Weekend Review: Pacquiao-Margarito and more
Pacquiao-Margarito: The most-exciting aspect of the announcement is that we no longer have to follow the maddening Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. negotiations, or lack thereof. The fans are growing tired of being jerked around. Plus, we love the idea of Pacquiao getting back into the ring against anyone. The fact that Margarito will undoubtedly come to fight – as he always does – is a bonus even if the fight is more or less a mismatch. We can now look forward to an entertaining fight without all the boring out-of-the-ring garbage.
Pacquiao-Margarito: The gut feeling of many is that Margarito doesn’t deserve this opportunity after he was caught with hardened knuckle pads in his hand wraps before he fought Shane Mosley. Some say he should be banned for life. Others say his forced 13-month hiatus was sufficient punishment. And still others either believe him when he says he never knew what was in his gloves or don’t seem to care. The bottom line is this, though: For most of us, there will be pall over this fight. A part of us will say, “This shouldn’t be happening.”
Pacquiao-Margarito catchweight: A report out of the Philippines indicates that Pacquiao is demanding a 150-pound catchweight for the Nov. 13 fight. On one hand, that would be understandable. Pacquiao will be at a significant size disadvantage both in height — 5-11 (180cm) to 5-6¾ (169cm) — and natural size. And making 150 wouldn’t be a great problem for Margarito, who was a welterweight as of his penultimate fight. On the other hand, a pure junior middleweight title fight has a weight limit of 154 pounds. Pacquiao’s quest to win a title in an eighth weight class would lose some luster as a result.
MOST PREDICTABLE II
Margarito accepting catchweight: The former welterweight champion would accept this fight at 135 pounds if that’s what it would take to make it. Could there be a better opportunity for him? He is crushed by Shane Mosley, is busted for illegal knuckle pads and loses his boxing license in California yet lands a multi-million-dollar date with the sport’s biggest star. Margarito’s nightmare turned into a wonderful dream. Of course, the dream most likely will become a nightmare again when the two actually fight. Then again, the post-fight pain will be eased when he cashes his paycheck
MOST UP IN THE AIR
Site of Pacquiao-Margarito: Arum would like to stage the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission must agree to Arum’s request for a special one-time license after the NSAC said Margarito must apply for a license in California before it will consider his application for one in Nevada. If he’s denied, the fight could take place at Cowboys Stadium (the site of Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey) in Arlington, Texas, or in New Jersey if those states are willing to license Margarito. If all that fails, the city of Monterrey, Mexico, is eager to host the event. Anything is possible because of the large amount of money involved.
Alexander Povetkin: Teddy Atlas, the new trainer of the former Olympic gold-medal winner, had been implying all along that his prot├®g├® isn’t ready to fight to Wladimir Klitschko on Sept. 11. He could’ve gone through with the fight for the hefty payday but a bad beating could’ve set him back considerably in his career. One could argue that he is better off working with Atlas for a few fights and then facing the challenges the Klitschko brothers present, if one would agree to fight him on a future date. One could also argue that Povetkin should’ve gone through with the fight once he agreed to it even if he didn’t put pen on paper.
W. Klitschko vs. Peter: We shouldn’t be too critical of Klitschko, who has to scramble to find a decent opponent now that Povetkin pulled out. There is some logic to the choice: Povetkin was the No. 1 challenger for one of Klitschko’s two titles; Peter is No. 2. Peter is a known quantity. And Peter did give Klitschko trouble when they met in 2005. However, the recent past suggests this isn’t the same Peter. The Nigerian was pummeled by Vitali Klitschko in October 2008, lost a decision to Eddie Chambers in his next fight and has stopped four journeymen in his last four fights. No one will be excited to see Klitschko-Peter.
Danny Green vs. Paul Briggs: Green, the cruiserweight contender, stopped his fellow Aussie only 29 seconds into their fight with what appeared at first to be a light punch on the top of the head Wednesday in Perth. Two things make this interesting: One, there reportedly was a rush on bets that Green would win by a first-round knockout. And, two, the fight was moved from Sydney to Perth after the authorities in Sydney refused to sanction it because Briggs reportedly had neurological problems. Green was livid immediately after the fight was stopped but reversed field after watching replays, which appear to show that he landed a solid punch. The authorities in Perth are investigating.
Andrade-Valadez: The four-rounder between Angelinos Oscar Andrade and Ramon Valadez on the Fight Night Club card Thursday night might be the most-entertaining fight I’ve ever seen pound-for-pound in terms of pure action. The fighters, who entered with only one fight each, pounded on each other nonstop for 12 full minutes. They must’ve thrown a combined 1,000 punches — no exaggeration. Andrade won a unanimous decision but the real winners were the fans, who cheered wildly during the fight. The authorities recognized how brutal the fight was: Neither fighter will be allowed to spar for 45 days or fight for 60 days.
Brooklyn boxing: I wasn’t even around at the time but I’ve always been sympathetic that the Dodgers decided to move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, where I live. Thus, I was pleased when it was announced that the New Jersey Nets would be relocating to the under-construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn starting in 2012, the borough’s first major-league sports team since 1957. And it also announced last week that boxing will be part of the plan. Golden Boy Promotions plans to stage regular shows at Barclays in the mold of its Fight Night Club cards in L.A., which have been a lot of fun.
Bob Arum (to the Associated Press): “The thing that’s silly about this is all Floyd had to say from the get-go was, ‘Hey, I’m not interested in fighting this year. That’s all he had to do.” Mayweather is very silly.