The Limitation of Hype

antonio margarito22.10.06 - By Jeffrey Cabauatan: Any publicity is good publicity. This applies even more to the sport of boxing which shown tremendous decreased in fans and media exposure. Hype is what’s keeping the interest in boxing. In an era where key match ups failed to materialize and champions avoid one another, it seems that hype over a certain fighter keeps the fans salivating for a the next Mike Tyson, Oscar De la Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao.

It worked wonders before. A good example is Prince Naseem Hamed who brutally knocked out every fighter that was put in front of him in stunning fashion. He was essential into bringing the spotlight into the little guys. His aura of invincibility came to a sudden halt when he faced brawler turned boxer Marco Antonio Barrera. Some may argue that Hamed was nothing but a product of hype who carefully chose his opponent. However, those same people can’t deny that his popularity propelled Barrera’s status into p4p elite.

Like it or not, hype create more superstar than talent and skills.

Right now, nobody is cashing in more to the hype machine than Antonio Margarito. Prior to the Arum Hype propaganda, Margarito was just a mere foot note at the illustrious Welterweight division who had seen astronomical superstars in Sugar Shane Mosley, De la Hoya and Trinidad.

When Floyd Mayweather stepped up to the Welterweight division, Arum immediately brought the Margarito name along. Coming off a demolition job over Kermit Cintron, Margarito was portrayed as a threat to Mayweather’s undefeated record.

Margarito is strong, big, powerful, and will throw volume punches. He is perceived as a larger version of Jose Luis Castillo who gave Mayweather problems in their first encounter. The carnage that Margarito left inside the ring to those who were put in front of him leave many to believe that he can blemish Mayweather’s record.

But Hype can only take you so far in the sport. While Mayweather was busy making millions of dollars with the names like Mitchell, Judah, and now Baldomir, Margarito is satisfied in facing Manuel Gomez.

But who can Margarito face if everyone is avoiding him? If everyone in boxing is named Floyd Mayweather jr. then YES. Others have offered their willingness to face the Tijuana Tornado. Coming off his close decision loss to Hatton, Collazo made it clear that he wants to fight Margarito. It truly puzzles me how Arum cannot see that Collazo had made a name of himself by dropping a debatable close decision to Hatton.

Then there is Paul “The Punisher” Williams. His resume does not look impressive but his name is familiar to boxing fans thanks to the hype and to HBO for broadcasting his previous two bouts. Margarito’s name is attached to Mayweather’s solely because he is a threat to him. Paul Williams’ name is attached to Margarito’s in the same note. Williams is tall, long, and likes to brawl. In addition, there are rumors flying around that he dropped Margarito in one of their sparring session. As a result Margarito kicked him out of his camp. Thus, the bitterness began.

What made this more interesting is Paul William is the mandatory to Margarito’s WBO belt. However, Margarito chose to face Joshua Clottey instead of fulfilling his obligation to his mandatory. Paul Williams’ camp claimed that Margarito wants no part of him. On the other hand, Margarito’s camp attribute it to Williams’ pricing himself out.

Two promising fighters from the Welterweight division with their share of hype but lacks the defining fight failed to reach an agreement. Now, they are relegated to face an opponent that will not improve their stature in the division. Joshua Clottey would be another so what in Margarito’s resume. Meanwhile, Paul Williams’ opponent will be another sacrificial lamb.

Fighters can’t just make a living with their hype. They need a defining fight that would prove the doubters that they are the real deal. In the case of Williams and Margarito, one can give the other that defining fight. Hype can only take you so far. It’s still the fighter’s job to go out there and to prove to the world that he deserves it all.

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Article posted on 22.10.2006

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