Margarito: Big and strong, but how strong? | Inquirer Sports

Margarito: Big and strong, but how strong?

10:46 AM October 13, 2010

They have remained overwhelming, but will the heavy odds in favor of Manny Pacquiao prove both honest and realistic the moment he steps into the ring and fights at his heaviest since starting out as a frail flyweight nearly two decades ago?

This question was raised after Pacquiao was pegged a 6 to 1 favorite over Antonio Margarito in their super welterweight clash in Dallas, Texas a month from now.

“A $100 bet on Margarito will pay $375,” reports roving fight correspondent Anthony Andales from Arkansas where he’s employed as a full-time aeronautics engineer.

“Manny simply swamped (binugbog sarado) his other bigger foes, but Margarito appears entirely different, he’s legitimately big,” Andales explains.

He then recalled one brief post-fight interview with promoter Bob Arum following Pacquiao’s conquest of Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas.

Says Andales: “I asked Arum if Marga-rito is a possible opponent for Manny and he said: ‘We’re brave, but not that brave.’”
* * *

Times have changed.

Pacquiao has in fact surpassed expectations and is now set to move past the personal Everest he reached after winning his seventh world title (in seven separate divisions).

The truth is that, based on various views, the Margarito fight did not loom as Pacquiao’s toughest.

After getting back his fight license following a suspension over a hand-wrap fiasco, Margarito was next written off as predictable and too slow a target for the sharp, speedy power-punching Filipino boxing icon.
* * *

At least, there were a few, led by Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who have refused to be lulled by the dazzling odds.

Roach has, in fact, secured a pact with Pacquiao for a full-scale no-nonsense punishing work a full month to the world title clash in Dallas.

Roach appeared convinced they’ll have no choice but show up for the Texas shootout with their guns cocked, fully loaded.
Roach was right: they cannot afford to blink.
* * *

This was the exact expert advice offered by the respected fight expert Doug Fischer in a video interview carried by Fanhouse and posted by yesterday.

Fischer said he foresees a Pacquiao win, but definitely not by a breeze.
It won’t be easy.

“The 6 to 1 odds were terribly unrealistic,” he advised.

He did not base his reading on hearsay or second-hand information.

Fischer claimed he had a close, first-hand look at Margarito working out.
* * *
“He’s just quicker and moves a lot more than he used to in previous fights,” the expert noted.

No actual change in style, he added, but Margarito is being made to work the mitts simulated into Pacquiao sharp, swift left-handed stance.

They are working on footwork and more head movements, with emphasis on rhythm and better timing.

What should Pacquiao watch out for?

“There will be a lot of pressure and volume punching, they will try to back him up against the ropes,” he confided.

It’s really hard to say what will happen, he explained, but a couple of big shots to the body, if the fight lasts long, could make a world of difference.

Fischer said he doesn’t know how things will turn out once the bell rings, but added he knows of one certainty: 
Margarito has got good legs and appears quite convenient with his fight weight.

All told, he concluded, Pacquiao has the edge, but Margarito will be both big and strong.

Honestly, he said the odds should only be 3 to 1 in favor of Pacquiao.
TAGS: Antonio Margarito, Boxing, Freddie Roach, Manny Pacquiao

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