Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pacquiao-Margarito Hype

As the upcoming Pacquiao-Margarito fight is fast approaching, I thought I'd be able to put some real analysis on how it's going to be played, my prediction, and it's significance. First off, I'd like to say that, I had a very bad day, but thanks to some posts in Facebook, I never thought that I'd be updated with the current "Face to Face segment with Max Kellerman" which featured both Pacquiao and Margarito. I've seen the previous segments of it, since the Pacquiao-Cotto fight, and it never fails to create some hype or bring interest to a viewer. I remembered the phrase "ding, ding, round one", for the Pacquiao-Cotto fight, as it signifies the awaiting of one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history. The current segment for Pacquiao-Margarito somehow, closed the day for me to smile again, and feel like shouting with aggression. I was like, "Man oh man!!" and you can hear me shouting "Oh yeah!" and up until now, every hair in my body is standing, just like some surge of adrenaline, being incorporated into my system. The entire clip in youtube, seems to look like some serious talk like they always do, and some indirect threats, that intrigues your mind, and make you unconsciously say that "This is gonna be a great fight" or "I can't wait til' these guys trade some leather." In the video, Pacquiao and Margarito were seated face to face, and as the discussion goes on, Freddie Roach said that Manny Pacquiao is going to knock Antonio Margarito in eight rounds. Margarito, in response, seemed to joke saying "does he see me crippled?", and Roach replied, "I've seen your last two fights", and that reply definitely put a serious face on Margarito. Knowing that Pacquiao has been dominating opponents, and is more often being favored to win by knock out, I thought that Margarito really has to put some serious thought on what he's getting into. That simple magic from HBO boxing, was enough to put some fire into my heart, that seemed to burn me inside with adrenaline. So the fight is going to be on the 13th of November, in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Manny Pacquiao versus Antonio Margarito Fight.

How is it going to be played?
As a boxing analyst, (I have analyzed lots of fights that seemed to agree with my theories and expectations) I will point out the difference between the two, starting off with height. Margarito is taller than Pacquiao, as the fight goes along, I know it wouldn't be a factor. As I've seen Margarito's fights, he is the type who bends his head towards his chest, and is more of a slugger than a boxer. I can compare Margarito to Oscar de la Hoya, but in terms of skills, a prime De la Hoya, to me, is better. Pacquiao will be lunging in and out like he always does, which will help to his advantage. Pacquiao has better boxing ability compared to Margarito. I can picture, Margarito chasing on Pacquiao, as he is turning on angles, going in and out. In terms of speed, Pacquiao is on the clear advantage, hands down. The fight will seem to follow the same pattern of the De la Hoya-Pacquiao fight, as Manny will be utilizing his footwork, trying to turn Margarito, who is a slugger. In terms of power, I believe, Pacquiao should not take a gamble, and trade with Margarito. I suggest that he should be contented hammering him, with boxing. Margarito's uppercuts are lethal, but Pacquiao's "in and out" will neutralize that. Pacquiao will have an advantage of stance, as he is a southpaw. I expect, lots of left straights from Manny in this fight.

My Prediction
Pacquiao will win by knock out! An early knock down, is possible, perhaps in the third to fifth rounds. The knock out will come at rounds eight to ten. It will never go past round 10. Pacquiao will use some boxing in the early rounds, with some flashes of power, here and there. As the fight progresses, I can see Margarito slowing considerably on rounds six onwards. Pacquiao will take advantage on that reduction of speed, and will start hammering and trading shots at that point. Margarito will be on the defensive on the later rounds, and I can see Pacquiao chasing him, and pouring lots of punches. I say this, it's because, Margarito isn't much of a fast fighter, so I can see Pacquiao hurting Margarito early. As Margarito is being pummeled continuously, he won't be the same, that's why I said he'd slow down. All in all, the key for Pacquiao to winning the fight is, boxing ability, power, accuracy, foot work, angles, and speed. As for Margarito, if he could learn to counter effectively, it would make Pacquiao more hesitant, and would work to his advantage. Margarito should fight tall, and use that solid left jab of his. He should not expect a slug fest from Manny, because it's not going to happen, so the best way is for him to box effectively. The first who makes the mistake, will be the first to lose, that is why, patience is a virtue, especially in boxing.

It's Significance
If Manny Pacquiao will win this fight, it would make him an eight division world champion, putting him further to the top, as the first one to do it. The second fighter to win a championship in different divisions, only won at six weight classes, therefore, an eight division champion is definitely unheard of. It will cement his status as part of the Hall of fame, and an all time great. If Margarito will pull out an impressive upset, it will garner him the status as part of the elite rankings in his division, and pound for pound. If Margarito will win this, I think Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be top one, and Margarito will be top two respectively.

Final Thoughts
Again, all these are opinions, and anything can happen in the boxing ring. Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito are great fighters, and I expect a great fight from them that people will talk for ages. HBO boxing has been so great for the sport, I wish they would continue to do what they do, in bringing excitement in major boxing events. I will leave you all with some words to ponder, as I say, "A challenge, is a food for champions, without them, there will be no champions."

Antonio Margarito was banned for years due to illegal hand wrapping with a solution of "Plaster of Paris" after his fight with Sugar Shane Mosley.
Antonio Margarito has the same boxing nickname as I am, as he is the "Tijuana Tornado", my nickname is "Tornado".

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pacquiao-Barrera first; a reminisce on the path of a Champion

I just finished the examinations in school. Feeling tired and stressed, I immediately decided to go home as I usually do, hoping to do another set of work outs to punctuate the day. As I stepped into the entrance door mat of my home, the next thing I know, I'm already inside, feeling the familiarity that I've missed when in school, I immediately turned on the laptop and the television at the same time. In an attempt to unwind and put myself at ease, I decided to reward myself with boxing matches on the DVD player. Doing this blog, as I watch Pacquiao-Barrera 1st. It almost looked like "deja vu", as I have already seen this fight several times. It may be a classic, but the excitement and drama never fails to interest me, and the feeling never seems to get old. Watching the young Pacquiao, full of determination, power, stamina, and skills. As I watched the fight, it immediately went into my mind, on how hard, an up and coming fighter would be against a renowned champion. Barrera, at the time, was part of the top five pound for pounder in boxing. Thinking Pacquiao, who was less recognized at that time, winning the match is very unlikely beforehand. It just amazes me, that Pacquiao was able to defeat Barrera, in a fashion that most people would never dare to think of. It is in this fight, that I began to put some thought in boxing for the first time. Although, I've heard of his name even before this fight, I wasn't as tentative, as I knew, he was just some local fighter. His achievement in the international setting, definitely shook the world, and it has definitely shook my mind as well. His intensity is admirable, and his style is clearly a crowd pleaser. I started loving boxing for the very first time. As the hype of Pacquiao-Barrera immediately sets forth to the first ring of the bell, round one is a drama that seems to have been going since the olden days. As Pacquiao's slip turned into a knockdown, it somehow crossed my mind, that it always has been like that. An up and coming fighter, will always have experienced an unfair shake, against a well-known champion. The same way, Muhammad Ali had been treated against Sonny Liston, as a liquid substance coming from Liston's glove bothered Ali for a few rounds. Despite the adversities that they have been confronted with, they still decide to fight back with all their heart, and that, to me, is definitely a mark of a true Champion. As I continue to watch the fight, Barrera bled from an accidental head-butt, and from his frustration, lands an intentional headbutt on Pacquiao's chest, and was warned by the referee. Pacquiao may have conceded with the dirty tactics of Barrera, but he never gave in. As the next round approaches, after a series of combination by Pacquiao, he then lands his own headbutt, hitting so flush on the face, as he hammers Barrera into the corner, and the referee wasn't able to see it. In my mind, It's as if Pacquiao is showing Barrera on the proper execution on how it's supposed to be done compared to Barrera's last attempt. It somehow made Barrera looked like an amateur against Pacquiao, which is logically contrary. As the fight progresses, I begin to see Barrera hitting Pacquiao with a cheap shot, after the referee was separating both fighters. Barrera was called to that, and was deducted a point. It looked like as if Pacquiao was alright with it, but by the next round, he decided to repay Barrera by ending the fight, after a flurry of combinations, he finally finished Barrera by TKO. These moments to me, is another definition of how a Champion should act when given the opportunity. It is the mindset of not giving in against adversities, and immediately trying to fight back, against all odds. It has been the template, of what a Champion is, to me, until this very moment. It is like a man battling cancer, and despite the relatively low chance of survival, he continues to live his life, longer than expected. It is like walking through a dilapidated wooden bridge, and making it through. It is like going into a losing war, and somehow survived it. It is defying the odds, facing adversities, and more importantly keeping the faith alive. Being a champion is a long road, full of trials that we need to overcome, by not shying away, but continuously facing it. In the end of that long road, we will see the light, and we will see the greatness, not only of ourselves, but more importantly, the greatness of God.

Picture: Manny Pacquiao knocking down the great Marco Antonio Barrera, on the third round of their first fight. Including the referee Lawrence Cole on the far left.