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Pacquiao’s weight (144.6 pounds) raises eyebrows

12
Nov

ARLINGTON, Texas – Antonio Margarito is officially a lot bigger than Manny Pacquiao.

The participants in the much-hyped fight Saturday at Cowboys Stadium were 5.4 pounds apart at the weigh-in Friday before about 1,000 fans and a throng of reporters at the stadium , Margarito at the agreed-upon catch weight of 150 pounds and Pacquiao at 144.6.

Margarito’s handlers expect him to weigh around 160-162 when he steps into the ring while Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, said his prot├®g├® should weigh about 149, meaning the weight difference will be even more substantial.

“That’s a little bit lower than we would’ve liked,” Roach said. “He ate breakfast, he ate lunch. We thought he’d weigh in at around 147. It’s not a problem, though. We’re OK.”

Margarito and his trainer, Robert Garcia, didn’t want to comment on their opponent’s weight but manager Sergio Diaz found it interesting.

“Six pounds, that’s a lot,” he said, referring to the weight difference. “I think that means he’ll weigh around 147. We’ll be 160, 162. That’s an advantage. Advantages don’t mean anything, though. We have to win the fight.”

Meanwhile, the Margarito camp was very pleased after he weighed in.

Diaz pumped his fist after announcer Michael Buffer announced that his fighter had made weight. If the fighter had trouble making weight, as rumors indicated, it wasn’t apparent. He and his handlers behaved as if everything was going as planned.

“We’re very happy,” Garcia said. “Obviously, like I said, preparation is what’s important. That’s what counts. That’s the main thing.”

Said Margarito: “I’m very well prepared for this fight. That’s all that matters.”

Roach said Margarito didn’t look good.

“I thought he looked a little dry,” he said. “It looked like he had trouble making weight.”

Pacquiao drew enthusiastic cheers when he stripped down to his underwear. However, when Buffer announced the weight, the crowd seemed to gasp. Obviously, many were surprised.

Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s conditioning coach, rolled his eyes when a Los Angeles Times reporter asked whether he was OK with that weight. Afterward, Ariza said everything is fine because he believes Margarito is dehydrated.

The Filipino icon weighed about what he did for his victories over Miguel Cotto (144) last November and Joshua Clottey (145¾) in March and more than he weighed when he stopped Oscar De La Hoya (142) in 2008 but those were welterweight fights, with a 147-pound limit.

The weight difference on Friday can be interpreted in more than one way.

One might conclude that Pacquiao needed a few extra pounds to limit his disadvantage in size and strength. One might also conclude that he might’ve sacrificed some speed — one of his key advantages — if he weighed more than he did.

The fact he weighed in at roughly the same weight for three consecutive fights — Cotto, Clottey and Margarito — suggests he’s fighting at his natural weight. In other words, he’s probably most comfortable where he is.

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