MANILA, Philippines — There will surely be a lot at stake when Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito fire off their first blows come November 13.
With both camps running their training and conditioning regimens like there’s no tomorrow, the men behind two of today’s most explosive boxers will also have a battle of their own — something which will provide additional fireworks for the much anticipated showdown of the year.
Robert Garcia, the man tasked to whip Margarito (38 wins, 6 losses, 27 knockouts) into his best form, has had the success in the two meetings he had against Pacquiao’s famed teacher, Freddie Roach. Garcia’s fighters — Steven Luevano and Margarito — emerged victorious against Roach’s wards Bernabe Concepcion of the Philippines and Robert Garcia.
"This is not only a challenge and a good opportunity for Margarito, but also, for myself. This is what I've been waiting for,” Garcia said in an interview with Fanhouse. “What a world champion fighter always looks for is that big fight, well, a trainer also wants that. And I'm here, and you know, it's six weeks away, and I'm doing everything possible to pull it out." said Garcia.
The 35-year-old Garcia, a former IBF super featherweight champion who retired from the sport with a 34-3, 25 KO win-loss card, is optimistic that Margarito will be able to mount a successful return on the boxing ring against the much smaller Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs).
“Our mindset is that we’re going to beat Pacquiao, and we’re going to do what it takes to win it,” said Garcia, who was also behind the camp of Brian Viloria when the Filipino boxer snatched the IBF light flyweight title from Ulises Solis of Mexico in 2009. “I have a great team behind me, and we’re all doing the same thing and we’re all thinking positively along the same lines,” he added in an interview with Boxing Scene.
Garcia’s positive attitude has even prompted him to predict an 11th round knockout win for Margarito against Pacquiao this November, something which earned the nod of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s uncle and trainer Roger Mayweather.
“If Margarito keeps Pacquiao cornered and throws uppercuts along with roughing him up on the inside, Margarito should knock his ass out,” said the elder Mayweather, as quoted in an article at Boxing News 24.
Pacquiao will be shooting for the books against Margarito next month, gunning for a record eight title in as many different weight divisions. He will also be eyeing to extend his amazing run which now stands at 12 consecutive victories, including eight stoppages.
"With me giving Antonio instructions, and with Antonio Margarito listening, we should be able to come out of there with a good win," said Garcia. "Our plan is going just the way that we want it to be going, and I'm watching and studying Manny Pacquiao over, and over, and over, so that we have a great chance."
Erickson Beco, Manila Bulletin