By Robert Elmore: On November 13th, Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito will duke it out for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight title. Many in the boxing public think this is a cake walk for Pacquiao while others say Margarito’s height, reach and size will be the difference. I have carefully watched fights to help me draw my analysis.
Pacquiao can win this fight if:
He gets inside land quickly and gets back out with taking severe punishment. Once inside, he Must land body shots. This will weaken Margarito and eventually bring his hands down enabling Pac to land punches upstairs. He also must be selective with his punches. He can not afford to just wing punches everywhere. He must make them count. Against Oscar De la Hoya, Pacquiao was very smart in picking his shots. He threw only 333 punches and landed 159; landing 59% overall.
In his fight against Miguel Cotto in 2009, Manny threw and landed a little bit more. He threw 560 and landed 276. In Pacquiao’s fight with Joshua Clottey in March, there was really no comparison. Pacquiao threw 1231 punches, but only landed 232. This was because Clottey didn’t fight back. The down size about these two fights is that Cotto had very little foot work and his defense was suspect (i.e. the Margarito fight suffering cuts and bleeding; It was the same result for the Pacquiao fight) De la Hoya fought a weight class he hadn’t fought in 9 years. Be that as it may, De La Hoya took the fight, knowing what it could cost him. Pacquiao also must develop some kind of jab to get him inside to do his thing. It doesn’t have to an a great jab either; just one to get him inside of Margarito’s reach.
The good news for Pacquiao is that Margarito’s defense is super suspect, as he often plows ahead, takes 3 to 4 punches to land one big one. So Pac will land punches. According to compu-box stats, Cotto was able to land 45 % of his power punches (179) against the taller Margarito. That’s very high.
Margarito can win if: He develops a jab to keep Pacquiao at bay and set up his other punches. Like I stated above, it doesn’t have to be a Larry Holmes type jab because of Margarito brawling style, but just one good enough to make Pacquiao think whenever he tries to bum rush him. He must also make Pacquiao pay for the punches he misses by counter punching him and going to the body. Erik Morales was able to control the fight with Pacquiao using his jab (couldn’t find punch stats for that fight) and counter punching and body shots. If Margarito chooses to go this route, He Must Stay Discipline! He can not go off track and returned to his old ways. He can’t stand in front of Pacquiao either and he must develop better defense. Yes, Margarito has the size, the reach, and the strength, but these meaning NOTHING, if he doesn’t know how to use them.
Intangibles: Pacquiao will establish a quick tempo and try to jump on his man early, hopefully to build up points, frustrate Margarito, and get him out his game plan in rounds 1-3. I’ve seen Pacquiao get a little winded in fights when he’s just winging punches. But I believe he will select his punches very well. The first round is crucial for Antonio. He must be head strong!!! Don’t fall into the Pacquiao trap; Use the jab and have some type of foot work rather than just plowing straight in. Had the fight between he Cotto gone the distance, Cotto would have won on points.
Prediction:Margarito eats too many punches. Unless we see something very unusual from him, he will be over whelmed by Pacquiao. Manny wins by TKO.
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