…as Azumah, Ray Quarcoo watch from close range
Antonio Margarito entered the ring standing five inches taller, and weighing 17 pounds heavier than Manny Pacquiao.
By the ninth round, Margarito’s right eye was nearly closed. His nose was bent, and the rest of his face bloodied and bruised.
So pronounced was the destruction that Pacquiao kept turning to the referee, and begging him to stop the fight, to end his massacre of this bigger, stronger man.
“Look at his eyes,” Pacquiao said to the referee, “Look at his cuts.”
Somewhere, Floyd Mayweather had to be watching this beatdown. He had to be watching this incomparable talent defy all known properties of size and strength. And he had to feel reassured about his recent career decisions.
For Mayweather, ducking Manny Pacquiao has never seemed so smart.
If Mayweather has any brains – and for all his fool’s antics, he most certainly does – he’ll keep dodging the superfight the world wants.
All the motivation he needs is to look at those busted up cheeks of Antonio Margarito.
Pac-Man (52-3-2) won a unanimous decision Saturday, here at Cowboys Stadium, over a courageous, but clearly outclassed Margarito.
He won a title in his eighth weight class, even though he didn’t bother to even get close to the contracted 150-pound weight limit.
He officially weighed 144.6, and entered the ring at 148, Margarito was bulked up to 165, and the hour leading up to the fight, had Pacquiao’s team accusing him of trying to take illegal stimulants.
Pacquiao winning wasn’t a surprise (he was more than a three-to-one favorite). Margarito’s face was being turned into a mangled mess, as some fans screamed from the ringside for the fight to be called off.
Why the ref and ringside doctor allowed it continue, remains a mystery. Pacquiao disabled Margarito’s reach, height, and strength advantage, with barrage after barrage of swift, precise combinations. It was equal parts, brilliant and brutal.
“My opponent looked bad, and I wanted the ref to stop,” Pacquiao said. “I didn’t want to damage him permanently. That is not what boxing is about.”
Margarito refused to quit – “I’m a Mexican, and we fight to the end,” he said. His corner said they couldn’t throw in the towel on such a warrior. It was all so foolish; their fighter caught two or three extra rounds of savage punches.
“He has the worst corner,” said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach. “It probably ruined his career by not stopping the fight… He might never fight again. He took too many unnecessary punches.”
That’s the danger of stepping into the ring with this guy. He’s not just winning fights, he’s altering, if not, ending, careers.
Pacquiao threw an astounding 713 power punches, and landed an equally astounding 53 per cent of them. It’s what carved Margarito’s face to bits.
It was ugly. It was violent. It was an unmistakable message to the one opponent everyone wants to see next.
No one dodges a punch like Mayweather. And the best way to slip Pacquiao’s blinding combination is to keep finding a way to stay out of the ring.
I don’t believe I beat someone this big and this strong,” Pacquiao said.
Meanwhile, iconic Azumah Nelson, former world champion, and the president of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation (GABF), Mr. Ray Quarcoo, were at the ringside.
The duo left the country last week for the fight, on an invitation by Top Rank Incorporation, a La Vegas-based boxing promotion company, formed by Bob Arum.
“Top Rank Boxing Inc would like to invite Professor Samuel Azumah Nelson, former WBC champion who inspired Pacman, along with the president of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation, Mr. E. Ray Quarcoo, to the United States for the fight,” the invitation stated.