‘On the Ropes Boxing Radio’ Guests Share Views on Pacquiao versus Margarito

by Geoffrey Ciani - Ever since the mega bout between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito was officially announced, guests from the On the Ropes Boxing Radio have shared their views on this contest. Here is what some of our most recent guests, including some of the top trainers and best fighters, have had to say:

Al Bernstein
Episode 97
“It’s interesting. Obviously Margarito has been diminished some because of his loss to Mosley and also the issue with the gloves in which now people have questions about whether his power was there as much as we thought to begin with. Obviously he’s a bigger stronger man and we would have thought two years ago or three years ago it was crazy for Pacquiao to fight him. For Margarito it’s all about the power and the strength, and for Pacquiao it’s all about the combination punching and lateral movement and agility. I always felt that Margarito had some serious defensive liabilities, and those defensive liabilities could hurt him badly in this fight with Pacquiao.”

Shannon Briggs
Episode 93
“Oh, that’s a great fight. I was just looking at a website, I think it was East Side Boxing, and I was just talking about that fight and I was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing, this is a great fight’. I think that Margarito is going to be in the best shape of his life. He knows that he’s coming off of his suspension, and I don’t even think he’s fully off his suspension and open to fight in every state. I think he’s going to take full advantage of this and he’s going to jump out and make the best of the opportunity.”

Carl Froch
Episode 97
“Manny Pacquiao seems to be ridiculously super fit with a high work rate. He’s coming off the back of some great wins. You’d have to favor Pacquiao to win on points with a high work rate, but obviously Margarito’s a big puncher. He’s rough and tough. He can take a punch and he can punch himself. If he manages to get Pacquiao trapped in the corner against the ropes or put him on his back foot later on, it could be an upset on the card but I think the smart money’s on Pacquiao.”

Tyson Fury
Episode 98
“My thoughts on Pacquiao as a fighter, obviously he’s a brilliant fighter. He’s pound for pound number one in the world, and he’s a super champion. Margarito, well we all know he’s a tough fighter but how much has been taken out of him by his last fight. The guy works off of being tough, taking punches, and wearing guys out over a distance. He’s a good twelve round fighter, but I don’t think Manny Pacquiao’s team would be taking this fight if it was super dangerous. I think something’s going on with Margarito. I think he’s not the fighter he once was, and I think Pacquiao will do Margarito in completely. Maybe a couple of years ago it would have been a different story, but I think that knockout took a lot out of him and I don’t think his chin is the same. If he doesn’t have that style any more, he just can’t up and change his style and go all defensive. If he doesn’t have that on his side, how is he going to beat a fighter like Manny Pacquiao? Although he’s bigger, it doesn’t mean anything because I don’t think he’s the fighter he once was. I think he’s shot. That’s just my personal opinion, and everybody’s got an opinion as you know.”

Michael Grant
Episode 95
You can’t teach Pacquiao’s fighting style because he throws punches that you don’t teach in the gym. It’s like he throws punches off-balance and you teach fighters to throw punches on balance. As a fighter I think that he’s a unique fighter where he has some extraordinary things about him, by punching off balance and hurting guys. I think he’s a gifted fighter in that aspect. As far as his fight with Antonio Margarito coming up, Antonio is definitely not a pushover man. I think it’s going to be some rock’em, sock’em going on in that fight. I don’t have an outcome on that fight. We’ve all seen Antonio get down. He’s a hell of a fighter. There are a lot of rumors about Pacquiao using some type of steroid, him using steroids. I don’t know, man. It’s just people are always talking but fighters don’t always know what’s going on. I think favor is leaning on Pacquiao because he’s coming in with a winning streak and the momentum of the fan base. It’s like his spirit is there, you know what I’m saying? Antonio’s been active, but he’s not been active. He’s like the shadow and a lot of that can take place in a fight. Those are my thoughts on it where you can be the shadow or you can be the spirit who’s moving and doing things, and right now Pacquiao is the spirit moving and doing things and Antonio is the shadow.”

Audley Harriosn
Episode 94
“Margarito, he will be way too slow to be able to exploit Pacquiao in my opinion. He’s too slow and he’s going to be too ring rusty. He hasn’t fought for how long? Did he have a warm-up there? I’m not even sure, but he hasn’t fought in that long and Pacquiao has been active so he’s going to be sharp. That’s the difference between me and David Haye as well. David Haye hasn’t fought anybody who’s been active. He fought Valuev who’s as slow as molasses, he fought Ruiz who was retired for two years and just came out as a warm-up, and Monte Barrett takes a fight whenever he can get it. I’ve been ring active. I’ve been sharp. I won Prizefighter, I’m European Champion, and now I’m doing this fight. Even though I’m coming off an injury, I’m still sharp and it’s a big difference, a big difference.”

Amir Khan
Episode 96
“I think Manny will win the fight. Margarito’s a tough guy. He can take a good shot. He stands in front of you. I think he’s quite static and also I don’t think he’s as quick as Manny. I think Manny will hit and move and hit the angles and catch him by surprise every time. So yeah, it’s going to be a good fight to watch, though. I think it will go into the later rounds but I can see Manny probably stopping him in the later rounds.”

DonYil Livingston
Episode 94
“I mean to be quite honest with you, I may be a little biased knowing that me and Manny are out of the same gym and everything down at Wild Card. If you look at boxing, and you’re a fight fan or a fighter, you have a one-dimensional fighter in Margarito who has one gear, which is drive. All he does is move forward. I mean he’s strong, he keeps coming forward, but he’s not giving you any angles. Then you have Manny Pacquiao who punches in bunches, is quick, sharp, and is going to hit you from any angle. I honestly see the first two, maybe even three rounds being very interesting, but I see Manny Pacquiao stopping Margarito around the eighth or ninth round.”

Sergio Matrinez
Episode 92
“I definitely favor Manny Pacquiao. He’s too fast and too smart. Margarito will not touch him, so I strongly believe Pacquiao will win the fight.”

Floyd Mayweather Sr.
Episode 90
In my honest opinion, they can both fight each other because they’re both, to me in my mind, crooks. So they can fight each other and beat each other up all they want to because one is no better than the other one. Everybody’s doing something dirty. That’s what I feel and believe. To me, in my opinion, one is no dirtier than the other one. So it’s a good fight. Whoever wins is going to win. On the real thing, a guy is big as Margarito, you never see this stuff happening ever in the life of boxing that a little man was beating all these big men. You’ve never seen that. It isn’t because of a coincidence, because to me there’s a reason for it. There’s a reason for why he’s beating these guys like I said before. Whatever the reason is, it don’t sell with me. It don’t sell with me. Whatever’s happening, I’m looking at it the way my mind tells me it is. That’s the way I’m looking at it. I’m looking at it the real way. Pacquiao is probably going to end up beating Margarito.

Roger Mayweather
Episode 95
“I really can’t give you no really outlook as to Pacquiao fighting Margarito, because Margarito is a very tall guy, a very rangy guy. He’s very I think like this. This is what I think—if Margarito gets that million dollars, he already knows what he’s supposed to do. If he gets that million dollars. If he don’t get that million dollars, then there may be a change in plans, but if he gets that million dollars he knows what he’s supposed to do. I don’t even got to say what he needs to do. He knows what he needs to do if he gets that million dollars. If he don’t get that million dollars, there may be a change in plans.”

Shane Mosley
Episode 92
“I think it’s a good match-up. I think styles make fights. You have two guys who are action-packed and throw a lot of punches, and we’ll see which one comes out victorious.”

Kelly Pavlik
Episode 96
“I think Manny Pacquiao’s a great fighter, obviously. I mean he’s shown it. He’s in there meeting a lot of big fighters, moving up in weight, too. I think Pacquiao’s definitely going to have a tough one this time in front of him with Margarito. Margarito’s big and he’s not as slow as people think he is and he’s not going to be like Clottey. He’s going to fight back, so it could be a real good fight.”

Nazim Richardson
Episode 98
“I’m hoping I get a chance to watch it, but that really hasn’t been on my radar too much. I’ve been watching TV Pascal every night. In dealing with that fight, I’m a Pacquiao fan and I would hope he’s not too busy working on the congressional side of his career. I’m hoping he’s not so focused there that he oversteps Margarito, because I think Pacquiao and Freddie Roach are a superb team and I think they prove that time and time again. I can’t see where you can find negatives about them because everything they’ve done has been in such a positive aspect. I would not be shocked If Margarito beat Pacquiao. I really wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even be surprised. Guys at this level, when they fight each other one is definitely going to win, and one can easily come back and win the rematch. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Margarito got past Pacquiao, but I would hope it would be because of his skill level and not because of the congress, because he’s making movies, because he’s singing in bands and all that stuff. This shouldn’t be used as a crutch, which I don’t think Freddie and them would. They are the elite part of the business in the sport we’re in.”

Freddei Roach
Episode 99
“Well you know, Margarito has got a reach advantage, and he’s tall, and he’s going to be a lot bigger, of course, but size doesn’t win fights—skill does. We out-skill him in every aspect—speed, timing, and I have no fears whatsoever. I think it’s going to be an easy fight if Manny fights the right fight. The only problem I have is that some people say that Manny can’t bang with the big guys and that he’s not strong enough and Manny wants to prove that he is big enough. So somewhere in the fight he will go on the ropes and he will bang with him. We’re prepared for that, but the thing is I would rather see him outbox him. Knowing Manny Pacquiao, he’s going to try to bang with him and he’ll be successful because again, we’re ready for it. The thing is, I think the best way to fight Margarito is to outbox him, but again, we’ll do whatever it takes.”

Emanuel Steward
Episode 96
“Originally when the fight was made, I thought with Margarito being a tough big, big man who’s big even for any welterweight. Don’t forget, he drowned down big guys like Cintron, and guys who are 5’11”. To put him in with a guy who is about 5’6”, and in my opinion Manny is still nothing but a little over the lightweight limit. From what I was told and what Freddie’s said, he still stays around about 138 and that’s with eating and feeding him and sometimes weighing-in and eating the day before the fight just to make 142 or something. So for him to be what I call really a lightweight/junior welterweight or whatever, to be fighting these types of guys who seem too big for him. The fact that Manny’s such a special, special machine, and I haven’t seen him fight since he lost to Mosley, I didn’t see Margarito’s fight in Mexico—his timing and coordination is not going to be able to deal with him. Even though he has a physical advantage, I just don’t think he’s going to be sharp enough to deal with the speed and accuracy and pinpoint punching of Manny. Even though he’s physically much smaller, I think he’s going to just be too much for Margarito.”

Andre Ward
Episode 97
“Well I think Manny’s going to be Manny. He has to wonder how the weight’s going to affect him, and obviously there have been a lot of reports about his training not being up to par. That could just be hearsay. It may be legit, but I know that Antonio Margarito is doing his thing. Reports coming out of his camp seem to be that he’s training hard and training strong. We know what we’re going to get. We’re going to get Manny trying to give angles, trying to box, but also being explosive when he does punch and Pacquiao will have Margarito in his face all night long. So I think it’s a beautiful match-up and I think the closer the fight gets more people are swaying towards Margarito. I’m looking forward to this one because what happened with Margarito was not good at all for the sport of boxing or for himself, but at the same time, if the guy’s a repented man and he’s trying to—even though he didn’t admit to having it or knowing it what was in his hands—the guy’s trying to make a living and rebuild his career. I think he should get another shot as long as he’s clean, and I’m just excited to see how this one turns out”

Paul Williams
Episode 91
“I think it’s going to be a pretty good fight for as long as it lasts. You got to look at Margarito’s last couple of fights. He’s been taking some beatings and stuff his last couple of fights. You got to see how much he has left in the tank. Cotto was beating him for the first eight rounds, he was putting a whopping on him. Then Sugar Shane, everybody knows Margarito starts off real late, but Mosley didn’t give him a chance. Before he even got started he got knocked out. So you got to see how much that took out of him. Pacquiao is a fast fighter. He’ll be bringing it to him. So you know Pacquiao is going to win the first seven rounds off of muscle. That’s how Margarito starts. So you got to see if he stand up to the beating or the punishment that Pacquiao will deliver. So it will be interesting to see, but I would love the winner.”


Be sure to tune in to the Pacquiao-Margarito post-fight edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio which starts Sunday November 14 at 1:30am Eastern Standard Time.

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Article posted on 14.11.2010

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