MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will return to the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas in November to face Mexican Antonio Margarito, whom critics say is an unworthy opponent for the 7-division world champion.
Pacquiao addressed the criticisms hurled at Margarito in his August 29 “Kumbinasyon” column on PhilBoxing.com.
“Marami ang bumabatikos sa kanya at pati na rin ako ay nasali sa mga batikos. Sinabi ni Margarito na wala raw siyang kinalaman sa mga pangyayari at wala namang nakapagpatunay na si Margarito nga ang nag-utos sa kanyang dating trainer na ‘sementuhin’ ang kanyang kamay,” Pacquiao wrote.
Margarito was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) last year he was found to have used a plaster-like substance in his hand wraps ahead of his bout against Shane Mosley in January 2009.
The Texas Athletic Commission granted Margarito a boxing license, paving the way for his fight with the Filipino boxing superstar.
“Dahil sa pinagsisihan ni Margarito ang kanyang nagawang kasalanan at pinagbayaran naman niya ito lalung-lalo na sa pagpaparusa niya sa kanyang trainer na kanyang tinanggal sa kanyang koponan, nakabalik ulit si Margarito mula sa pagkakalugmok,” Pacquiao continued.
The boxing champion-turned-congressman also said that the November 13 fight in Texas will allow Margarito to prove his detractors wrong.
“Para sa akin, tuloy ang laban at dapat patunayan ni Margarito na kaya niyang lumaban na walang semento ang kanyang kamay,” he declared.
“Sa aking palagay, si Margarito na lamang ang dapat managot sa Diyos, kung malinis man o madungis ang kanyang konsiyensiya,” added Pacquiao.
Hard fight vs 'The Pacman'
Margarito, for his part, was grateful to the Texas Athletic Commission for allowing him to fight again in the United States.
“I thank Texas for giving me the license, for believing in me. I am going to prove that I don’t need anything forbidden to win my battles or past fights, including Miguel Cotto. But again, I’ll tell them, that when the date arrives I’m going to show them that I have what it takes to win. It’s a hard fight but I’m going to win,” he said in a The Philippine Star report by Abac Cordero.
Margarito stressed that he can overcome the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight king: “I will beat Pacquiao.”
The Filipino and Mexican will fight for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight title.
In the meantime, the Mexican also shared what the November 13 fight means to him.
“I’m happy because I have the fight with Pacquiao in my hands and because I have the opportunity to show that I am a clean fighter,” he said.
Margarito’s compatriot, boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera, was also happy that his fellow Mexican has the chance to face Pacquiao.
"Antonio has a peculiar style which will enable him to put on a great show. If he can catch Pacquiao with one or two shots, it will be a different story, but it will be difficult for him to catch Pacquiao,” Barrera said in an interview with ESPN’s Golpe a Golpe as quoted by Ricardo Lois of Examiner.com.
Pacquiao beat Barrera twice—by an 11th round technical knockout in 2003 and via unanimous decision in 2007. – With reports from ESPN, Examiner.com, The Philippine Star and PhilBoxing.com