With Williams is the wings, and Clottey on the Calendar, Margarito is going to have to show up big

23.10.06 - By Mike Cassell - “The Philadelphia Boxing Report": Back in April, a confident and cocky Antonio Margarito W 33-4 (24 ko's)   called out the best fighter pound for pound in the world; Floyd Mayweather Jr.... Mayweather’s response was simple. I can’t make any real money with you, go out and fight somebody, then come see me. To say that Margarito is taking some tough fights is a real understatement. Joshua Clottey W 29-1 (18 ko's) is one tough customer, and if the truth be know, his only loss comes from Carlos Baldomir, and that was by disqualification for leading with his head, but he was clearly winning that fight on the cards, and if the fight went another round or two, he would have won, and rewrote everything that is happening right now at 147lbs. There is something very important to understand about Clottey.. He will never back down. He is a toe to toe slugger, and this fight will be absolutely spectacular. Clottey believes he is the best fighter in that weight class, and although he is the smaller man, I feel like he has the best chance against Margarito. In his own words “I don’t know how to run.” I like Clottey immensely. This is the type of fighter that I believe is as good as Margarito, but doesn’t have to talk so much. He is a hidden wonder. Not a lot of fans found out about him, until he fought guys like Richard Gutierrez, an undefeated tough Colombian fighter that seemed that seemed physically and psychologically beaten from the first bell, against the “hitter” Clottey.

I wrote a lot of things about Margarito too, but I will go on record now, and take some of it back. This guy is as tough as nails, and he will fight anybody. He really loves to talk, but man does he love to fight, not box, but really fight. When I heard of this match up, I nearly couldn’t believe it. Then I began to rethink how I defended Floyd Mayweather Jr’s. Thinking, when it came to saying no to Margarito’s 6millon dollar offer in April. I think that is fight Mayweather should have taken, if only to prove, he is as good as he says he is. After Mayweather declined, Margarito could have took a high profile name, to look good, and steer away from a slugger like Clottey, but he chose the tougher little known opponent, over an easier more popular opponent, like say, an Arturo Gatti. Margarito is not looking for the money, he is looking to be better than anybody, and then he knows, the money will come with it. Clottey is almost a mirror of Margarito, tough, determined, and will not back away from anybody, that includes Mayweather. If Margarito somehow pulls of a victory, and he fights Williams too, how can Mayweather say no, without looking like a fool. I for one, will be the first to tell Mayweather, “Ali would fight him, and so would Sugar Ray Robinson, what’s your excuse, other than fear?” If you are going to say you are better than an ALI or Robinson, you had better back it up, because I know for 100% certainty, there will be no out for him.

The most important thing in this whole equation, is that Margarito, has a very tough fight ahead of him, and it is not a give in that he is going to come out of this with a victory. As Paul Williams waits and watches, Margarito seems to be lining up all his ducks, understanding, that with these victories, Mayweather will be forced to face him, but I can’t help but think, that maybe these types of battles, will diminish some Margarito’s talent, before he gets his chance to face Mayweather down the road. Much like Lennox Lewis waited a very long time, and watched Holyfield battle with the best, and then fought him, when there was nothing left. I guess only time will tell.

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Article posted on 23.10.2006

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