MANILA, Philippines – Boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao arrived in Los Angeles, California Monday night for the press conference officially announcing his fight against Mexico’s Antonio “Tijuana Tornado“ Margarito.
Pacquiao will affix his signature on the fight contract to formalize the deal with Margarito, who has already received his boxing license in Texas.
The formal announcement will take place on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
The fight on November 13 will be for a junior middleweight title at a 150-pound catch weight.
The match will take place at the US$1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium, the same venue where Pacquiao fought and beat Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.
The press tour will resume on Wednesday in New York City at the Chelsea Piers near the Hudson River before it wraps up at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas on Friday.
After the tour, Pacquiao is expected to head back to Manila to begin his training with his team, headed by coach Freddie Roach.
‘No easy feat to beat Margarito’
Pacquiao, earlier, admitted that fighting Margarito will be no easy feat.
At 5-foot-11, Margarito will be his tallest opponent to date.
“Mas matangkad siya kay Oscar de la Hoya at may taglay na lakas. Mabilis din si Margarito at dahil naging world champion din siya noon, hindi natin siya maaaring bale-walain,” Pacquiao once said in his Philboxing.com column “Kumbinasyon”.
(He is taller than Oscar de la Hoya and has punching power. Margarito also has speed and because he was once a world champion, we should not take him for granted.)
Pacquiao added that the added weight will also be a factor in the Margarito fight.
“Maglalaban kami sa timbang na 150 pounds… Sa aking huling laban noong March 13 kontra kay Joshua Clottey, hindi ko man lang naabot ang 147-pound limit at tumimbang lang ako ng 145.5 pounds sa araw ng timbangan,” he said.
(We will fight at 150 pounds… in my last fight on March against Joshua Clottey, I even failed to reach the 147-pound limit and I only tipped at 145.5 pounds on the day of the weigh-in).
Margarito camp confident to win
Margarito, on the other hand, said Pacquiao will be no match against his size.
The “Tijuana Tornado” added in a report by BoxingScene.com that his showdown against the 7-division world champion would end in “a knockout.”
When asked if he thought the fight would last 12 rounds, Margarito replied, "I don't think so."
In a Philboxing.com interview, his trainer Robert Garcia said they are prepared to go to war against Pacquiao, who has been picked by US boxing scribes as the “Fighter of the Decade”.
“If Manny wants to go to war, we will help him get his wish. Our focus is to box, but we are ready for a war if Manny wants to go there.”