Will Margarito Be Dead At The Weight Tomorrow, And Are We In For A One-Sided Pac-Man Win As A Result?

By James Slater: At least one expert, one man who knows of what he speaks when it comes to a fighter making weight the right and wrong way, has gone on record as saying Antonio Margarito, tomorrow night’s co-challenger for the WBC 154-pound title, will have almost nothing left in the ring in Texas due to him “killing himself” to make the 150-pound limit.

If what Alex Ariza, Pac-Man’s conditioning coach (and therefore possibly biased), has said to The Manila Bulletin is correct, we may all be in for a one-sided, anticlimax of a fight tomorrow night. Because Ariza told the Bulletin that “Tony” is, in his professional opinion, a fighter who is both gaunt and emaciated due to making weight.

“I think he is overweight, and is grossly emaciated and gaunt, that’s why he is wearing sunglasses and he doesn’t want to give away the signs in his eyes, but he looks terrible to me,” Ariza said of Margarito. “It looks like he left everything in the ring. He doesn’t look good to me. I have been in the business a long time now and I know what fighters look like at the scales.

“He is going to make the weight but he is going to kill himself to make that weight. He is going to look like a shell.”

Pacquiao’s last opponent, Joshua Clottey, puts his poor showing against the pound-for-pound king down to him being weight-weakened, and we all saw the dominant, one-sided fashion in which Pac-Man won that fight. Are the fans in for another disappointing fight tomorrow if Margarito is in as poor a shape as Ariza says he is?

Making 150, as the Mexican surely will (but will it take him more than one attempt? - by the time you read this, you may know the answer), is one thing, but will he have enough time to sufficiently re-hydrate in the hours that follow before he climbs into the ring? If not, and if he is taken apart by the faster, harder-hitting Filipino, fans may get very disgruntled - even to the point where they blame the catch-weight Margarito had to come in at for the beating he took, and not Pac-Man’s remarkable skills.

In a nutshell, if Margarito’s challenge of Pacquiao becomes a huge letdown, many fans may well declare how they have had enough of Pacquiao forcing his rivals to make a certain weight in order to fight him. And wouldn’t it be a whole lot better right now, if we were getting ready to see a 154-pound (on the scale) Margarito getting ready to rumble with Pacquiao? Sure, it probably wouldn’t have made too much difference, as Pac-Man is capable of beating an un-weight drained “Toney” - but why does the pound-for-pound king need an extra advantage?

Also, what if Margarito, due to being weight drained, gets badly hurt in the ring tomorrow? Maybe some people would fail to be troubled by this, seeing as how they would say the cheater got what he deserved. But we’ll have another black eye put on the face of boxing if Margarito gets injured tomorrow. And a weakened fighter is a vulnerable fighter, after all.

Let’s all hope - for the sake of a competitive fight as well as for as safe a fight as is possible - Margarito is not in as bad a shape as Ariza says he is.

Article posted on 13.11.2010

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