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Pacquiao-Margarito: Conditioning could be a problem for Pacquiao

By Jason Kim: Manny Pacquiao is going to be taking on bigger fighter in Antonio Margarito on November 13th at a 150 pound catch weight for the vacant World Boxing Council junior middleweight title. Thus far, Pacquiao has fought at welterweight previously but not against a big welterweight like Margarito. Pacquiao has taken on Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey, none of which are really big welterweights. It’s hard to count the Clottey fight because the guy wasn’t throwing any punches and just looked like was playing the part of a sparring partner.

De La Hoya was badly weight drained from a training camp of eating low fat deer meet to drain down to 147. Pacquiao is moving up in weight three pounds but he’s facing a guy that likes to throw a massive amount of punches every round. Indeed, Margarito often averages 100 punches thrown per round. That’s a lot of punches, especially from a guy that has a lot of power and is bigger than Pacquiao.

Right now, Pacquiao has been focusing on sparring during his training camp and hasn’t even started on the actual conditioning part of it yet. According to inquirer.net, Pacquiao is going to start focusing on his conditioning shortly. However, he doesn’t have a lot of time to do that because the fight is next month.

Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, says “Maybe Manny’s starting to realize that his body is not going to be able to endure a 155-pound guy throwing hammers at him. When he (Margarito) starts jumping on you and grabbing you and being physical with you, he (Pacquiao) will realize he’s heavy, he’s strong and can wear you down. He’ll lean on you, put that shoulder into you, so you’ve got to be in tip-top shape for this.”

Ariza is right. Margarito will be putting an enormous amount of pressure on Pacquiao, and forcing him to fight a lot harder than he did against Clottey, De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. The reason is Margarito has better conditioning than any of those guys and is known for wearing out his opponents with the grueling pace of his fights. In addition, Margarito is a bigger fighter than Pacquiao and will be hitting him harder and more often than Pacquiao has become accustomed to getting hit in his other fights. That could be a problem for Pacquiao if he’s unable to take the high pace and the heavy shots from Margarito.


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