trouble the moment he steps in the ring with Antonio Margarito, according to the Mexican’s chief trainer.

Speaking to, Robert Garcia expressed confidence that they have already solved the Pacquiao puzzle and is looking to stop the Filipino ring icon for the first time in more than a decade.

“We’ve been watching a lot of Manny’s fights and we know exactly how to attack him,” he told Joseph Padullon of “We have been especially interested in his fights with (Miguel) Cotto and (Juan Manuel) Marquez.”

Pacquiao, of course, struggled in his two fights with the counter-punching Marquez. Although victorious against Cotto last November, the Filipino ended up with a busted ear, a result of the Puerto Rican's deadly left hooks.

Garcia also went as far as predicting the fight’s outcome.

“(An) 11th-round knockout. This isn’t going to just be a win for Margarito, this is going to be a (expletive) beatdown we put on him (Pacquiao),” he said.

“A big time beating is what we got for Manny Pacquiao,” Garcia added.

Pacquiao and Margarito tangle on Nov. 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas for the vacant WBC junior middleweight title.


Antonio Margarito will quit - Freedie Roach

MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach won’t be surprised if Antonio Margarito goes down as fast, as hard like Ricky Hatton.

“That’s what I’m thinking about,” said the certified champion maker yesterday as he sat by the edge of the ring.

Roach arrived at the Elorde Gym more than an hour ahead of Manny Pacquiao who later on put on a two-hour show as the gym was packed with fans, friends and members of the media.

Roach thinks Margarito won’t be able to take it if he is caught with the same punch that left Hatton in a trance after taking a solid left from Pacquiao in the second round of their 2008 showdown.

“If we catch him, that happens,” said Roach.

The American who once trained Mike Tyson said he’s not losing sleep over the Nov. 13 fight with Margarito for the vacant WBC super-welterweight crown at the Cowboys Stadium.

He said he never had, since the fight was sealed more than a month ago, and never will.

“The thing is I’m not worried about this guy. I’m not losing sleep over Margarito,” said Roach of the 5-foot-11 Mexican who once was probably one of the most feared boxers in the welterweight class.

Roach, however, wouldn’t listen to that, saying Margarito was never exceptional.

“He’s so slow. They better improve on something. But I can’t say this is an easy fight. I don’t want Manny to think that way,” he said.

Margarito is coming off a one-year suspension for illegal hand wraps in his fight against Shane Mosley very early last year, a fight where he was knocked out in the ninth round like he’d never fight again.

But he did, and last May he defeated Robert Garcia, whom Roach described as “a nice kid who can’t really fight.”

“I don’t know. But I don’t want to kill the fight until we blow him (Margarito) away,” said Roach.

“The thing is, once you quit, it’s easier to quit the second time,” he added, thinking of Erik Morales who quit in the 10th round of his second fight and in the third round of his third fight with Pacquiao.

“In your life you pray it (quitting) would never happen. But when that happens, it’s much easier to quit the second time,” said Roach

This is not part of a psywar, he assured.

“I can tell this to his face: I bet you will quit,” said Roach.

Moments later, Pacquiao came in, and soon after, Roach was up in the ring.

Poor techniques will beat Margarito - Roach

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.


Pacquiao vs Margarito: Tactical Warfare!

By P.H. Burbridge - > Antonio Margarito! The DISGRACED Antonio Margarito will never again gain the kind of universal support boxing fans showed him after his brutal and methodical dismantling of Miguel Cotto in July of 2008. The fight with Shane Mosley in January of 2009 forever changed him as a fighter and as a man. Not even the most highly effective PR firm in the world could change the fight public¡¯s perception of him and at this point it doesn¡¯t matter. The business of boxing is a dirty one and if you¡¯re searching for ethics in this sport you¡¯re waiting your time. We¡¯re constantly being reminded that the only thing that matters is if a fighter has the right connections! Well, Antonio Margarito is connected and has the right professional relationships to even commit boxing¡¯s most egregious sin and STILL GET the biggest fight that can be had. That¡¯s the bottom line and NOTHING we say as a fan base apparently changes a thing if a promoter or a sanctioning body see¡¯s money to be made. There¡¯s not even a hint of legitimacy to this fight from the participants to the sanctioning body¡¯s making available a ¡°world title¡± and not only is it maddening, it¡¯s ridiculous. So, that¡¯s our reality! This fight will happen and it will be billed as a world championship match! Period! I¡¯m not going to spend this time preaching a sermon on why I feel everything about this fight is wrong and unethical but suffice it to say if I wasn¡¯t worried about creating legal issues for my self or ESB you would be reading some pretty intense criticism of EVERYBODY involved! I¡¯m turning off my ethics sensor for now for the purposes of this article and you probably should too if you¡¯re going to get anything out of it..

And to further support that sentiment the ¡°Tactical Warfare¡± series is generally not about the peripheral issues surrounding the ring anyway. It¡¯s about fighting! It¡¯s about the technical application and probable tactical approach of each man inside of the ring. That¡¯s it! So, let¡¯s take the emotion / outrage out of the equation and deal with how each camp might approach this challenge.

And let¡¯s all be clear right from the get go, this is a massive challenge for both sides.

Manny Pacquiao is on the verge of competing at his highest weight and there is a SERIOUS element of danger here. Pacquiao fighting at a max weight of 151 lbs is again entering into uncharted territory which has kind of become the norm for boxing¡¯s most fan friendly fighter and although he offers other worldly attributes in speed and unorthodox wizardry every other advantage appears to go to the man they call the ¡°Tijuana Tornado¡±, Antonio Margarito. Margarito is a huge welterweight who at 5¡¯ 11¡± presents a number of logistical challenges for the 5¡Ç 6¨ö¡È Pacquiao who will require a nearly perfect performance to emerge victorious. Margarito looks like a middleweight where as Manny looks more like a lightweight but, as Pacquiao has proven to the world time after time looks can be deceiving. Two years ago fight aficionados would have scoffed at this match up. In fact, Antonio Margarito ridiculed Oscar De La Hoya for fighting Pacquiao instead of him proclaiming Oscar would rather fight a ¡°small man¡± with little to no chance of hurting him than the #1 welterweight in the world and recent conqueror of the previously unbeaten Miguel Cotto.

Well, nobody¡¯s scoffing now!! In fact, the tables have been turned. BIG TIME! Now, the boxingintelligentsia roundly supports Pacquiao as the favorite.

I don¡¯t let such opinions sway my judgment or impact my preparation for Tactical Warfare. I just study each fighter with the volume turned all the way down.

Upon a careful analysis which included a complete analytical review of each man¡¯s last 10 fights I¡¯m intrigued by the style match up here. I¡¯ve concluded that Manny Pacquiao will have to fight in a manner that he¡¯s not altogether known for and the question is can he ignore his own fighter DNA for a full 12 rounds? Manny will not or at least, should not attempt to be the stalker in this fight. He must fight very disciplined and stick to Freddie Roach¡¯s game plan which will no doubt call for constant in and out motion. This is a high lateral movement cardio themed fight for Pacquiao and it will be very different from the Clottey fight where Manny threw over 1,200 punches. The punch out put will not be as high for Margarito because of the need for perpetual movement. Pacquiao is blessed with incredible foot speed which is not to say he can out run a world class sprinter it means that he is able to change direction in a millisecond which is the key to his style of defense. People cite his incredible hand speed as a main asset but I believe his true gift can be found in is his legs. Freddie Roach has taught him to use his legs as the focal point of his defense and it¡¯s allowed him to move up in weight with the great success. His power is a given but his ability to land shots and remove himself immediately forces opponents to reach and get out of position. He has improved over the years in moving his head and getting underneath punches but his legs still remain the focal point of his defensive approach and he¡¯ll need every bit of them for Margarito. A stationary Manny is a hittable Manny and no one understands that better than Freddie Roach.

Against Margarito, Roach will not allow him to test himself with his back against the ropes offering his body the way he did against Cotto and Clottey. Margarito is a harder puncher than both of those men and his left hook to the body has ended many a fight so, if you see Manny attempting to out macho Tony in this fashion he¡¯ll be doing exactly what Freddie Roach does not want him to do. Everything he does will have to be on the move which will decrease his punching power to a certain degree. It¡¯s the correct trade off given the nature of this match up.

I expect Manny to move primarily to his right and away from Margarito¡¯s right uppercut while using his own right hook alternately as a jab. His main concern in doing this is Margarito¡¯s looping left hook. I don¡¯t see that punch landing consistently from the outside because it¡¯s not delivered with great speed and Margarito generally has more success with it when his opponents are either against the ropes or stationary. By the same token, I don¡¯t see Manny being able to hurt Tony with his right hand. No matter what you¡¯ve read recently about improvements in his right hand and while much of it is true from an accuracy stand point I just don¡¯t believe it¡¯s a hard enough punch to hurt Margarito. Now, it looked great against smaller fighters like Diaz and Hatton but Manny was the puncher in those fights and as such was less fearful of retaliation. He could stand, set and deliver it with authority in those cases so, it appeared considerably more damaging. This is a whole different scenario with a heavy emphasis on constant movement and fast flurrying so you probably won¡¯t see Manny sitting down on his punches enough to do serious damage especially with his right against Margarito. He will however, do just fine with it as a scoring punch.

If Pacquiao is going to get some measure of respect from Tony it will not come from his right hook.

It will come from his left hand!

In an effort to do just that Pacquiao will attempt to put himself in a position where Margarito is squared up so he has the option to fire his most damaging punch, the straight left hand. That punch is a BIG problem for opponents because it¡¯s delivered with Manny¡¯s full body weight behind it and it¡¯s very fast and unorthodox. You¡¯ll never see a trainer try to teach that shot the way Pacquiao throws it because almost everything about it is wrong from a technical stand point. Manny actually leaves his feet at times and leaps into that shot. In the case of Roach, he probably debated with himself as whether to try and correct it but the reality is that it works for Pacquiao. AND, it¡¯s a tremendously hard shot and will get Margarito¡¯s respect if it lands. On the flip side, it can also be viewed as a potential weakness and might offer an opportunity. Manny explodes into that shot squaring himself up and in doing so becomes vulnerable to a counter right hand. Now, typically, he¡¯s able to avoid being countered because previous opponents have been smaller and when they saw that punch coming all they were focused on was getting out of the way. There are two tactics that can be employed to combat that shot. A fighter who has comparable speed and can get there first and the second is a big man like Margarito that can stay in the pocket and deliver the counter. Truthfully, Margarito does not have the speed to counter it so he¡¯ll have to time it perfectly or pay the price and although I don¡¯t think Manny can get him out with one punch I do think those shots will add up and Robert Garcia will alter plans accordingly if he starts taking too many. Don¡¯t let the result of the Mosley fight cloud your judgment here. Margarito more than likely still has ultra confidence in his chin and in his ability to absorb Manny¡¯s hardest shots. If he gauges Pacquiao¡¯s power early and does not feel any real one shot danger there then you can count that he and his trainer, Robert Garcia will attempt to create an environment where Manny feels comfortable enough to throw it. Roach will want to disguise it and use it sparingly. He¡¯ll watch closely for the trigger points and the set up. If Margarito appears too open at times for that shot, Roach will direct Manny to use his feints to determine if it¡¯s a set up. If Margarito is overly reactive to Manny¡¯s feints then expect to see him to throw more rights and hold back on his money punch. Roach and Pacquiao will walk into the ring that night prepared with a number of alternate plans.

If we do see that shot I think it will be early when Manny is fresh and full of energy. I think it¡¯s a dangerous shot to throw late because the fatigue factor will take some of the speed and power away. The internal battle going on inside of Pacquiao will center at times on NOT throwing his best shot. At the end of the day, Manny wants to do damage not box and for a fighter who is moving up in weight you must fight in a controlled way or run the risk of taking unnecessary punches from your bigger opponent.

If Pacquiao is going to be safe in this fight he has to be a disciplined BOXER. If he¡¯s able to maintain that I think he jumps out to an early lead 5-6 round lead.

Margarito has to force Pacquiao to fight going backwards under constant duress. He cannot allow him to land and pivot out of danger. He NEEDS to move him backwards. His long 73¡È reach could allow him to do just that if he gets his hooks working from either side. He also must not give up his height. He¡¯s the taller fighter and he must fight that way. When on the out side he wants Manny in the constant state of reaching not zooming in and zooming out. It¡¯s all about timing for Margarito and his offensive success will be limited so he¡¯ll have to make the most out of it. In mentality, he¡¯ll have to replicate the Cotto fight. Obviously, the participants are different but the pressure dynamic from Margarito¡¯s perspective needs to be similar. For his part Tony must continually jog forward attempting to stay close not only to engage Manny but to maintain mental pressure while constantly reminding Pacquiao that he¡¯s the bigger, stronger man capable of doing more damage. If they fall into clinches, he needs to exert his strength by leaning on and out muscling Pacquiao. He needs to impose his will and change Manny¡¯s mental demeanor which I believe could be the determining factor in the final outcome of this bout. To do that Antonio Margarito will have to prove to Pacquiao that his punching power is legitimate and not a product of loaded gloves. Margarito is known for his high punch out put as well as his clubbing shots so even if he¡¯s not landing cleanly he needs to be moving Pacquiao or knocking him off balance. There¡¯s no question that Manny is the slicker of the two but that¡¯s usually the case for Margarito. He has an ugly style with little to no aesthetic value. Margarito doesn¡¯t care how it looks just as long as he¡¯s doing damage. He will not become discouraged if he gives away the early rounds because his history tells us he finishes strong late. He is willing to trade his face for yours and also don¡¯t be surprised to see some rough tactics. In terms sportsmanship, he couldn¡¯t get any lower so in that regard he literally has nothing to lose. As long as he applies it in a manner that doesn¡¯t result in a disqualification he¡¯ll fight his normal fight. People still talk about what Roberto Duran was able to get away with against Davey Moore. In the end, all that really mattered was that Duran won. Margarito has that same mindset so it wouldn¡¯t be a shocker to see some questionable stuff. Roach will have plenty to say to the appointed referee through the press before the fight and during pre-fight dressing room instructions.

The rough stuff is coming and you can bet Roach¡¯s fight plan will take that into consideration.

Margarito will have great success in this fight if he¡¯s able to control distance. Manny because of his 67¡± reach is at a significant disadvantage in fighting on the outside and IF Margarito is successful in keeping him moving backwards rather than side to side this is going to be a huge problem for Roach. If Manny is able to successfully and consistently use lateral movement without lunging then you¡¯ll see him land a lot of scoring shots to the body early and after about round 7 you¡¯ll see him shift to the head and finish strong. That¡¯s generally the game plan for Roach. You spend a number of rounds measuring distance and gauging your opponents speed and power. Once you have those internal calculations down you can mix up your punches.

It works¡¦..That¡¯s why Roach is considered a master. He¡¯s logical and unemotional. On the flip side, people are now starting to recognize what boxing insiders in California have known for some time and that is Robert Garcia is one of the best young trainers in the sport. There¡¯s a reason high profile world class fighters like Nonito Donaire rely on Garcia. He¡¯s not just a trainer of Mexican sluggers. He¡¯s very adept at outlining the nuances of a fighter and taking advantage of very subtle traits. He knows what kind of fighter Manny is and he certainly knows what kind of fighter Margarito is.

This match will not be a work of art for either man because of the styles. You¡¯re going to see Manny moving more than you¡¯re used to and you¡¯re going to see Tony missing badly at times because of it.

To win, Manny will need complete order and for Tony, he will need utter chaos!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Atlas: Pacquiao could lose this fight!

"As far as the fight goes with Margarito, I think that's a dangerous fight for him. I personally think Pacquiao could lose this fight. I think that you've got a naturally bigger guy. He is really the bigger guy because Margarito is a big welterweight. He's a horse. He has the stuff that happened in the past, but as far as physicality, this is a big welterweight. He is a guy that throws a lot of punches, he's a guy that is physically strong and, up until the Mosley fight, as you touched on, he was very confident. I think that with this fight with Pacquiao, it presents a lot of areas of danger and real potential problems for Pacquiao that he hasn't faced for awhile...The opportunity is there to hit this guy. And that opportunity will be there for Margarito. And the only way I can look at it, and again, if you can't say what you believe, then you shouldn't say anything. To me, it's the right fight for his promoter, Bob Arum. Arum can't lose; he's got both guys. I'm not sure that it's the right fight for Pacquiao because to me, Pacquiao can make money with a lot of guys. He ain't making extra money because it's Margarito," stated ESPN commentator and world-class trainer Teddy Atlas, who shared his thoughts on the November 13 showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. You don't want to miss what else he had to say about Pacquiao, Margarito, Hatton, De La Hoya and much more.

PC: You have already stated on Friday Night Fights how you felt about the Texas Commission granting Antonio Margarito his license. Now we are past that, because the fight is happening, so how do you see it playing out? Does Margarito have a chance or will he be another Pacquiao victim? Will Pacquiao capture his 8th title in 8 divisions?

TA: You know, I don't think these guys have 8 titles or 10 titles and stuff like that. I don't think they are real titles. You know, some of these titles are ridiculous; junior middleweight this and the in-between that. There are so many titles and so many weight divisions that, after awhile, if you wanted to and you aspired to, you could have 15 titles if that was your goal. They would create one for you if you needed them to, so I don't think about 8 titles. When I think about the greatest guy who has fought and had multiple titles, I don't think about these guys. I think about Henry Armstrong. That's a man. And it's not that these guys aren't, and they are all great in their places in time and place where they fit in right now, and I give them all of the credit for that, but come on? I mean, 8 titles? Henry Armstrong won the featherweight title, the lightweight title, welterweight title and full titles when there were so many good fighters around. And then he won the middleweight title against Ceferino Garcia, but they robbed him and made it a draw. So really, he won the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight title. He should have had the middleweight title and he defended all of those titles. When I think about multiple titles, I think about that guy. I think of guys like that, where there were 4 titles and the best guys were around. There weren't spots to where you could pick a spot and just walk into a spot if you had a broken hand, and you could walk into that spot because you knew it was a very soft spot. That's what I think of. I'm not taking nothing away from Pacquiao, but I don't think of his greatness because you attach 8 titles. I'm just thinking of his talents, his speed, his confidence level, his punch output and his improvements over the last couple of years. He comes at you from different angles now. He offers different problems for you now, where before, you used to look for the big punch and now, you have to worry about the right hand and not just the left hand. I look at that and give him credit for those things, but I'm not going to go overboard with the 8 titles.

As far as the fight goes with Margarito, I think that's a dangerous fight for him. I personally think Pacquiao could lose this fight. I think that you've got a naturally bigger guy. He is really the bigger guy because Margarito is a big welterweight. He's a horse. He has the stuff that happened in the past, but as far as physicality, this is a big welterweight. He is a guy that throws a lot of punches, he's a guy that is physically strong and, up until the Mosley fight, as you touched on, he was very confident. I think that with this fight with Pacquiao, it presents a lot of areas of danger and real potential problems for Pacquiao that he hasn't faced for awhile. If you go back, and take nothing away from him, but if you go back to the fights that were really the marquee fights that made his career...put aside the Marquez fights, which were great fights that some people thought he didn't win both of those fights, so that's one thing, you can make an argument that he might not have won (laughing).

Put that aside and you look at De La Hoya and you can make the argument that De La Hoya was dead at the weight, you can make the argument that he is a shot fighter and you can also make the argument that De La Hoya never won a big fight. He never won a big fight. There was just something really wrong with De La Hoya where he would find a way to lose in big fights. Some people will say he beat Quartey. That wasn't considered a big fight. In fact, I think that was De La Hoya's last HBO appearance before he became a pay-per-view star. But if you look at the big fights in his [De La Hoya's] career, he lost them, so you look at that fight and the Ricky Hatton fight, and Hatton may have been a bigger guy, but he wasn't a puncher. I know it's easy to say after the fact, but going in there, you can say he was made to order for Pacquiao. He throws wide punches, he's not a big puncher, he's right in front of you and if you close your eyes, he's right in front of you. And he's going to start a punch from too far away. I remember when I watched the 24/7 and he was training with this guy that had a big body protector on. And he was punching at that body thing and I thought to myself, "Wait a minute, that body suit sits out about 6 or 7 inches from his body. That means he has to bring his hands back to throw a punch 6 inches before he normally would." Normally you would get a little closer to a guy to throw a punch, but now he's throwing the punch from further away because the piece actually comes out and protrudes from his body 6 or 7 inches. So if you're starting to throw those punches 6 or 7 inches out from where you are supposed to throw it, you're exposing yourself to a counter punch when you're starting from that far out, and he was actually practicing it in the gym. I remember watching that and making the comment on it on ESPN and everyone thought I was crazy. We love stuff that's illustrative, so everyone was saying, "That's great and that looks great." But we're not looking close and I'm thinking, every time he throws a punch, it's from further and further away then he's supposed to. That means he's making a space that's available to throw in between. He's exposing himself, and sure enough, he goes into the fight, he goes to throw a punch and bang! Pacquiao hits him with a punch right inside of those shots. Mayweather did it to him too; same thing, right inside of his shot. You can also say, "Well, Cotto was a bigger guy." You can also say Cotto was a damaged guy. You can say Cotto never recovered from the Margarito fight. He took a terrible punishment in that fight mentally, emotionally and physically, so you can say that he was a guy that was made to order. So you take all of those, again, you don't want to take nothing away from Pacquiao, but you want to be honest about it. He had guys that were set up perfectly for him.

Now, you got a guy in Margarito, who really, truly is a bigger guy. I can't really say none of those other guys were guys who were going to have a big, physical advantage because of all of the things I just mentioned. But this guy, we can make that case. I can say, "Margarito is going to be a bigger and more physical guy." Then you say, "Pacquiao is going to be faster and more clever and trickier." And then you look at the Clottey fight, and Clottey threw punches like he was paying for them and he was the cheapest guy in the world. He was throwing punches like they were charging him $10,000 a punch and he had a budget of $5,000. He didn't throw any punches. But I watch that fight, and he threw maybe 7 punches the whole night. Of course I'm exaggerating, but he threw a small amount of punches the entire night, and 4 of them were uppercuts and I think all 4 uppercuts landed. I remember watching it and saying, "Oh my God, look at this. He threw 4 uppercuts in the whole night of boxing and all 4 landed." I thought to myself, wow, you know what? If he was to fight a guy that was more willing, more confident, more disciplined, more prepared, more professional, or whatever you want to call it, but a guy that let his hands go, guess what? The opportunity is there to hit this guy. And that opportunity will be there for Margarito. And the only way I can look at it, and again, if you can't say what you believe, then you shouldn't say anything. To me, it's the right fight for his promoter, Bob Arum. Arum can't lose; he's got both guys. I'm not sure that it's the right fight for Pacquiao because to me, Pacquiao can make money with a lot of guys. He ain't making extra money because it's Margarito. Please don't try to sell me that because I ain't buying. He can make money, comparable money, with a lot of guys. We know the real big one is Mayweather. We understand that, but he can make money with a lot of guys. He doesn't have to fight Margarito, but for Arum, it makes a lot of sense because he can't lose because he's got both guys. I'm not sure that if I was managing Pacquiao that I would be saying, "You know what? At this point in his career, he needs to fight Margarito."

PC: I remember you speaking on air about the telling damage to Pacquiao's face after the Clottey fight. You feel Margarito will actually be more effective than that because he's busier?

TA: We get caught up sometimes in seeing what we want to see. We see the blur of Pacquiao because he's very fast, he's throwing a million punches to the other guy's handful, and we're walking away saying, "wow," because that's all a lot of us saw. It's not all we saw. We did see the other guy throw a very small amount of punches, but they landed and they did damage.

Manny Pacquiao delayed his training in Baguio

MANILA, Philippines — A delay of a few days will not affect Manny Pacquiao’s preparation for the Nov. 13 fight with Antonio Margarito, the pound-for-pound king’s conditioning coach said on Thursday.

Alex Ariza said that even if Pacquiao eventually decides to postpone his trip to Baguio until later next week instead of this Sunday, the Filipino puncher would still have enough time to reach fighting form.

“Manny already knows his body well enough unlike before when we were still starting out,” said Ariza, who has been supervising Pacquiao’s conditioning and nutrition since mid-2008.

Chief trainer Freddie Roach is actually arriving in Manila tomorrow morning alongside two sparring partners and is looking forward to the start of the eight-week camp in Baguio on Monday.

In the end, Ariza said it would still be “Manny who will the call the shots (on where to train).”

Early this week, Pacquiao showed up for two straight days at the Elorde Gym on Del Monte Ave. in Quezon City.

Pacquiao looked trim and fast and furious during his short workout under Buboy Fernandez and said he might use the Elorde Gym until next week before going to Baguio, site of his camp during the runup to the Miguel Cotto bout at around the same time last year.

Joe Ramos, another member of Team Pacquiao, said it would be better for his boss to just remain in Metro Manila in the entire training camp owing to his duties in Congress being the Sarangani lawmaker.

“Good luck,” texted Ramos, one of Pacquiao’s consultants in Congress, when told about Roach’s determined plea to bring Pacquiao to Baguio at the soonest possible time.


Pacquiao vs Margarito on HBO 24/7

HBO will produce their acclaimed 24/7 series to promote the upcoming pay-per-view bout between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. The series has been used to promote many HBO pay-per-views in the past and is very well received by fans and critics.

Pacquiao-Margarito 24/7 will be a four-part series with the debut episode airing on October 23. The fight will be on November 13 at Cowboys Stadium. It will be Antonio Margarito’s first time on 24/7 but Manny Pacquiao’s fourth. Pacquiao previously took part in the series in his bouts with Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Margarito is aiming for 150 rounds of sparring

MANILA, Philippines – Antonio Margarito will undergo at least 150 rounds of sparring to prime himself up for Filipino fireball Manny Pacquiao.

This was bared by Margarito’s chief trainer Robert Garcia, who has actually began whipping the Mexican into shape for the Nov. 13 duel with Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

Although training proper officially kicks off this Monday in Southern California, Garcia wants Margarito to start working out a sweat so they can immediately get going once they arrive in Oxnard, which is about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Garcia said Margarito will start sparring sometime late this month and the sessions will be every other day.

“A hundred fifty rounds will be perfect and Margarito, being a hardworker, can do that,” said Garcia, who will be working Margarito’s corner for only the second time.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, hit the road Thursday morning with training assistant Buboy Santiago in tow.

Pacquiao is trying to be in shape in time for the arrival of his trainer Freddie Roach on Sept. 19. They will then motor to Baguio the following day to begin training.


Pacquiao will visit Hong Kong if he wins

MANILA, Philippines – Saranggani Representative and world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will turn on the charm offensive for the angry Chinese officials when he visits Hong Kong after his fight in November against Mexican Antonio Margarito.
Pacquiao said he was hoping that his trip would help appease the Chinese government, which has criticized the Philippines for its bungled handling of the hostage-taking incident last August 23 that resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong tourists.

“We will calm them down,” he said. “We will try to find a way to bring back their trust on us, we don’t need to fight.”

The boxing champion-turned-politician said the Hong Kong visit was his own initiative, adding that he will find a way to make representation with the Chinese government as a lawmaker.

He said he would make the visit whether or not he would win the bout with Margarito. The match is scheduled on November 13 at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Pacquiao said he also hoped to see his colleague, Ilocos Sur Representative Ronald Singson, who is out on bail in Hong Kong for a drug trafficking case.

Pacquiao said he would begin his training next week by jogging in the hilly portion of Montalban in Rizal. He will continue training in the US and will miss some session days.


Pacquiao to target Margarito's body!

By James Slater - Manny Pacquiao, whilst speaking with members of the media yesterday, said he will climb into the ring for his November 13th bout with Mexico’s Antonio Margarito at 151-pounds max. Currently weighing that weight now, the pound-for-pound king will not put on any further pounds before the big fight in Texas.

As has been reported, the fight, for the vacant WBC 154-pound title, will be boxed at a catch-weight, with both guys allowed to come in no higher than the 151 Manny is comfortable at. Unfair when considering how big the 32-year-old Margarito is? Probably; but not too many fans are on “Tony’s” side regarding this or anything else due to you know what! So, the best fighter on the planet once again enters a fight with what some fans would call a loaded deck. Margarito isn’t allowed to weigh-in for the fight (24 hours before the bout) any higher than 151, and Pac-Man doesn’t want to.

Will the boiling down Margarito has to do weaken him to the point that he has nothing, or close to nothing to give, with no real snap on his punches come fight night? It’s very likely. But again, the majority of fans will not be too concerned, seeing as they are eagerly looking forward to watching the fighter dubbed “Margacheato” take a fearful hiding..

Pacquiao, obviously the faster man, especially with the catch-weight thing to benefit him, has made it clear - at least one of his assistants has made it clear - that he will target the taller fighter’s midsection. Aiming to chop Margarito down bit by bit, piece by piece and further weaken him with savage body shots, Pac-Man is almost certain to succeed - in the process picking up his eighth world title.

Would the fight be any different if Margarito, who, after the weigh-in, will likely enter the ring at anywhere from 155 to 160-plus, were allowed to jump on the scale at a full 154? Probably not too much different, but it’s true some fans are growing tired of the catch-weight fights Pac-Man engages in. If the fight is for the light-middleweight title, which it is, then both men should be allowed to weigh-in at the light-middleweight limit.

“Remember, the bigger they are the harder they fall,” a Pacquiao advisor said yesterday with regards to the size of Margarito. Yes, but would the Mexican fall quite as quickly if he were not forced to kill himself to make 151-pounds!


Pacquiao to use training method like his bout against Cotto

Against the biggest opponent he'll ever face in his career, Manny Pacquiao is applying the same kind of training regimen he did in beating Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao believes two months of intense training – the first half in the mountains of Baguio and the final leg at the comforts of the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles – will be good enough for him to get in shape for his November 13 title bout with the massive and ever dangerous Antonio Margarito.

Training camp begins on September 20 at the Cooyesan Hotel in the country's summer capital, the same place where a built-in ring was made to accommodate Pacquiao and his entourage while preparing for his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight fight against Cotto last year.

One by one, Pacquiao's training team will come over here, starting with conditioning coach Alex Ariza on September 13, and then followed by chief trainer Freddie Roach and sparring partner Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

"We'll follow the same routine I used when I was training for my fight against Cotto," said Pacquiao when GMANews.TV caught up with him at the New World Hotel late Wednesday during the Development Partners’ Night, a fund raising event the boxing star hosted for the planned establishment of a district hospital in the province of Sarangani, where he also serves as congressman.

Pacquiao beat Cotto in their 2009 meeting at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, pulling off a technical knockout win in the 12th round of a bloody and action-packed match.

Margarito, who stands at 5-foot-11, also scored an impressive knockout win over Cotto two years ago, a result that later would be tainted in the light of the illegal hand wrapping scandal the Mexican boxing star from Tijuana got involved with moments before his title bout with Sugar Shane Mosley.

Unlike Cotto and Joshua Clottey – the last two men Pacquiao fought in the ring – the 31-year-old Filipino ring idol admitted not having seen Margarito fought in person.

Still that doesn't make him bothered opposite the man they dubbed the 'Tijuana Tornado.'

Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, one of Pacquiao's closest advisors, however, feels differently.

Atienza considers the 32-year old Mexican brawler a very dangerous opponent for the Pacman, even going to the extent of referring to him as a 'mountain.'

"He's a mountain. Manny needs to prepare hard for this fight. The guy's a giant," Atienza told GMANews.TV during the same fund-raising affair.

"It's going to be a tough fight, so Manny has to prepare hard against Margarito. I'm a bit worried, but I know Manny can beat him," added the former Manila mayor. – JVP, GMANews.TV


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kelly Pavlik will fight on Pacquiao vs Margarito undercard!

Former WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 KO’s) will be fighting on the undercard of the November 13th bout between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito at the Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington, Texas.

Pavlik, 28, last fought in April, losing a 12 round unanimous decision to Sergio Martinez. Pavlik weighed in at 160 at the weigh-in for that fight but re-hydrated up to 178 by fight time, which was a lot heavier than Pavlik usually is for his fights.

The added weight didn’t help Pavlik move around the ring and he quickly found himself getting outworked by the older Martinez. Pavlik did a fair job in the middle of the fight but got battered in the last three rounds when Martinez upped his work rate all of a sudden. There’s still no opponent for Pavlik to fight on the Pacquiao vs. Margarito undercard, but someone will be found soon.

Pavlik’s manager Cameron Dunkin is trying to find someone suitable for the fight. Since Pavlik is likely to be the co-main event, his opponent is going to have to be at least a semi-decent fighter. It won’t be anyone really good because his promoter Bob Arum isn’t going to want to risk having Pavlik get beaten yet again. The middleweight division is still really poor, so you can expect the opponent to be someone that Pavlik will likely be able to blow out quickly in a one-sided fight.

Look for Pavlik to be matched against a light middleweight because there just isn’t enough decent fighters to pick over in the middleweight division for Pavlil. If they choose someone too good like Gennady Golovkin, Pavlik will likely get beaten. And if they choose someone too obscure, boxing fans will be less likely to want to purchase the $54.95 pay per view card. It would be nice to see Pavlik in with someone good like Erislandy Lara. However, we’re likely to see Pavlik matched against Michael Medina, Joe Green, Ronald Hearns or Joachim Alcine.

Pavlik is still good enough to be one of the middleweight champions. He would likely do well against WBA champion Felix Sturm and IBF title holder Sebastian Sylvester. However, WBC champion Sergio Martinez already beat Pavlik and WBO champion Dmitriy Pirog may be too skilled for Pavlik to handle. But at least Pavlik should be good enough to win one or maybe two of the belts in the next year if he moves quickly to try and compete for one of the titles. What Pavlik shouldn’t do is move up to the super middleweight division. There’s too many quality fighters at that weight and I can see Pavlik getting beaten by a lot of them.


Pacquiao and Margarito promote their fight in the Dallas stadium

ARLINGTON – The biggest smile Manny Pacquiao popped at Friday's Cowboys Stadium news conference to hype his Nov. 13 bout against Antonio Margarito came when asked if he would know if someone illegally had wrapped his hands before slipping on his boxing gloves.

"Of course I would know just like Margarito knew," Pacquiao said. "I would feel it."

Margarito was caught with loaded gloves before he entered the ring for a January 2009 bout against Shane Mosley at Los Angeles' Staples Center. Plaster inserts were removed and he lost the fight. A month later, California suspended his boxing license for a minimum of one year.

When Margarito applied to the California athletic commission for re-instatement last month, he was rejected. As he did on fight night, he continued to deny he knew anything about the loaded gloves. He laid blame on his trainer, who was subsequently fired.

In the wake of the California denial, Margarito successfully applied for a license in Texas. That set up the bout against Pacquiao for the vacant WBC 154-pound title.

"If there is something in your hand, you feel it," echoed Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, who fought 53 times as lightweight before retiring as a boxer.

The Cowboys Stadium fight will be Margarito's second since he was suspended but first in the United States. He fought in Mexico in May.

Margarito preferred to look ahead rather than discuss the past saying, "I don't care what anybody says. This is the present now. Let's get ready to fight."

Briefly: The news conference on Cowboys Stadium concourse was open to the public, attracting a large contingent of supporters for Margarito, who is from Mexico. They chanted "Beat Pacquiao." It was the first time anyone in the Pacquiao camp could remember their popular Filippino fighter, considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, was not the crowd favorite in the United States. ... According to their contracts, neither boxer can be more than 150 pounds at the weigh-in on the day before the fight. That is a concession to Pacquiao, 31, who began fighting professionally at 108-pounds and will be trying for a title in his 8th weight class. Margarito, 32, has been fighting at 147 pounds and up since 1996. Pacquiao fought at 110 pounds that year. At 5-11, Margarito, a three-time champion at 147 pounds, towers over Pacquiao. He is listed at 5-6 ½ but looked smaller than many of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on hand to escort the fighters to the news conference dais. Size obviously doesn't matter in Las Vegas where bookmakers like Pacquiao's speed and skills. He opened as a 6-to-1 favorite at the MGM Grand casino. Tickets for the fight, which is projected to draw a crowd of 70,000, have been scaled from $50 to $700.


Pacquiao and Margarito promote their fight in the Dallas stadium

ARLINGTON – The biggest smile Manny Pacquiao popped at Friday's Cowboys Stadium news conference to hype his Nov. 13 bout against Antonio Margarito came when asked if he would know if someone illegally had wrapped his hands before slipping on his boxing gloves.

"Of course I would know just like Margarito knew," Pacquiao said. "I would feel it."

Margarito was caught with loaded gloves before he entered the ring for a January 2009 bout against Shane Mosley at Los Angeles' Staples Center. Plaster inserts were removed and he lost the fight. A month later, California suspended his boxing license for a minimum of one year.

When Margarito applied to the California athletic commission for re-instatement last month, he was rejected. As he did on fight night, he continued to deny he knew anything about the loaded gloves. He laid blame on his trainer, who was subsequently fired.

In the wake of the California denial, Margarito successfully applied for a license in Texas. That set up the bout against Pacquiao for the vacant WBC 154-pound title.

"If there is something in your hand, you feel it," echoed Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, who fought 53 times as lightweight before retiring as a boxer.

The Cowboys Stadium fight will be Margarito's second since he was suspended but first in the United States. He fought in Mexico in May.

Margarito preferred to look ahead rather than discuss the past saying, "I don't care what anybody says. This is the present now. Let's get ready to fight."

Briefly: The news conference on Cowboys Stadium concourse was open to the public, attracting a large contingent of supporters for Margarito, who is from Mexico. They chanted "Beat Pacquiao." It was the first time anyone in the Pacquiao camp could remember their popular Filippino fighter, considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, was not the crowd favorite in the United States. ... According to their contracts, neither boxer can be more than 150 pounds at the weigh-in on the day before the fight. That is a concession to Pacquiao, 31, who began fighting professionally at 108-pounds and will be trying for a title in his 8th weight class. Margarito, 32, has been fighting at 147 pounds and up since 1996. Pacquiao fought at 110 pounds that year. At 5-11, Margarito, a three-time champion at 147 pounds, towers over Pacquiao. He is listed at 5-6 ½ but looked smaller than many of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on hand to escort the fighters to the news conference dais. Size obviously doesn't matter in Las Vegas where bookmakers like Pacquiao's speed and skills. He opened as a 6-to-1 favorite at the MGM Grand casino. Tickets for the fight, which is projected to draw a crowd of 70,000, have been scaled from $50 to $700.


Mayweather exposed his mental weakness

The world’s richest active boxer Floyd Mayweather has been filmed in a racist, homophobic rant against Manny Pacquiao, the world No 1 he chose not to fight this autumn.
Clear signs of weakness from Mayweather. Signs that the fight may happen, but that he fears the fighting phenomenon from The Philippines.
Mayweather unleashed a racist, profanity-filled monologue ten minutes long with a fan over the phone that included rolling the Philippine boxer “in a sushi roll and cooking up the m*****f***** with some cats and dogs.”

Mayweather repeated his assertion that Pacquiao uses performance-enhancing drugs, an accusation that led to a defamation lawsuit from Pacquiao earlier this year.
Mayweather talking of cooking “that little yellow chump”, and referred to Pacquiao several times as “the midget”.
“Once I stomp the midget, I’ll make that mother f—– make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice,” Mayweather said.
“The video speaks for itself,” Pacquiao said in a statement through his publicist, Fred Sternburg.
Pacquiao is currently on a media tour in the United States to promote his next contest with Antonio Margarito, after Mayweather refused to fight him. Mayweather intimated in the video that a fight between he and Pacquiao will eventually happen.
In the video, Mayweather also boasted of his ring earnings, belittled those of Pacquiao, now serving in Congress in The Philippines, and sang a ditty in which he called Pacquiao a “whore”.
In Glasgow tonight, unfancied Scot Ricky Burns will attempt to add the World Boxing Organisation super-featherweight title to his ledger as a long underdog against Sergio Martinez, the title holder, from Puerto Rico.

Marcus Maidana, the Argentinian power puncher has emerged as the favourite to face Amir Khan for the British fighter’s World Boxing Association light-welterweight crown on Dec 11. The venue, UK or USA, is yet to be confirmed.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Pacquiao vs Margarito in Dallas!

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones welcomes superstar Manny Pacquiao and three-time world champion Antonio Margarito to Cowboy Stadium to watch the Dallas-Miami pre-season game Thursday night. Pacquiao and Margarito will hold a press conference Friday at the stadium for their upcoming mega fight 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. This telecast will be available live on HBO Pay-Per-View.


Texas commission explains the Margarito boxing license

While Pacquiao and Margarito and the rest of the circus wind their way through this week's three-city media tour, which concludes Friday at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas, perhaps the most important person in the whole sideshow is missing.

William Kuntz, who most of you have probably never heard of, is probably working in his office somewhere deep in the heart of Texas while everyone else involved in the fight is off selling it.

Kuntz, more than anyone else, is responsible for Margarito -- convicted of trying to wear loaded gloves into his fight with Shane Mosley in January 2009 -- getting a boxing license so he can face Pacquiao for a vacant junior middleweight Nov. 13 on HBO PPV.

Kuntz made the ultimate decision to license him. Maybe the shameless WBC will even give him a belt for the decision.

Kuntz is the executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, the agency that overseas, well, licensing and regulation for 29 occupations and industries in the state. Boxing is one of them. It also oversees electricians, barbers, cosmetologists and tow truck operators, among other professions.

California had revoked Margarito's license after the sordid incident before the Mosley fight. It also revoked the license of Margarito's former trainer Javier Capetillo, who wrapped his hands. When 'Cheato re-applied last month in California, the commission voted to deny him a new license on a 5-1 vote. However, just by appearing before the commission, Margarito was then allowed to apply in other states. That's because the Association of Boxing Commissions, which oversees and interprets rules for all state commissions, strongly suggested he go to California before asking any other state. The ABC also strongly urged its members to not consider licensing Margarito until he did so. The result of the California hearing was not important, so long as he showed up.

Margarito did and it became nothing more in Texas than a virtual rubber stamp, which Kuntz applied days later. I have no idea if there were outside pressures on Kuntz to give Margarito the license, but I do know that people like Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wield a lot of influence. I also know that, love the fight or despise the fight, it's going to generate tens of millions of dollars in business. As soon as Margarito appeared before the California board -- where I would have bet anything he was going to be denied -- I knew there was no way he wouldn't get a license in Texas.

Typically, to get a boxing license in Texas all you need to do is fill out the application, provide proper medical paperwork and pay $20. If that happens, the folks in financial services issue the license.

Margarito's case, of course, is high profile. Because of that, his paperwork was flagged and sent to Kuntz.

Despite the controversy over the license in Texas, Kuntz said he was just doing his job when he issued it. In his opinion, he went above what was necessary to review the application, which is not something he does for any run of the mill applicant.

"The application came through the normal process, but because this was a high profile application, they brought it to me to see what should be done," Kuntz told me over the phone.

He said few applications land on his desk. Typically, the ones that do involve boxers applying for licenses who are older than 36 or younger than 18.

Margarito's, of course, did, and he said he was prepared.

"Because of the high profile nature of this, there has been a lot of discussion in the press," said Kuntz, who has been in his position for 11 years. "I've been following the issues and the terms of his revocation. We had gotten a copy of the transcript of the revocation hearing. We listened to the license hearing in California [on Aug. 18] and listened to the discussion there, and the decision they made. And we received a letter from the ABC legal committee" saying state commissions were authorized to license Margarito.

"So that background information was all factored into my decision and his medical information was in order," Kuntz said.

Kuntz said his explanation for issuing the license was based on his reading of the California transcripts. In Margarito's two hearings there, no evidence was ever presented that he knew that his wraps were loaded. Kuntz correctly pointed out that California's decision was based on the notion that Margarito "should have known" what was in his wraps.

"They didn't make a finding that he knew something was done improperly, just that he should have known," said Kuntz, who once denied Mike Tyson a license during his search for one following the Evander Holyfield ear bite. "The finders of fact [in California] made that decision that he should have known rather than he did know. I'm going to rely on the finders of fact because they heard the original testimony."

Kuntz said the cases of Tyson and Margarito are different. He denied Tyson because he knew he had bitten Holyfield. He licensed Margarito because the California finding said he didn't know he had illegal inserts in his wraps.

"We went through a similar atmosphere when Mike Tyson came here and everybody weighed in," Kuntz said. "But we need to look at our laws and rules and the facts presented to us and make a decision."

Now the decision is made whether any of us like it or not, and Margarito will lace 'em up in Texas.

As Kuntz said of the moments in which his hands are being wrapped by new trainer Robert Garcia, "I'm sure with all the publicity, that will be something to watch very carefully."


60,000 boxing fans cannot be wrong?

It came as no surprise when the negligible Texas commission licensed Antonio Margarito and paved the way for a big bout at Cowboys Stadium against Manny Pacquiao.

Margarito, of course, was suspended for illegal hand wraps discovered prior to his bout with Shane Mosley in January 2009. He was forced to re-wrap, and beaten in surprisingly one-sided fashion.

A one-year suspension ensued, and in recent weeks the California commission upheld that decision (Nevada deferred to their neighbouring state).

Margarito (38-6-1, 27 knockouts) has cut ties with Javier Capetillo and blamed the incident on his former trainer, stating repeatedly he had no knowledge of the difference in hand wraps. Those claims rang hollow but ...

Texas has looked askance in the past to convention held elsewhere by the other U.S. commissions. It is the state that has continually employed as referee the dangerously incompetent Lawrence Cole, son of the previous commission chairman.

Margarito is not deserving of this chance morally or by boxing standards - he's fought just once in the last 20 months, a workmanlike decision over the unthreatening Roberto Garcia in Mexico in May.

But boxing writers are a passionate breed, and many are letting their repugnance get in the way of their judgment and supposed neutrality. Many have gone on record hoping that Pacquiao administers a prolonged beating.

It's possible that Pacquiao will blow out Margarito, but in the absence of the controversy, there's no way you could make a logical case for it.

Prior to the Mosley bout, many of the same writers who now find Margarito morally repugnant were absolutely clamouring for Floyd Mayweather to give the Mexican a title shot, and accusing the American of ducking him.

He'd never been blown out by anyone prior to that, and you could convincingly argue that Mosley, while not at the total level of Pacquiao, offered a mix of consistent bodypunching and bullying that is stylistically different than what the Filipino sensation offers.

True, even Margarito's impressive victory over Miguel Cotto in 2008 is now legitimately under question due to what he attempted to do against Mosley, but he's a huge guy relative to the weight class he fights in.

I've been five feet away from in Las Vegas when he was in between bouts, and he looked about 170 pounds, with not much fat on him.

They'll be fighting at up to 154 pounds, and Pacquiao hasn't exactly devastated the two natural 147-pounders he faced with his punches. Joshua Clottey and Oscar De La Hoya mostly just stood there, too helpless in the face of Pacquiao's awesome mix of speed and pop, but they were never really close to going down due to anything other than attrition.

The size difference between Margarito and Pacquiao was readily apparent at the first press stop to announce the fight this week.

Unlike the nearly as large Clottey, Margarito won't be timid. So it means that while the fight lasts, it will be fascinating at worst and quite entertaining at best.

I don't buy for a minute Margarito's excuse that he was clueless as to what Capetillo was doing with his wraps.

It brought up the spectre of the Luis Resto-Billy Collins bout in 1983 on the undercard of Roberto Duran-Davey Moore, one of the lowest moments for the sport (although it must be pointed out for accuracy that the padding of the gloves were removed in that case).

And it seems bizarre to me that someone like NFLer Plaxico Burress serves a full term for an offence that ultimately didn't harm anyone but himself, while Margarito and Capetillo never even faced criminal charges. The fact they were caught before damage could be done, or that Mosley and trainer Nazim Richardson - who caught the infraction - kicked their butts, shouldn't matter.

Neither should the probability that others before him probably did the same with hand wraps in the past (there have been rumours about a few world class fighters).

But I just fail to understand why he should be given the permanent scarlet letter when someone like Mike Tyson is treated with a mixture of pathos or like that crazy uncle you shake your head at, not wholesale disgust. Aside from the things he allegedly did outside of the ring - he bit a man's ear off, pushed a referee out of the way to continue pounding a semi-conscious foe, legitimately tried to break another's arm, bit a man at a press conference, etc.

But he kept getting chance after chance.

Margarito will be forever besmirched by that night in Los Angeles but if he loses in Dallas it won't be poetic justice, and if he wins it won't be a disgrace to boxing. It will be a fair and square fight between two aggressive punchers.

Remember, Bob Arum promotes both guys. He had power to steer Pacquiao - who believes Margarito knew about the wraps - to a nobler foe, but never showed the inclination.

The bout will take place at Cowboys Stadium, and could draw 60-70,000 people, potentially the biggest outdoor crowd in modern U.S. history if the weather co-operates.

Pacquiao drew 50,000 for Joshua Clottey at the same venue in March, a fighter from Ghana who lives in New York City. Margarito will draw from the state's Hispanic fan base.

But apparently boxing is dead if you listen to the exceedingly Caucasian MMA fan base in Canada, who assume the rest of the world resembles the exceedingly Caucasian MMA fan base of Canada. (On that note, Pacquiao, whose name has barely ever even been mentioned on the national sports channel and whose offerings primarily consist of MMA, poker and darts, has ranked in the top 10 of the Forbes richest athlete list the last two years, with nary a single UFCer or their ilk remotely close to the list).


HBO defends glove controversy

NEW YORK -- Many fight fans, especially those in the New York area of a certain age who remember the loaded gloves controversy from 1983, when Luis Resto used gloves with the padding removed to batter Billy Collins mercilessly in a Madison Square Garden fight, are debating whether Antonio Margarito "deserves" the opportunity to fight Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 13 in Arlington, Texas.

A news conference to hype the junior middleweight showdown at Cowboys Stadium took place Wednesday at Chelsea Piers, and got the chance to delve into the matter with Pacquiao and HBO executives Kery Davis and Mark Taffet. HBO, a subsidiary of media conglomerate Time Warner, will handle the pay-per-view production duties for the scrap, which is being promoted by Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank.

Both Davis and Taffet are well aware of the potentially sticky nature of the Margarito situation and understand that the Mexican hitter is something of a controversial figure in the sport. Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) was busted before his Jan. 24, 2009, bout with Shane Mosley, when California athletic commissioners, at the behest of Mosley trainer Naazim Richardson, removed hand pads from Margarito's gloves while his trainer, Javier Capetillo, completed the chore of wrapping the fighter's hands. The hand wraps were confiscated and sent to a lab for analysis.

The lab found that traces of a chemical used to make plaster of Paris were smeared on the wraps, and California commissioners later declared that the wraps felt unnaturally hard during hearings that resulted in Margarito being banned from boxing in California (and anywhere in the U.S., because of a rule of reciprocity between commissions). The commissioners said they felt the boxer may well have enjoyed an illegal competitive advantage if he used those pads in combat.

Margarito's license was suspended for at least a year. He laid low for a spell, fought once and won a decision in Mexico on May 8 against a journeyman boxer, then went back before the California powers that be to request a new license.

On Aug. 18, they turned him down, saying his explanation -- that he didn't know the wraps were anything other than regulation issue -- was not plausible. Capetillo told the commission that he put in the hand wraps by mistake, that they weren't meant to be used in a real fight, and that the onus of responsibility was solely upon him.

Some trainers will tell you that fighters could easily not know if a hardened pad was placed in their hand, while many fighters will tell you they surely would notice if a trainer were to put a foreign object in their gloves. In short, the jury is deadlocked.

Pacquiao (51-3, 38 KOs) told the media gathered at Chelsea Piers that he believes Margarito did in fact know what was going on. Still, he said, that shouldn't preclude the boxer from being given a second chance.

Pacquiao isn't just a fighter, he's a full-on politician, after being elected to Congress in his native Philippines in May. Pols have been known to hammer an opponent into the dirt to gain points or offer a somewhat warm and fuzzy bromide to appear to be a benevolent soul.

With Pacquiao, one gets the sense that neither tactic is in play; rather, that he's a decent sort who genuinely knows that none of us are infallible.

"He's just a human," Pacquiao said of Margarito. "He's not perfect. Give him a chance to fight back."

HBO executives are of the same mind. Davis, HBO's vice president of sports, told, "We are in the Manny Pacquiao business. We televise fights. I can't as a businessman say, 'I'm not going to televise this fight [because some suspect Margarito was complicit in the loaded glove scandal].' I'm not looking to send Manny Pacquiao to another network."

When asked if his team did their its detective work to determine if Margarito had knowledge of the attempt to cheat by Capetillo, Davis made it clear that his duty is to his bosses and fight fans. He's not interested in being a PI. "That's not my job. My job is delivering compelling fights. I'm not saying it's a no brainer [whether or not HBO should work with Margarito]. It's a brainer."

Taffet heads up the PPV department. He and Davis were virtually on the same page. "We are in the event business," he said.

"When Manny fights, we want to be there."

This will be the 11th PPV fight HBO and Pacquiao have put on.

Taffet concedes that the lingering odor from the loaded glove attempt will be in fight fans' minds. "We recognize there are issues and controversies that we can't walk away from," he said, "and we'll be addressing those on [the documentary miniseries] '24/7' starting October 23rd."

It was a plug as skillfully placed as any counter hook Pacquiao has ever thrown.

Certainly, no one at HBO is blind to the seriousness of the offense or the potential for carnage that can ensue when one fighter gains an illegal advantage. HBO showed the superior 2009 documentary "Assault in the Ring," which chronicled the Resto-Collins saga, informing or reminding fight fans how the Tennessee-based prospect Collins was pummeled by Resto, went into a depression and lost his life in a 1984 car crash. Resto, a Bronx resident, was fighting on that night with virtually bare knuckles and also admitted that tape on his hands was soaked in plaster of Paris.

Arum argued passionately on the L.A. leg of the press tour Tuesday that Margarito was being pilloried unfairly, that no evidence exists which points to his guilt.

Arum has a solid point.

On the dais at Chelsea Piers, Margarito didn't have the look of a man hiding a soul-shredding secret in his heart. He was quick with a grin, even when a fan in attendance yelled, "With a cast!" after Top Rank exec Todd duBoef cited Margarito's 2008 win over Miguel Cotto. Short of hooking him up to a polygraph -- maybe we could pitch this as an ESPN special? -- we will likely never know for sure if Capetillo was a lone gunman or there was a conspiracy of sneakiness.

So the debate will likely linger, like the cloud over Margarito's head, fair or not. We can traffic in speculation but our inferences cannot substitute for cold, hard proof. If evidence were to surface that Margarito willfully and knowingly cheated for the Mosley fight or before, we should re-examine proper punishment for him.

But until then, maybe it is best if we surrender to the knowledge that boxing is the fight business, as Pacquiao himself has. Two men in a ring, trying to knock the other's head off, so that they and those who promote and purvey sports entertainment can make money.


No Mayweather No Problem for Pacquiao!

Saying he didn't need a fight with Floyd Mayweather to complete his career, Manny Pacquiao, in a visit Thursday to USA TODAY, said he'd be waiting when Mayweather was ready to fight.
In the meantime, Pacquiao is focused on his next opponent, Antonio Margarito. They will meet Nov. 13 for the vacant WBC light middleweight title at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas (HBO pay-per-view).

Pacquiao, 31, who is taking a few days off from his duties as a congressman in the Philippines to finish his whirlwind promotional tour for the fight, said he had agreed to all of Mayweather's demands for blood testing and it was not his fault if the fight was not happening. Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who is accompanying his fighter on the tour, has his own ideas why the fight hasn't happened.

"It's real important for (Mayweather) to stay undefeated," Roach said. "He has that zero on his record, and he can say he's the best fighter of all time, better than Sugar Ray Robinson (and) a lot of legendary fighters. With that zero on his record, he has an argument. I don't think he wants to risk a loss on his record, because then the argument goes away. But, hey, Floyd is a gambler, and hopefully he loses a couple of bets and then needs to fight."

A Mayweather-Pacquiao bout likely would be the richest in boxing, with both fighters figured to gross at least $50 million. But there has been a disagreement as to whether negotiations for the fight have even taken place.

Mayweather's side and Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, which is representing Mayweather for the fight, insist talks never happened, while Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, and HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg, the go-between, say they absolutely did. "Negotiations were going on, because I had to answer questions," Roach said.

Don King, an adversary of Top Rank chairman Bob Arum for 40 years, has been trying to woo Mayweather, who became a world champion under Top Rank, away from Golden Boy.

Top Rank President Todd DuBoef said he would welcome such a move. "I think Don would do a great job," he said. "Don has dealt with the (Mike) Tysons of the world and understands business. He could convince (Mayweather) to get in the ring to create the biggest event in boxing history."

But for now it will be Pacquiao vs. Margarito. Asked why he would risk a fight with the "Tijuana Tornado," who was suspended from boxing in the USA for a year after being caught with illegal hand wraps, Pacquiao said, "We know Margarito is a very aggressive fighter who throws a lot of punches, but that's what I want. I want more action in the ring so people will be satisfied by my performance."

Pacquiao added that they chose Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs), also a Top Rank fighter, because they wanted to give the disgraced boxer another chance.

Asked about retirement plans, Pacquiao said he probably would fight a few more times but said a fight with Mayweather would not be a prerequisite to retirement. "If we decide to retire, we'll retire," he said. "We don't need him. He needs us."


Margarito being grilled on hand wrap issues at Chelsea Piers

Antonio Margarito was a picture of serenity for most of the press conference Wednesday.

Dressed in a dark sports coat and light-colored shirt, Margarito flashed a toothy grin and cracked up at the sight of Manny Pacquiao during the ceremonial stare-down at Chelsea Piers.

The two will fight on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium at a catch weight of 150 pounds on HBO Pay-Per-View.

But Margarito turned morose when he sat down to field questions about a hand-wrap controversy that won't go away and has dogged a promotional tour that seems cursed.

Bob Arum's oldest son, John, 49, was reported missing on Sunday after he didn't return from a solo hiking expedition in the Cascade Mountains near Seattle.

During the pacquiao vs margarito press conference in L.A. on Tuesday, Arum hastily left to assist in the search and rescue mission, leaving his stepson and president of Top Rank, Todd duBoef, to deal with a festering controversy.

Margarito was found to have illegal inserts lined with a plaster-like substance in his wraps before he faced Shane Mosley on Jan. 24, 2009.

Even though Margarito was allowed to fight with new wraps, his boxing license was revoked by the California commission for a year, threatening his reputation as an honest fighter and raising questions as to whether he fought previous bouts with loaded wraps.

Margarito, a former welterweight champ, has always maintained his innocence, saying he was oblivious to what his trainer put in his wraps in the dressing room.

But others aren't so sure. Pacquiao, who was recently elected to Congress in the Philippines, said Wednesday that he believes Margarito knew what was going on before he fought Mosley.

"He had to know," said Pacquiao, widely regarded as the top fighter in the sport.

And Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, agreed, telling the Daily News: "Personally, it's hard for me to imagine that a fighter wouldn't know what's going into his hand wraps.

Greenburg said HBO would have broadcast Pacquiao's next bout regardless of the opponent.

"It's a tough call to back away (from this fight) for moral reasons and then exit the Manny Pacquiao business and then watch the premier fighter in the world migrate to another network," Greenburg said. "We just can't let that happen."

Margarito insisted he was innocent Wednesday and denied doctoring his wraps in previous fights.

"You know, all these people are saying that but they don't know," Margarito told The News through a translator. "I know that I'm a clean fighter. I never did anything wrong and I didn't even go up into the ring with those things."

Margarito (38-6, 27 knockouts) went before the California commission again on Aug. 18 of this year to reapply for a license and was again denied.

"He wasn't really taking any type of responsibility for any type of rehabilitation that was required," George Dodd, executive director of the California state commission, told the Daily News.

Top Rank turned its sights to Texas, where Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 knockouts) fought in March and drew 51,000 to a fight at Cowboys Stadium. Margarito found a smoother landing strip there. After three days of reviewing his application, Texas granted him a license. Margarito told The News that no one from Texas ever spoke to him or questioned him about the hand wraps.

"Personally, I think that there was enough doubt about his culpability that I don't know if I wanted to hold that against him," Bill Kuntz, executive director of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation told The News.

Tim Lueckenhoff, president of the Association of Boxing Commissions, a regulatory board, believes that Texas rubber-stamped his license, motivated by the chance to make money for the state.

"It's all about the dollars," Lueckenhoff said. "Any state would love to have that fight simply because of the economy right now. That's what it's all about: jamming some people into the big stadium and making those sales-tax dollars."


Pacquiao experience returns vs Margarito!!!

NEW YORK (BASN) -- The Manny Pacquiao experience returns to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, November 13.
Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) attempting to win a record eight division titles, will tangle with Antonio Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) for the vacant WBC super welterweight championship.

It is safe to say that more than 50,000 fans will pack Cowboys Stadium and rightfully so because, Pacquiao generates excitement. Margarito is a straight-forward action fighter.

Pacquiao-Margarito is going to be a great fight because both fighters are unrelenting. “It is going to be an action-packed fight,” Pacquiao said at a recent press conference in New York.
“He loves to throw a lot of punches. He’s a very aggressive fighter.”

“Pacquiao vs. Margarito” will be televised live on HBO Pay-Per-View at a suggested retail of $54.95. Tickets fort his event will go on sale on September 18 and are priced at $700, $500, $300, $200, $100, and $50.

During his career, Pacquiao has fought on HBO Pay-Per-View 10 times generating more than 6 million buys and over $320 million in revenue. Pacquiao’s last bout, a 12-round decision win over Joshua Clottey, packed Cowboys Stadium with nearly 51,000 fans and generated 700,000 buys on Pay-TV.
Not bad for Pacquiao considering he fought a fighter that is widely regarded as an unknown to the mainstream sports fan. Margarito, unlike Clottey, is a mainstream figure.
Although he beat Miguel Cotto and twice KO’d Kermit Cintron, Margarito, however, is best-known for having been caught with illegal padding in his hand wraps prior to his loss to Sugar Shane Mosley in January 2009.

Many people believe that Margarito shouldn’t even be fighting, let a lone fight for a vacant world title on HBO Pay-Per-View. This fight writer, however, strongly believes that Margarito has paid the price.

“I can only speak with a heart,” Margarito said. “Whoever believes me does. Whoever doesn’t believe me doesn’t.” Mosley pummeled him in front of 20,000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The California State Athletic Commission revoked his license and Margarito couldn’t fight for more than one year. He was denied a license to fight in Texas when he wanted to fight on the Pacquiao-Clottey undercard in June.

One month ago, the Nevada State Athletic Commission “tabled” Margarito’s application to be relicensed before being denied in California more than 1½ since the humiliating loss to Mosley.

It wasn’t until the second attempt that Margarito was approved of a license to fight in the state of Texas. The process went very smoothly. “Texas only asked for the application and my medical records,” Margarito said.

Margarito is focused on what he believes is “the most important fight” of his career.

“I’m still very hungry,” Margarito added. “Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter. I think we both like to fight and throw punches. I’m just preparing to throw punches for 12 hard rounds. It’s the most important fight for me right now."
"I have to win this fight.”

Pacquiao believes: “This guy wants to fight toe-to-toe. That’s what people want to see. He’s an opponent that looks easy, but when you step into the ring with him he’s very hard. He throws a lot of punches. He’s very aggressive.”

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach credits Margarito for his size and strength, but believes his fighter will dominate. “He’s big and strong, but size doesn’t win fights,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach. “Skill does. I think we excel in this fight."
"We’re going to knock him out.”

It’s wonderful that Pacquiao returns to Cowboys Stadium, but the fight everyone wants to see is Mayweather-Pacquiao. Obviously a lot of people, including Roach, is disappointed that fight isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

“I was disappointed it wasn’t Mayweather,” Roach said. “Life goes on. We’ll fight anybody in the world. My job is to get Manny ready. I love training Manny Pacquiao”

And Pacquiao loves to fight which is why people will watch him battle Margarito.
Tickets for Pacquiao-Margarito can be purchased at or dialing (800) 745-3000.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Top Rank Photoshoot

The congressman versus heavy-handed cheater!!!!

AMERICA AT LARGE : Even though the Pacquiao-Margarito fight is fraught with moral ambiguity, odds are that, in the end, I’ll be there, writes GEORGE KIMBALL

LIKE A lot of other people, including, apparently, Manny Pacquiao, I have some serious reservations about whether the world’s best practising boxer should be fighting Antonio Margarito at all, but that’s not why I elected to give yesterday’s dog-and-pony show a skip.

The event at Chelsea Piers on Manhattan’s west side represented the middle instalment on Bob Arum’s three-stop mini-tour hyping a November bout between the Filipino congressman and a disgraced Mexican former champion who had, until a week ago, been banned from boxing throughout the US.

Even though the Pacquiao-Margarito fight is fraught with moral ambiguity, odds are that, in the end, I’ll be there. On the other hand, yesterday’s event, while advertised as a “news conference”, was in actuality one of those open-to-the-public shows that are, by definition, useless to the press.

Rather than serve as a prop in these exercises, I’ve decided to make it a point to avoid them when possible. You want to get thousands of screaming fans for the TV cameras, fine. Just don’t insult me by pretending it’s a “news conference”.

For the better part of a year now a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr has loomed as the sport’s dream match-up. Originally contemplated for last March, the first attempt to stage the bout foundered on Mayweather’s attempt to set the agenda. A lot of people who should have known better bought into Money Boy’s contention that drug-testing procedures were the sticking point. In any case, the bout fell apart, Ghanaian Joshua Clottey stepped in as the replacement opponent, and Pacquiao routed him in a points decision before more than 50,000 eyewitnesses in Texas Stadium.

When attempts were made to revive the Pacquiao-Mayweather megabout for November, the drug-testing issue wasn’t even a factor. It became clear to even his most shameless apologists among the Fourth Estate that Mayweather simply didn’t want the fight.

But Arum had already made arrangements for a pay-per-view transmission on November 13th, and since he already had both Pacquiao and Margarito under contract, negotiations promised to be notably uncomplicated.

There remained the problem of Margarito’s suspension. On the evening of January 24th, 2009, Margarito was about to enter the ring against veteran Shane Mosley for a WBA light-middleweight title fight in Los Angeles. Thanks to the vigilance of Mosley trainer Nazim Richardson, Margarito’s gloves were re-inspected, at which point it was discovered that his hand wraps illegally concealed a layer of plaster of Paris that might have turned his fists into a pair of lethal weapons. The offending material was removed, and the bout went on as scheduled. Taking away Margarito’s loaded gloves had an effect not unlike giving Samson a haircut: Mosley beat him within an inch of his life on the way to a ninth-round stoppage.

A few weeks later the California Boxing Commission reviewed the evidence and suspended both Margarito and trainer Javier Capetillo. Margarito claimed the gloves had been doctored without his knowledge. The terms of the suspension provided that the matter could be reviewed a year later.

In the absence of forensic evidence, the California commission could not consider the issue of prior offences, but logic suggested that the Mosley fight may not have been the first time Margarito’s weaponry had been enhanced. Historically he had not been known as a knockout artist – only two of his first 12 professional opponents were stopped – but in his 30th year he suddenly became one.

Arum initially hoped to stage Pacquiao- Margarito in Las Vegas, but in July the Nevada Commission decided they would not license him while the California suspension remained in effect. On August 18th the California body determined that in the absence of any persuasive argument of contrition its suspension would remain in effect.

On August 25th Margarito applied for a boxing licence in Texas, a jurisdiction noted for bending the rules when its self-interest is involved. A week ago this morning the Texas authority approved the application.

That this was not unanticipated is evinced by the fact that within 24 hours Arum had confirmed the bout for Cowboys Stadium and announced the promotional tour that hit New York yesterday, and HBO announced its own plans for a “24/7” series showcasing the November 13th participants.

The network’s unhesitant cooperation is particularly noteworthy.

Earlier this year, HBO was the recipient of an Emmy award for having produced the best documentary of 2009, Eric Drath’s Assault in the Ring , which detailed the unseemly tale of a fight between Luis Resto and the late Billy Collins 27 years ago. In the aftermath of that bout it was revealed trainer Carlos “Panama” Lewis had removed the padding from Resto’s gloves, effectively turning them into a pair of bricks with which he thoroughly mugged the previously-unbeaten Collins. Lewis and Resto served jail time as a result, and were suspended for life. (This still put them one up on the unfortunate Collins, who never fought again and was dead within a year.)

While HBO seemed oblivious to the implicit irony, the only real difference between the Resto/Lewis case and that involving Margarito/Capetillo is that the former used the loaded gloves while the latter were apprehended before they got into the ring.

Last week, after Texas granted the licence to Margarito, I jokingly wrote a column for suggesting that the Lone Star state was about to license Panama Lewis to work the Mexican’s corner in the Pacquiao fight – the logic being that while Resto (who in Drath’s documentary not only belatedly confessed to having known about the glove-tampering, but revealed Lewis had also placed plaster of Paris under his hand-wraps), like Capetillo, had admitted his complicity, Lewis had, like Margarito, so steadfastly lied about his involvement that, to be consistent, Texas ought to license Panama, too.

That it was a spoof eluded a shocking number of readers. Some expressed outrage; others applauded the notion.

In rendering its decision, the Texas commission had made it a point to note the absence of evidence directly implicating Margarito, and on Tuesday in Los Angeles Arum reiterated his contention that “Antonio Margarito did not know those illegal hand wraps were there, and there’s not one shred of proof that he did”.

Anyone who truly believes that can shell out $55 for the pay-per-view with a clear conscience. The rest of us, on the other hand, might bear in mind what Manny Pacquiao, in a moment of disarming candour, had to say on the subject: “Of course he knew.”