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 411mania » Boxing »
Ringside With Raymundo 11.19.10: Pacquiao The Middleweight?
Posted by Raymundo Dioses on 11.19.2010




Photo by Laura de la Torre

Ok, ok, ok, I will gladly eat my slice of humble pie after watching Manny Pacquiao steam roll through Antonio Margarito at Dallas Cowboy stadium last week.

I was just as impressed by Pacquiao as the 40,000 plus in attendance and the million pay per view'ers who watched from home at the heart, will, and killer combinations that Pacquiao utilized in routing Margarito after twelve mostly one-sided rounds.

My estimation was wrong that Pacquiao had bitten off too much this time, and the fact that Margarito was in perhaps the best shape of his career meant moot after trading blows with the Pac Man. The new Congressman deserves all the praise in the world; but he already gets that, right?

I was wrong, alongside respected analyst/trainer and respected boxing figure Teddy Atlas, who also envisioned a Margarito ‘W' by KO.

Hey, at least I was in good company.

So enough with the apologies, lets get into what I believe was the absolute most impressive thing that Pacquiao showed on fight night.

And no, it has nothing to do with him willingly re-wrapping his hands or trying to call for Margarito to take a drug test.

The most impressive thing through my eyes that Pacquiao did was field solidly landed punches from an opponent who weighed 165 pounds.

165 pounds!

Margarito clocked in at 150 pounds at the weigh-in, and ballooned up 15 pounds in the next Jack Bauer (24 hours) and was a solid middleweight by the time the two fought for a super-welterweight title, now Pacquiao's eighth.

Pacquiao welcomed every punch Margarito threw, and didn't blink after sustaining uppercuts and power shots that were landed by the Mexican. Pacquiao didn't look as bad as he did in previous post-fight in-ring interviews, although he did seem very fatigued.

Pacquiao looked to be bruised up some, yet he looked fine in comparison to Margarito, who when the cameras pointed to him seemed to be barely able to see through his extremely swelled eyes, that were nearly swelled shut, and don't forget about the cracked right orbital bone which required surgery earlier this week.

So if Pacquiao can inflict more damage to a middleweight than one can on him, where does that leave us?

Pacquiao the middleweight?

There were initial rumors that Floyd Mayweather may have chosen middleweight Sergio Martinez after the May Mosley fight.

However, Mayweather opted to take the rest of the year off, and now some are pointing to the fight this weekend between Martinez and Williams as a possible future opponent for Pacquiao.

However, it was reported this week by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports that promoter Bob Arum is no longer interested in having Pacquiao continue to seek bigger sized opponents.

"At this point, I don't want to put Manny in with another big guy, a guy even bigger than Margarito," Arum said. "It's not that he couldn't beat them or that he couldn't handle, them, but it's like a great racehorse. I can't keep putting him in with bigger, stronger guys without wearing him out.

"That fight really affected him physically. He took a lot more beating in that fight than he did in his others. He got hurt. He's banged up a little bit. It's tough giving away that kind of weight and size."
So there goes a possible fight against Williams or Martinez.

Yet after the run that Pacquiao has had, it can be reasonably argued that he has earned a fight against a lesser opponent this next go' round. Even picking someone not on or near the pound for pound list wouldn't be an unforgivable sin by Pacquiao.

A fight against a solid middleweight would no doubt be taxing to the small frame of Pacquiao, and a bout against younger, smaller opponents such as the Bradley/Alexander winner seems to be the wiser choice.

Nonetheless, it's absolutely impressive that Pacquiao took everything that Margarito was able to throw and warred through for the victory. With every shot Margarito landed, I was just more and more impressed that the Pac Man took them and wanted more. I told the person next to me, "He likes it!"

It also begs the question, if Pacquiao can take 165 pound punches, what damage do you think the small framed welterweight Floyd Mayweather can inflict?

Granted, Mayweather is a defensive wizard, but could he come up with enough offense to keep Pacquiao at bay?

Could Mayweather's punches hurt Pacquiao?

After Saturday night, I seriously doubt so.

MAYWEATHER STILL THE PICK?

In conversations I've had with other writers, 99.9 % pick Mayweather as opposed to Pacquiao if the two ever fought the richest fight that could ever be made.

I have repeatedly been annoyed by some writer's assumptions of, "Well, Mayweather beats them all on paper, so…" Fights are fought and won in the ring. Just because statistically speaking one fighter is more favored, doesn't mean he will win on fight night. It's almost a given to Mayweather, "Well, he would beat them all, so he probably would have if they ever fought."

Therein lays the problem. He hasn't, and never did!

Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Joshua Clottey… Mayweather fought none of these welterweights. Pacquiao fought and beat three out of the four.

My pick is Pacquiao if the mega super duper bout happens next year.

If it doesn't, and never happens, well, I guess we all have to deal with "Mayweather beats him on paper."

WILLIAMS/MARTINEZ II

Having been to five of Williams last seven fights, I can say without a doubt that Williams is must see T.V. and deserves his ranking right behind Pac and May in the No. 3 spot on most lists.

That being said, Williams is in perhaps the toughest fight of his career in his rematch with Sergio Martinez, who is vying for Williams spot. Williams made the mistake of overlooking his opponent against Carlos Quintana and redeemed himself successfully in the rematch.

Some believe he lost the initial slug fest with Martinez, in which both fighters were down early and ended in a controversial decision in Williams favor.

So how has his preparation been for this rematch? If it has been less than spectacular, we could wake on Sunday morning and see a new face as the No. 3 man in boxing.

Regardless, I am hoping that the fight resembles the first. I read an article which profiled rematches, and pointed to Ward/Gatti II, Ali/Frazier II and Leonard/Duran II as lackluster compared to their predecessors.

Hopefully we get more fireworks, maybe a knockdown or two, and we definitely need a more decisive victory this time around.





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