Posts Tagged ‘Antonio Margarito’

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It’s a double dip of rematches headlining the boxing weekend.

The main attraction headlining the HBO line-up features Miguel Cotto seeking revenge against Antonio Margarito.

With the historic rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico boxers already, and the history between the two fighters that even precedes this fight, this is a compelling rivalry that has developed between the two Top Rank fighters.

The first fight between the two was a classic championship welterweight bout that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada back in June of 2008.

Cotto started out strong, displaying his technical superiority in the early rounds but Margarito’s pressure and will overwhelmed Cotto during the middle rounds and well into the later rounds which ultimately resulted in a Tko stoppage for Tijuana Tornado.

This would result in the first loss of Cotto’s career, as well as physical and psychological damage that may be beyond repair as since the fight Cotto has not looked like the same fighter.

A trail of controversy has followed Margarito’s since his win over Cotto beginning immediately when he squared off against Shane Mosley in 2009. It was discovered by Mosley’s trainer Naazim Richardson, that Margarito was attempting to enter the ring in his fight against Mosley, wearing loaded hand wraps.

Many have suspected along with Cotto himself, is Margarito may have used the same illegal wraps in their bout.

No one but Margarito, his promoter Bob Arum and his trainer at the time Javier Capetillo, knows what really happened that night with the hand wrap situation. I believe this is probably something Margarito has been doing for a long time, and it wouldn’t surprise me if his promoter had prior knowledge of this illegal activity taking place.

Regardless, this is an intriguing match up because of the personal emotions involved. Neither fighter likes each other, they probably do not have any respect for one another, and this fight is personal on many levels.

HBO did a great job hyping up this event, with the Face Off and 24/7 episodes respectively, promoting this fight. Both programs gave an in depth view of the relationships of the fighters, the ups and downs, family life, training camps, basically the paths each fighter has taken since their initial bout three years ago.

As for how the fight will turn out, unfortunately both fighters are shells of their former selves. Cotto has not looked the same physically since his fight with Margarito, and has struggled against Joshua Clottey, got annihilated against Manny Pacquiao, and did not look too impressive in his most recent fight against a washed up Ricardo Mayorga.

Margarito looks like he is on the decline as well. After Mosley utterly destroyed him, he was suspended for a year and looked bad in his comeback fight against Roberto Garcia. Margarito was then steam rolled by Pacquiao, who arguably administered one of the worst beatings in Margarito’s career.

They have both accumulated a lot of damage over the past three years including in their own fight, and I do not expect to see prime versions of either fighter. Margarito also has an eye issue, a n injury he suffered against Pacquiao and I think the injury is worse than what the public was lead to believe. The only reason this fight is continuing is because of the financial implications behind the fight.

As for who will win, I believe Cotto is the emotional favorite, the crowd will support him being there is a strong support for Puerto Rican fighters in New York, and I believe many people sympathizes with his whole story. I am personally rooting for Cotto, but I think if Margarito has anything left in the tank, he has the style that will beat Cotto.

Hand wraps aside, Margarito’s physical and mental pressure wore Cotto down and if that trend continues in the second fight, I see the same result occurring again.

If Cotto is to win this fight I believe he should target Margarito’s body as well as his damaged eye. Cotto would also do well to clinch occasionally and not let Margarito get into a rhythm. Mosley effectively implored this tactic in his win against Margarito, and Cotto would benefit from this as well.

Like stated before if Margarito does resemble some of his old self, I do expect his pressure to overwhelm Cotto.

The promoter of both fighters Bob Arum has other plans, as I’m sure he is hoping for a Cotto victory so he can attempt to pull off a third fight between the two in the future.

Also featured tonight is the bantamweight championship rematch between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko. This fight will take place on Showtime, and while I think this is a great fight and have anticipated this rematch for awhile, I think the timing is bad and Showtime did a poor job promoting this fight.

The first fight between the two was controversial and a great fight overall in itself. I think both fighters deserve the distinction of having the boxing public’s attention and should have all eyes on them during their bout. That won’t be the case with Cotto vs. Margarito airing on HBO at the same time but be as it may, this is going to be a great fight.

The first fight between the two was action packed, and expect much of the same in the rematch. Both fighters hurt each other, with Mares stunning Agbeko in the opening round, and with Agbeko retuning the favor in round four.

Unfortunately, Agbeko was the victim of many low blows that weren’t called by the referee and that may have played a factor in the majority decision that favored Mares.

I do think Mares will attempt to apply a more defensive game plan, and fight a more strategic fight imploring his counter punching abilities.

On the under card of the Mares-Agbeko card is a bout featuring Vic Darchinyan and Anselmo Moreno. Moreno has the style to beat Darchinyan and is very quick, but the question is whether he is ready to step up against great opposition. Darchinyan charges forward and has the power to out opponents out. He is also experienced and very cagey. An interesting fight to say the least.

Back on HBO, on the under card of the Cotto-Margarito head line, features two rising stars in Brandon Rios and Mike Jones.

Mike Jones a skilled, undefeated, powerful punching welterweight goes up against former Margarito opponent, Sebastian Lujan in an IBF title eliminator. I expect Jones to overwhelm Lujan, who after this fight may have to settle for being the division’s gatekeeper.

Brandon Rios, childhood rival to Victor Ortiz, goes up against Manchester’s John Murray in a lightweight championship bout. It was to be for a lightweight tile but Rios failed to make weight and was stripped of the title. Both fighters are young, experienced and talented. Look for Rios to pull out a tough victory in a highly competitive fight, but his body punching will lead him to victory in the end.

From the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, to Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, coast to coast this is a great weekend for boxing.

Whether if you’re a diehard or a casual fan, you’re in for a treat.

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Perhaps by the definition of his job, the title of promoter, Bob Arum is arguably the best to ever do it.

Arum generally promotes his fighters as unbeatable menaces inside the ring, whom every other fighter (not under his Top Rank stable of fighters of course) is afraid of.

He builds guys up, deceives the common fan into mistakenly believing his fighters are the best of the best.

Arum has the tendency to match his star fighters up against tomato cans for the most part and eventually, at some point he matches his star fighters against each other and pockets a ton of cash at the end of the day.

I understand facing soft opposition every once in awhile is a part of the game, it happens all the time. It appears in recent years Top Rank fighters seem to do more often than not, and when they reach the highest level of their profession, generally continue to do so.

To his credit, Arum has promoted some great fighters in his career. Fighters such as Marvin Hagler, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Nonito Donaire just to name a few.

But in recent years, he has been fraudulent in how he has handled business and is one of the main contributors to the demise of boxing. Simply put, he is a poison, and does not care about the future of the sport.

Taking guys that are good fighters and deceiving the public into thinking they are actually great fighters. Fighters such as Antonio Margarito, Kelly Pavlik, Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao just to name a few.

For example.

Arum created some kind of mantra, and actually fooled the public into believing Margarito is the most feared and avoided man in boxing. Please.

Aside from being a full fledged cheater, Margarito was an overrated pressure fighter, who had an exceptional chin and great endurance, but lacked any kind of defense, footwork, or noticeable artistic skill whatsoever. His attribute of power is completely in question in light of his whole “loaded gloves” scandal.

Arum even had the nerve of matching Margarito against his most prized fighter at the time Miguel Cotto, knowing that Margarito was playing dirty.

The result of the match up would produce a great fight, with Cotto suffering his first loss as a professional, and irreversible damage done to him mentally and physically as a result of the relentless pressure from a brick fisted Margarito.

To continue on with Cotto, another disservice to him was matching him up against Pacquiao a year after the Margarito debacle. Especially considering the circumstances behind their fight.

Requiring Cotto to meet Pacquiao at a catch weight to defend his own title is criminal. And because Cotto did not comply with the original orders from general Arum, Cotto was stripped of his WBO welterweight belt and told that even if he were to defeat Pacquiao he would not even win his championship belt back. It would then be vacant.

Also matching Cotto in the fight against Pacquiao and knowing he wasn’t the same fighter is a shame and shows how little Arum thinks of Cotto in my opinion. Any person that follows the sport could tell Cotto wasn’t the same fighter since his encounter with Margarito. His struggles against Joshua Clottey and other opposition since indicates such.

Another thing Arum does with many of his fighters is cater to certain markets or ethnic fan bases, and match particular fighters up against soft opposition, marketing those fighters as great because of the fandom dedication and support. Take Kelly Pavlik and Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. for example.

Pavlik is a fighter who appeals to middle America for a number of reasons. He has an action first appeasing style and he is white. Because of his look, he may appeal to a particular crowd that may also like mixed martial arts and Arum’s goal may have been trying to lure them in with Pavlik. I think Arum tried to hype him up as a “white hope” and did manage to make some money off of it.

Through his career, Pavlik has been matched against inferior opposition and faced about three good or great fighters. Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins and Sergio Martinez.

Entering the Martinez fight, they probably thought Martinez was too small, and in regards to Hopkins based of his performance against Joe Calzaghe, they probably thought he was on his last legs and ready to get wilt and wither away.

Chavez Jr. has pretty much faced nothing but scrubs his entire career. He has been on the receiving end of beneficial scoring and gift decisions. He had life and death bouts against Sebastian Zbik, Matt Vanda, Carlos Molina and Troy Rowland, (who?).

This guy is a WBC middleweight champion and he is fighting guys like Peter Manfredo? Manfredo hasn’t been relevant since the now defunct reality show “Contender” and is hardly a contender nowadays.

But because of the legendary Chavez name, and brilliant promotion and matchmaking, he seems to get a pass.

Look at Manny Pacquiao. A talented fighter in his own right, but he is hyped up as the greatest thing since sliced bread. He’s not even the best fighter in his division.

He has a nice guy personality and an exciting fighting style. Add in biased commentary from huge media networks like HBO and ESPN, and washed up opposition and you have a superstar.

Recently matching Pacquiao against the likes of Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, David Diaz, Miguel Cotto, etc. and looking at the circumstances behind each fight, it’s just terrible.

Even with the Marquez fights, for the second and third fight especially, Arum was banking on Marquez being on the downside and not the same fighter he once was. Especially with Marquez being 38 years old and moving up two weight divisions.

It kind of back fired with Marquez in their most recent bout, because in the eyes of many once again, he looked to have defeated Pacquiao on points. I know Arum didn’t foresee Pacquiao getting schooled by Marquez, otherwise he probably wouldn‘t of made this fight to begin with.

But because of the controversy behind the fight, Arum is trying to make a fourth fight between the two, instead of a fight with Pacquiao facing Mayweather.

Arum plays off the loyalty of the Filipino fan base, among other fan bases, and has the general public fooled.

This guy is a bonafide liar. He has even admitted his deceit in failed negotiations for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Bob Arum Mr. “Yesterday I was lying, today I am telling the truth.”

Ask federal judge Daniel Weinstein about Arum’s deceit. The man has a history of bribery charges stemming back from 1995.

The truth is, he never wanted to make the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. He doesn’t want to make the fight because he knows what is going to happen, and I have been telling people this for years. Arum knows like any other person that has clear understanding of boxing that Mayweather will probably beat Pacquiao, and rather easily.

Mayweather like Marquez is a counter puncher, and the best defensive fighter of his era. He is technically skilled, is just as fast as Pacquiao and has a five inch reach advantage. And he is bigger and stronger than a 38 year old Marquez, who recently gave Pacquiao fits.

You can do the math.

But instead Arum and his buddies at ESPN want to say Pacquiao agreed to every demand, (which they didn’t), and Mayweather is afraid of Pacquiao’s new and improved right hand, (something they have been claiming for years). I’d ask Marquez is Pacquiao’s right hand has improved but he was rarely touched by it.

Based on what we know about Arum, I don’t know whether to criticize him or actually give him props for duping the common fan.

At the end of the day, he is just trying to make money and has no interest in putting out the best fight for the fans and has no intentions of helping the sport of boxing as a whole.

He has a history of screwing fighters over. He makes a ton of money and takes a ton of money from Pacquiao. He did the same with De La Hoya and Mayweather, but they wised up and left.

He is a greedy old man, who will continue to use fans like puppets, in order to make his fair share of money while screwing over boxers and the fans in the process.