There are all kinds of locker-room drama and head games being played by both Team Pacquiao and Team Margarito heading into the main event.
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Robert Garcia, Margarito’s trainer, claimed an unchecked piece of tape was used in Manny’s handwraps. A Team Pacquiao member says he saw Margarito take Hydroxycut, which contains ephedra, a banned substance in boxing. Nothing really comes from all the griping as the commission calls it merely head games. The fight will go on, no worries.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
Referee: Laurence Cole
Antonio Margarito enters the ring to mariachi music.
Manny Pacquiao comes out to a “Thunderstruck” intro by AC/DC and then moves on to “The Best Around” by Joe Esposito.
They meet in the center of the ring. Margarito has a 17-pound weight advantage after rehydrating. Margarito is working the jab. Pacquiao is trying to duck the jab and get into the body. Pacquiao lands some good shots through the guard. Margarito lands consecutive jabs while Manny comes over the top with a left hook to the head. Margarito sticks the jab some more. Pacquiao is much quicker.
Margarito is hunching over and fighting to Manny’s height. Margarito is starting to open up more but it only allows for a quicker flurry from PacMan. The crowd is eating this up. Pacquiao is getting hit by some Margarito hooks in the corner. Margarito goes back into his shell and works the jab again. Pacquiao ends with a good flurry.
Margarito guards and Pacquiao treats him like a heavy bag. The thuds can be heard throughout Cowboys Stadium. Margarito stands in the center while Pacquiao circles. A big left gets through by Manny and follows up with a big combo that forces a smile from Margarito. Pacquiao is simply outworking Margarito this round. He’s too fast for Margarito right now.
Pacquiao is firing his left straight through the gloves of Margarito. Pacquiao is landing head shots at will. Pacquiao is in the zone right now. He can’t miss. Margarito’s face is starting to redden and he has a mouse under his right eye. Pacquiao pours it on and Margarito is on wobbly legs for a second. Margarito backs up and Pacquiao unloads more. The swelling under the eye of Margarito is huge. Vision will be a problem.
Margarito has abandoned the jab and goes at Pacquiao. Pacquiao is against the ropes and eats some good shots from Margarito, including an uppercut. Pacquiao claps his gloves together and responds with an intense flurry of his own. Margarito goes in again and is trying to engage in a brawl. Pacquiao is getting in and out, although the reach of Margarito still allows him to get a shot in. Pacquiao is in a groove and dominating the fight.
Margarito chases and Manny is picking him off. Margarito is now lumbering in and Manny is too accurate for Margarito to avoid. Pacquiao is giving Margarito no rest period. When Margarito pauses to regroup, Manny plants three shots to the head. Great finish to the round when Margarito rips off two clean body punches. Pacquiao retreats to the corner and Margarito starts off a thrilling exchange. Pacquiao looked to be in trouble for a second but he made it out.
Margarito is slow. Manny is dancing around him, hitting from all angles. Margarito’s entire left side of his face is red. Pacquiao is throwing 6 or 7 punches to every 1 or 2 Margarito throws. Pacquiao is all over the ring and all over Margarito. He looks fresh while Margarito looks like raw hamburger meat.
Manny avoids danger from Margarito by his crafty footwork. Manny takes a lot of punishment, especially to the body, and Margarito creats a nervous moment for Pacquiao fans. That is, until Manny turns it around and unloads on Margarito. Manny returns every Margarito rally with a more impressive one of his own. Margarito had a good round but Manny is on his game tonight. A lot of great exchanges in this round.
Pacquiao 10-9 (79-73 Pacquiao)
Margarito is still stalking, Manny is still landing at will. Manny snaps Margarito’s head back with a quick, straight right. Margarito is fighting like the Margarito of old and Pacquiao is making this into an awesome fight, despite the one-sided nature of it. Manny is countering off of counters and it’s beautiful to watch.
Pacquiao 10-9 (89-82 Pacquiao)
The swelling is getting so bad, that referee Laurence Cole holds his fingers up in front of Margarito’s face to find out if he can see them. He passes the test and the fight resumes. Margarito is slowing down. His punches are getting softer. Pacquiao seems content to put his back on the ropes, knowing he can move around the ring wherever and whenever he wants. Margarito is frozen with a right but holds on to survive the round. He is taking a beating.
Pacquiao 10-9 (99-91 Pacquiao)
Margarito is standing in the center of the ring and getting peppered. Cole checks his vision once more. Fight continues. Margarito is as valiant as they come. He has nothing left. Pacquiao is bludgeoning him and looking to the ref, wondering what more he has to do to get this fight stopped.
Pacquiao 10-9 (109-100 Pacquiao)
Margarito wants to continue fighting. Pacquiao is carrying Margarito now. He’s staying busy but not going in for the kill. Margarito paws with the jab. Margarito is landing at will. Margarito is going for the moral victory of making it the distance. And he’s going to get it as Manny lets off the gas.
Inside Fights score: 119-109
Official scores: 120-108, 118-110, 119-109 for Pacquiao, winner by unanimous decision