At 9 p.m. (ET) the talk ends, and the opening bell sounds. Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao’s long-awaited fight begins. Here are the seven storylines you’ll want to follow before laying down the $55 to see it on HBO PPV.
- Margarito’s redemption: Margarito’s hand-wrapping incident has been well-documented. He’s said he’s grateful for the opportunity to fight on such a large stage – let’s see if he can make the most of it.
- Pacquiao’s record: Manny Pacquiao has captured the title belt in more weight divisions – seven – than any other boxer in history. Tonight he attempts to achieve his eighth.
- Pacquiaos’ distractions: To reach that eighth division belt, the Pac-man must put aside some distractions stemming from his burgeoning political career. This year he was reelected to the Filipino congress, and has made rounds on the U.S. political scene. He even took some credit for Harry Reid’s re-election two weeks ago.
- The weight difference: Pacquiao started his career as a 112-pounder, and is most comfortable in the 135-140 lb. range. On the other hand, Margarito is accustomed to the 150-pound limit set for this fight, but had to cut weight quickly to get there. So while Pacquiao struggled just to get to 145, many feel Margarito looked famished at yesterday’s weigh-in. By the time he rehydrates prior to the fight, Margarito could outweigh Pacquiao by more than 15 pounds.
- The reach difference: The 5-foot-11 Margarito has about 5 inches of height, and nearly seven inches of reach on his smaller opponent. Combine that height advantage with the weight disparity, and Pacquiao could have some trouble hurting his opponent.
- Speed vs. volume: Margarito is a high-volume puncher while the champ is known for his lightning quick foot and fist speed. If he uses his speed to avoid Margarito’s flurry of punches, and gets inside to negate the reach difference, it’ll be an easy fight for the Pac-man.
- PPV purchases: Boxing fans will take great interest in the number of Pay-Per-View purchases the fight garners. As we’ve noted previously, a good PPV showing could be the key to unlocking a highly-anticipated Pacquiao-Mayweather bout.
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