Antonio Margarito Skeptical Of Manny Pacquiao's Punching Power
Antonio Margarito is confident his bigger size will be enough to negate Manny Pacquiao’s speed when the two meet this coming Saturday (November 13).
Margarito, who estimates he will weigh 160 pounds on fight night, acknowledges that Pacquiao has been one of the most difficult opponents he’s ever prepared for.
Unlike most fighters, the Filipino champion has retained most of his speed and power despite moving up several weight divisions. Saturday will mark an unprecedented attempt to win a belt in his eighth weight class.
Margarito has taken the best punches from hard hitters such as Miguel Cotto and Kermit Cintron, men considerably bigger than Manny Pacquiao. He also took Shane Mosley’s best for seven rounds before finally being hurt in the eighth, and finished in the ninth. The Tijuana Tornado sees a highly competitive fight, but remains skeptical of Pacquiao’s power.
“I couldn’t tell you anyone that comes to his style or the way he fights,” Margarito said during a conference call. “I never fought anyone like that or anyone that comes close. I see his speed. I know he is a fast guy but he is a smaller guy also. I see some things there, but I would never consider it an easy fight or think I have big advantages over him because I don’t. He may think he can be a big puncher in this weight division, so I want to get up in the ring to see what we can do with each other.”
Margarito says he’s had one of the best camps of his career, and attributes much of that success to the quality of his sparring partners. Because no one truly fights like Pacquiao, Margarito trainer Robert Garcia enlisted fighters like 5’8 junior middleweight Ricardo Williams (16-2, 9 KOs), and welterweight Cleotis Pendarvis (10-3-2, 4 KOs). Both sparring partners are southpaws.
“We have four great sparring partners. They have speed,” Garcia stated. “They have very good skills and a lot of power. All four combined did a great job in preparing us for this fight. They gave us great sparring and we are very happy.”
“We got some guys that are very quick and really fast,” Margarito added. “We have one that is a 154-pounder and very strong. I think we had some of the best sparring I ever had for a camp.”
Pacquiao-Margarito airs live November 13 on HBO pay-per-view.
You can find more of Ismael AbduSalaam’s work at Beats, Boxing and Mayhem, a website specializing in Hip-Hop and boxing coverage.