Ringside With Raymundo 11.11.10: Margarito by KO! Also, Mayweather Interrupted…
Posted by Raymundo Dioses on 11.11.2010
Thoughts on the upcoming Manny Pacquiao/Antonio Margarito fight and a prediction, the inevitable interruption by Floyd Mayweather, a look at Shawn Estrada's win over Tony Hirsch and more in this week's Ringside with Raymundo!
On November 14, 2010, I am seeing a headline across some sill standing newspapers and all fight-web sites with this caption:
Margarito upsets favored Pacquiao in front of 70,000 at Dallas Cowboy stadium.
Now to most people, this is a blasphemous decree that should irk the hardcore fans and expert analysts due to their belief that Margarito should not have been in Texas at all on November 13 due to serving a one year suspension for illegal hand wraps that were on his hands prior to his fight in January of last year.
However, regardless of if you believe or don't believe Margarito when he says he didn't know his trainer Javier Capetillo was attempting to load his gloves, whether or not you believe a one year suspension was too minor and a life long suspension would have been more fitting, regardless of if you are rooting for the No. 1 fighter and overall nice guy in Manny Pacquiao to trump all over bad guy Margarito, and whether or not you are or are not watching the pay per view telecast this Saturday, it all means squat: Manny Pacquiao is fighting Antonio Margarito in the Lone Star state in a super-welterweight contested bout for a scheduled twelve rounds or less.
All finger pointing and crucifying aside, all morals and ethics that don't belong in the sport of flying fists anyways, I am simply a fight scribe with no gain or loss in any outcome, who is looking at fighter A and fighter B, and who is picking the upset special in fighter B's favor.
My belief that Margarito is going to win, (by KO, no less) is not that much based upon the rumors and HBO's 24/7 specials that have highlighted Manny Pacquiao's supposed less than magnificent training camp for the fight. I lean toward the fact that an 80% Pacquiao is better than most 100% or 110% fighters in the game today.
As for the political ties the new Congressman has on his mind daily, other than the fact that he actually missed one whole day of training to meet the Philippine President, I can see Pacquiao juggling boxing and politics successfully.
However, it just swells in my mind that everyone loses at one point and time in a ring with ropes that shows little mercy. (Just ask Mayweather, he doesn't even want to risk against this logic, because he knows it's true. Mayweather picks his opponents with a high level of cautiousness that has kept him in a boxing ring only once, perhaps twice a year over the last few years with a brief retirement in-between and a complete vacation for the rest of 2010. Keeping boxing gloves OFF of your hands is the only way to defy this notion, as he has.)
I hold the same beliefs as all boxing followers that Pacquiao's ascension has been spectacular and awe-inspiring, as his successful rise first to the lightweight, then welterweight, and finally, super-welterweight divisions has shown us in Pacquiao, that he is this generations best fighter. What Pacquiao has done is his decade-plus long career, and especially the last year-and-change, is going to be talked about for generations to come as he aligned his name with successful weight climbers like Henry Armstrong and, oh lets just put anyone else's name in for fun, (as perhaps none did it better than Armstrong) Evander Holyfield.
What leads me to believe November 13 will be Manny Pacquiao's due date since going up in weight class is that the punishment he has absorbed to this point will lead to his first recorded loss in the ring since 2005.
Against a weight drained Oscar De La Hoya, (which was De La Hoya's own fault due to scaling down too low for the weigh-in) Pacquiao was magnificent on both sides of the ball, playing good defense alongside even better offense in scoring the stoppage at De La Hoya's specific request.
Against Ricky Hatton, Pacquiao was perhaps in the prime of his career during the fight that lead to a one-punch, second round KO that will live in infamy and will be You Tube'd for years to come. It was an easy night with not much absorbed punishment on the end of the Pac Man.
It was in the Cotto fight one year ago that Pacquiao fought against his first legit 147 opponent. Cotto threw everything he had before scaling down in the mid rounds and finally being knocked out in the 12th, yet did provide some damage to Pacquiao, who during the fight fought with his back against the ropes and traded many times toe to toe with Cotto.
The aftermath of those exchanges was a busted ear drum and swelled up face for Pacquiao, who seemed not to mind and still produced his bigger than life sized smile afterward and even gave a song performance in Las Vegas following the fight.
Pacquiao's next fight came against the heavy-handed Joshua Clottey, who while proved to be reluctant to trade with Pacquiao, nonetheless provided some lumps to Pacquiao in the face department. The Philippine beat his second legit welterweight in as many fights, and has not been knocked down since 2003, yet will be facing his heaviest opponent to date in Antonio Margarito in an agreed 152 pounds or higher affair.
The extra weight means heavier punches, and combined with the punishment the ‘willing to trade' Pacquiao has already received, and Antonio Margarito will be coming hard with up to 160 pounds of force come fight night.
Just as in the Cotto fight, I can see a willing Pacquiao valiantly trading with an opponent who is five inches taller and has an insurmountable six inch reach advantage, and who has spent a majority of his career at 140 and higher. In the same fashion that Team Margarito knows the speed disparities in comparison to Pacquiao, I'm sure they know that the ‘Tijuana Tornado' is taller, longer and probably stronger than Pacquiao at the weight they are scheduled to fight at.
Margarito has his back against the wall and knows that to lose against Pacquiao is to go down in boxing-stock. Just look at David Diaz, DLH, Hatton, Cotto and Clottey. Diaz is in ‘nowhere town' on the boxing map, DLH hung up his gloves, Hatton hasn't fought since and is practically retired, Cotto is hanging on for a few last paydays and Clottey hasn't fought at all since losing to Pacquiao. It's a dark and lonely road after a loss in the ring, and it's even darker and lonelier after a mega-fight loss.
This, alongside the opportunity to record a career defining victory that could help repair his image, may be the reason why Margarito is in the best shape going into a fight since his 2008 victory over the undefeated Miguel Cotto. In that fight, Margarito took all that Cotto could throw heading into the later rounds, and overwhelmed his opponent for a late stoppage. If Margarito can do the same against Pacquiao, I can see the same result happening on Saturday night in Texas.
Margarito has had the right mind-set leading into the fight: he trusts his new trainer, brings it all in sparring and training, ignores the rumor mill coming from the other training camp and is focusing on bringing the best Antonio Margarito that he can into the ring.
So the question is: Does an 80% Pacquiao beat a motivated, well trained, nothing-to lose, super-welterweight sized Margarito?
I am seeing a no, and come Saturday night, Pacquiao is either A) going to show that he is truly the king of multi-tasking, or, B) that the weight of his opponents punches was finally too much and the logic that everyone loses at some point is true.
Again, I am simply a fight scribe with no gain or loss in any outcome, who is looking at fighter A and fighter B, and who is picking the upset special in fighter B's favor.
On May 2, 2009, the same exact day of Manny Pacquiao's fight against Ricky Hatton at the MGM in Las Vegas, Floyd Mayweather held a press conference in Las Vegas to announce his return from his short lived retirement.
On the day of the official kick-off of the Pacquiao/Margarito Press Tour, a video surfaced of Mayweather's racist rant against Pacquiao.
Can you say scene stealer?
Of late, Mayweather has had a knack for stealing some shine from Pacquiao and grabbing some attention his way.
Could you imagine the mind game Mayweather could play if perhaps he announced on November 13 that he would fight Pacquiao if he were victorious? It would be a mind blow and something that would shake up the psyche of Pacquiao on the same day of what many are calling his toughest fight to date.
In the past, Mayweather has interrupted and stolen some boxing coverage, and even if he doesn't choose to do the same this weekend, he actually already has.
This Tuesday, a Las Vegas court ruled in a hearing that Mayweather decided to not attend that he must stay away from his former girlfriend and two sons, stemming from their incident which left Mayweather facing multiple charges and up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all accounts.
Mayweather has another court hearing which is set for January 24th of next year.
Welcome to ‘Mayweather, Interrupted'.
MANOS DE ORO (Golden Hands)
Middleweight stand-out Shawn Estrada, AKA the ‘KO Machine', finally went the full scheduled rounds of a fight on a special edition, lets call it ‘Monday Night Boxing' on ESPN2 this past Monday.
Estrada, (10-0, 9KO) is from East Los Angeles and was a 2008 Olympian. Up to this point, Estrada had eight first round knockouts and never went past round three before facing his toughest opponent to date in Tony Hirsch at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina.
Within the first two minutes, Estrada scored a first round knockdown after landing a picturesque left hand to the head, and it looked like it was going to be 10 for 10, with ten knockouts. However, Hirsch was able to recover, and proceeded to slow Estrada's attack, both by holding and clutching onto Estrada whenever he would land anything meaningful, as well as landing punches of his own.
Estrada wound up going the full scheduled six rounds and score a much deserved decision.
Listen, the knockouts were going to end sometime, and some would point to his opponents' level of competition, which lead to his 9 for 9 knockout start to his career.
However, I saw some maturity in Estrada, who did not force the knockout and at times shortened up his punches to positive effect. Estrada has raw, pure power that can be honed into something special and can lead to a big career down the line.
I've attended five of Estrada's ten career bouts including his professional debut in November 2008 on an Arreola/Williams double feature card in Ontario, California, and I see a prospect that, with a little guidance, can be molded into something special.
His aggression and power remind me of a fresh Fernando Vargas. "El Feroz" had a tenacity that he brought to the ring, and Estrada has it. It led a young Vargas to a world championship.
Will it lead Estrada as well?
ATLAS PICKS MARGARITO, BY KO!
I will be in good company this weekend as ESPN commentator and trainer Teddy Atlas, during his post-fight commentary, picked Margarito by knockout over Pacquiao in this weekend's fight.
I thought I was a little crazy before writing my piece, but now I feel a little encouraged with having the same opinion as a guy who's been in the biz' for decades.
If I'm going down with the ship, I've got Atlas by my side!
Two quick stories on Atlas:
In Temecula a few years back, Atlas was doing ringside commentating for Friday Night Fights, and had a few fans in the crowd. He was given a book to sign, and for some reason, the Pechanga security guard overbearingly sent the fan back to his seat, without the book he gave Atlas to sign! Atlas himself stepped away from ringside and walked all across to the other side of the building to track down the fan and give him his signed book.
Also on that night was the first time I got more than two seconds of airtime. During a face shot of Atlas talking into the camera, your truly was in the background, and, knowing the camera was also hitting me in the background, I tapped the keyboard a bit, looked right and left, and talked to the writer beside me. When I got home my friends and I got a big laugh at the whole scene, as I had DVR'd it to watch at home.
THROUGH MY EYES
First off, great weekend last week with Lopez/Marquez, Johnson/Green, Guerrero/Escobedo and Judah/Mattysee. I was on the edge of my seat with my future in-laws and girlfriend in front of the tube Saturday night for Lopez/Marquez, and overall it was a good weekend of boxing that was much needed for the sport… What was up with Roy Jones Jr. continually called Zab "Floyd"? "Floyd is showing uhh, I mean Zab is uhh…" Someone seriously has some ‘Floyd on the brain'. The only fighting Mayweather is doing the rest of the year is in the courtroom, people…Nonetheless, Jones did a good job and should be a filler for HBO when they need one… Mattysee should have shown how he recorded 25 knockouts before fighting Judah. He took the slow route instead and although I think he may have gotten robbed, you've got to win convincingly if you are going to let the three people on the sides of the ring make a decision… Note to Allan Green: get up first, then complain… Anyone going to miss Kelly Pavlik this weekend? Didn't think so. It took me about ten minutes to remember who he was even going to fight before he opted out last week. I read last week that he is having drinking issues. I think the time to mope over a pint is AFTER your boxing days are over, not during… Poor Wade Phillips. We all saw it coming, so hopefully he did too, and had a plan B in motion before he got the ax… How bout' those Heat? I'm telling you, this is going to be yet another classic season in the NBA… For those on the borderline of opting for the HD for an extra charge this weekend, I say this: Go HD!!!