Despite fighting a man who weighed nearly 20 pounds more than him at fight night — Antonio Margarito weighed 150 at Friday’s weigh-in, but was 165 on the unofficial HBO scale before the fight while Pacquiao, who had been 144.6, was 148 pounds — Pac-Man picked the Mexican fighter apart at their Saturday night (November 13) WBC 154-pound title bout in Dallas.
In a spectacular performance — before a crowd of reportedly 41,734 at Cowboys Stadium — the Filipino boxing champ continued his reign as the best fighter in the world by killing Margarito with speed from start to finish, winning by a unanimous decision.
Margarito’s jab held Manny at bay for a short period in the opening round, but before long, Pacquiao was landing punch after punch, none really bothering the Mexican fighter early on. That is, until around Round 4, when a fierce body shot from Pac-Man landed and Margarito winced. From there, Antonio just didn’t fight with the same confidence. Manny finished off the round with a bunch of flurries and combos, leaving his opponent wobbly for a second.
While in the corner, before the start of Round 5, fans for a clear picture of Margarito’s eye, which was cut and swelling quickly … and continued to worsen every round there on out. The four- or five-punch combinations Manny was throwing … at even six at times … didn’t help either.
Still, Margarito had a few moments. In Round 5, the Mexican fighter landed some good shots while Manny was leaning against the ropes, including a vicious uppercut, which he admits after the fight, really hurt him.
Overall though, it was a brutal beating for Margarito, who tried his best by stalking Manny around the ring with his jab. But, any time he exchanged with him, Pacquiao either returned fire with lightning fast combos or slipped outta the way and struck with hooks and hard crosses of his own.
It was so bad during the latter rounds that Pacquiao turned to referee Laurence Cole several times, as if to say “When are you gonna call this fight?” He later explained that he didn’t wanna hurt Margarito any further.
“I told the referee, ‘Look at his eyes, look at his cuts,” Pac-Man explained. “I did not want to damage him permanently. That’s not what boxing is about.”
By Round 12, Pacquiao eased off of Margarito, allowing the “Tijuanna Tornado” to finish the fight. Margarito’s eyes were nearly swollen shut by then and his face was a bloody mess. You can’t question his heart, though.
Manny even acknowledges how tough it was to defeat him following the judge’s decision explaining his excitement over such an accomplishment. “I can’t believe that I beat someone this big and this strong,” Pacquiao said. “It’s hard. I really do my best to win the fight.
“I got hurt to the body and the face when he had me against the ropes,” he added.
With the win, Pacquiao earned his eighth world title, the WBC Super Welterweight belt, a feat that will probably not be touched by another boxer … ever.
Despite previous comments that his boxing career may be coming to a close, Pacquiao made it clear that he has a lot of fight left in him, and plans to continue to fight. But, the question is: who’s next? Hopefully, it’s Floyd Mayweather. That’s who we and every other boxing fans want.
For the time being — after a concert in Lake Tahoe on Tuesday (November 16) — he will return to the Philippines to continue his politic duties as a congressman. “I have another job after this,” Pacquiao said. “I’m going back to the Philippines to do my other job and be a public servant.”
Before the fight was underway Saturday, there was a dispute in the dressing room, announcers said as the fighters entered the ring. Reports following the fight say that a member of Pacquiao’s camp saw a weight-loss supplement in Margarito’s gear and demanded his blood be tested immediately for possible banned substances. Texas boxing officials ruled that would not be necessary, and the fight went on. But said testing would take place after to determine if the substance was illegal.