Pacquiao decisions Margarito

boxingBy Paul Strauss: How can anyone's description do justice to what Manny Pacquiao managed to do tonight at Cowboy Stadium against Antonio Margarito. Pick a superlative: great, unbelievable, incredible, one of a kind, unsurpassed, never been done before. No matter what you say, I guarantee it will still fall short.

Understandably, prior to the start of tonight's fight, there were those who were seriously questioning the validity of odds makers favoring Manny by a six to one margin. Several trainers, fighters and journalist wondered if Manny maybe bit off more than he could chew this time, because of Margarito's size and toughness. How can an overgrown lightweight successfully deal with that kind of threat?

However, Manny pulled it off in style. He probably took every round; although one judge gave Tony two rounds, another one round, and the third, who was probably more accurrate, scored it a shut out. Even in the six and seventh rounds, when Tony finally pinned Manny against the ropes and pummeled him with several shots, Manny still came back and took the rounds..

Manny was gracious in victory and credited Margarito's courage. He expressed disbelief in how much punishment Margarito was able to absorb. He acknowledged having motioned to Referee Laurence Cole to stop the fight in the tenth and eleventh rounds, because Tony was a sitting duck. He also acknowledged that he lightened up in the twelfth and didn't go for the knockout.

Tony, on the other hand, told Max Kellerman he never thought about quitting. He further explained that his trouble started when he got cut. He never acknowledged Manny's greatness, other than to say, "He is fast!" The fact is Tony's problems were many, and they started in the fourth when Manny landed a huge body shot, which buckled Tony. From that point on Manny really started to slice up Tony.

The fight opened with Manny keeping his distance, and Tony trying to land a left jab to drive Manny back. However, before the round was over, Tony was already starting to back up a bit. In the second round, Tony looked dangerous even though Manny landed some additional body shots. Tony landed a few power shots, and squeaked through a couple of uppercuts, but they didn't seem to cause any real damage to Manny.

In between rounds, Freddie Roach cautioned Manny that it was too early to trade power shots, and he encouraged Manny to box. Manny followed orders and landed a great flurry of punches from numerous angles that stopped Tony in his tracks. Tony came back though, but then Manny finished the round with another great flurry of accurate punches.

The fifth round was a great one for Manny. Whenever Tony would to mount any kind of attack, Manny would simply tap his gloves together and then unleash another blinding flurry of punches that put Tony back on his heels. The six round was one of Tony's best rounds as he got through some good body shots, but Manny came right back again with about six or seven clean punches that all got through.

By this time, Manny was feeling pretty good about things, so much so that he even gave his version of an Ali shuffle. He wasn't showboating. Rather, he was just feeling the enjoyment of being in the zone. Tony briefly looked like he was coming on, only to be stunned again with numerous shots. In the seventh round, Manny probably got Freddie's pulse racing a bit when he lingered on the ropes, only to have Tony rip home several hard shots. One left hook in particular got through, and you could tell it hurt Manny. Then Tony also sent a good uppercut up into Manny's chin. Manny definitely showed ill effects from those punches, but he got through it, and regained control.

In between rounds, Freddie reminded Manny that he should take the fight back to the center of the ring, which Manny did, along with putting on a great exhibition of counter punching. He really ripped Tony from all sides and up the middle, mixing his punches unbelievably well.

Just a few seconds into round ten, Referee Cole stopped the action long enough to check Tony's vision, as by now both of his eyes were slits, along with a nasty cut under the right eye, and a swollen nose. Cole allowed the action to continue, and moments later Manny landed what might have been the best shot of the fight. It was a right hook that came in between Tony's left and right. It hurt just watching it land.

In the eleventh round, Manny continued the barrage of punches that were rearranging Tony's face.

Jim Lampley, Emanuel Steward and Max Kellerman all expressed concern about the beating Tony was absorbing. It wasn't so much the bruises and cut, but the possible damage to his brain that they were worried about. But, the fight continued.

Incredibly, trainer Robert Garcia told Tony to work the jab! He could have handed him the stool and told him to use it, because nothing else he was doing was working, and a jab certainly wasn't going to

accomplish much at that point. Manny continued to rip through numerous shots, but it was apparent he was pulling his punches. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that he had won the fight, and won big.

Manny says he is going to continue fighting anyone his promoter lines up for him. Tony, on the other hand, was looking for redemption over the handwrap scandal. It's doubtful he accomplished that. He did prove his courage, but all the nonsense he and his trainer Robert Garcia attempted prior to the start of the fight did nothing to enhance their reputations. Apparently, they're content with the "warrior" mentality, and fail to see the big picture.

Congratulations to Manny and Freddie. They deserve all the accolades. They truly symbolize the mark of greatness for which others in the fight game should strive. I salute you.

In other action on the card:

Mike Jones UD 10 Jesus Soto-Karass
Dennis Laurente UD 8 Rashad Holloway
Oscar Meza UD 4 Jose Hernandez
Robert Marroquin TKO 1 Francisco Dominguez
Richie Mepranum SD 6 Anthony Villarreal
Jose Benavidez TKO 3 Winston Mathis
Mike Lee KO 1 Keith Debow
Brandon Rios TKO 5 Omri Lowther
Guillermo Rigondeaux SD 12 Ricardo Cordoba

Article posted on 14.11.2010

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