Boxers Manny Pacquiao (left) and Antonio Margarito face each other during a pre-fight news conference promoting their upcoming bout at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Friday, September 3, 2010. (AP)
MANILA, Philippines — Former welterweight champion Antonio Margarito, in the thick of his training for a much awaited return to the boxing ring against Filipino slugger Manny Pacquiao next month, refuses to get distracted by rumors of his foe’s struggles in his own camp.
The 32-year-old boxer from Tijuana, Mexico is confident that come fight night, the bout will end with his arms raised in victory.
“Pacquiao won’t stand up to my punches,” said Margarito (38 wins, 6 losses, 27 knockouts) in an interview quoted by John Martinez of Boxscore News. “He’s been shook by smaller fighters than me and he will find out the hard way that his punches won’t hurt me.”
Margarito has been rated as an underdog against the much smaller Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs), and will carry added pressure of trying to become only the third boxer to halt the seven-division champion from the Philippines.
What’s seemingly an even bigger prize for Margarito would be an emphatic comeback to the sport where he was sidelined for more than a year after being found with illegal hand wraps prior to getting beaten by Shane Mosley in their January 2009 faceoff.
“I know that everyone’s saying that I’m going to lose and get knocked out and that I’m no match for him (Pacquiao),” Margarito said, referring to Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach’s repeated claims that the Filipino will take him out before the eighth round of their fight.
“Manny’s not going to have everyone’s help in there (on the ring); he’s going to fight me and me only. He won’t have anywhere to go once I start to apply the pressure and throw my punches at him. I will knock out him out because of this.”
Robert Garcia, the man tasked to whip Margarito into the best shape of his career against undoubtedly boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter, says that Pacquiao and Roach will be in for the biggest surprise of their lives once the bell rings for the first time on November 13.
“I know what I’ve got in Antonio Margarito,” Garcia said. “He’s a fighter’s fighter. He comes to not just work, but to improve on what he has been learning since training camp has started.”
Top Rank big boss Bob Arum previously sounded the alarm bell after witnessing firsthand Pacquiao’s training in Baguio City, which was marred by super typhoon “Juan” (international name: “Megi”) over the weekend, even describing Pacquiao as looking “really bad” in sparring.
But Garcia and Margarito won’t get overconfident by these kinds of reports, and instead will continue with their game plan of pressuring Pacquiao and making him fight defensively.
“We’re not going to just get in there and throw punches in volume; we’re going to set it up with jabs, angles, and then go in for the attack,” Garcia said.
“I’ve seen other guys hit him and give him pressure, but then they don’t continue their attack,” Margarito tells. “I am going to go nonstop if I see or think he’s hurt and I’m not going to stop until he’s on the floor.
“The way he (Pacquiao) fights, he is open to uppercuts. He’s going to be eating mine and when he does, he won’t want to come inside.”
Margarito is bent on making up for lost time on the boxing ring, and he will begin his long journey back with a fight against boxing’s superstar today.
“I don’t feel like I have to prove anything extra to everyone because of my suspension,” he said. “I know that I’m a great fighter and a good boxer. People will see that again when I beat Manny Pacquiao. My fans have been behind me through all of this and this victory will be for them.”
Sourced:By ERICKSON BECO
October 21, 2010,www.mb.com.ph