July 23rd, 2010
By Chris Williams: Well, it looks as if Bob Arum has made his decision. He’s picked Antonio Margarito (38-6, 27 KO’s) as the next opponent for Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO’s) to fight on November 13th, in either Las Vegas, Nevada or Monterrey, Mexico, according to Kevin Iole from Yahoo News. For boxing fans that were hoping to see Pacquiao matched a little tougher than this against the likes of Sergio Martinez, Andre Berto and Paul Williams, this will be sad news. Margarito is painfully slow in terms of hand speed, has zero defense and is utterly hittable. In other words, he’s the perfect opponent for Pacquiao.
Margarito is one of those come forward types that fights in straight lines. He’s like a taller, slower, more hittable version of Ricky Hatton. My guess is this fight will last two or three rounds before Pacquiao knocks Margarito out. If it does beyond that, Margarito will be serving as nothing more than a punching bag with gloves on. Picture Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey II. We’re talking one-sided fight from the word go. If that was all it was, I would be cool with it. But this is a pay per view bout, and people will have to pay probably around $50 to see a slaughter.
In the Yahoo article, Arum explains his rationale for choosing Margarito over Cotto for Pacquiao’s next opponent: “Cotto was beaten and even with Emanuel Steward [Cotto's new trainer], I don’t think people believe that it’s enough to make a difference and I’m not sure they would buy it as competitive. But putting aside the controversy about the wraps, the one thing you know for sure with a Margarito fight is that it will be a hell of a fight for however long it lasts. Margarito knows only one way to fight and that’s coming forward. They’re going to get in there and fight. That’s what people want to see.” That’s what Arum said about Pacquiao’s last opponent Joshua Clottey, and he ended up stinking up the joiing for 12 rounds.
That’s so sad. I know Arum wants to help his fighters and all, and keep it house, but, man, couldn’t found someone better than this? Heck, drag one of the smaller guys Yuriorkis Gamboa or Juan Manuel Lopez to fight Pacquiao, not Margarito. Seriously, Arum should have looked outside his Top Rank stable to find a suitable opponent for Pacquiao. The idea here is to increase Pacquiao’s bargaining power for a future fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. by generating big pay per view numbers.
How is Pacquiao going to do that by fighting a guy that no wants him to? I mean, I know there’s some fans that want to see this fight, but my guess is the vast majority want him to fight someone else. The bad thing about this is if the Pacquiao-Margarito fight turns up mediocre PPV numbers like the Pacquiao-Clottey fight, then it will almost surely make it impossible for a future fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao to be put together. Because Pacquiao and Arum, even if they do horrible PPV numbers in the Margarito fight, will want at least a 50-50 deal with Mayweather next year.
And that isn’t going to happen nor should happen. If you’re PPV numbers aren’t good, partly because of the opposition you’re being put with, how can you expect to get a 50-50 deal with Mayweather? Arum needed to match Pacquiao up with the best possible fighter, and I don’t think he’s done that in choosing Margarito. What he’s done is match Pacquiao up with one of his fighters from his stable, who many boxing feel is a fading fighter.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Pacquiao beat up on Margarito for giggles, but only if it was on regular cable and not on PPV. I don’t consider Margarito a PPV attraction right now. He has to show me that he’s not the same fighter that was beaten into the canvas by Shane Mosley last year. All Arum has done is match Margarito against some obscure fighter in his comeback fight last May, and now he expects boxing fans to purchase a PPV fight between Margarito and Pacquiao, what has the markings of a total mismatch.
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