Las Vegas has put Antonio Margarito at a 5-to-1 underdog for his fight against Manny Pacquaio Saturday night in Dallas. Other than Mexico, virtually the entire world wants Pacquaio to win. But there are a lot of reasons why a Margarito victory would be amazing and good for boxing.
For one thing, everyone loves a shocking upset. Is there anything better than watching the guy who everyone expects to easily win go down in flames? Considering Margarito’s clear-cut size advantage in this bout and rumors rumors from Pacquiao’s camp saying the Filipino is out of shape, maybe the Margarito can surprise us all.
If an upset story doesn’t tickle fans, how about a tale of redemption? Margarito was all but black-listed from the sport over a year ago when he was found with illegal substances in his gloves after his loss to Shane Mosley. Boxing fans hate one thing above all else, and that’s a cheater. It’s been a long, slow climb back for Margarito. If he were able to capture Pacquiao’s gold -- with legal gloves -- Margarito’s checkered past would become a distant memory.
Above all else, though, the best thing about a Margarito win would be the reaction of Pacquiao’s loyal followers. Forget the 70,000 people in Cowboys Stadium who would stand there with jaws hanging wide open at the sight of Pacquiao getting dropped. Imagine how beautiful it would be to finally silence the legions of Pacquiao supporters all over the Web.
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You know the ones.
The loyalists who swarm every Pacquiao fourm topic, news article and picture with non-stop commentary about how great he is.
The ones who go around calling Floyd Mayweather Jr. fans “Floydiots” and the fighter himself “Gayweather.”
The ones who will defend their hero to no end, regardless of the situation, with absolutely no regard for even the slightest bit of “political correctness.”
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Fans who will bow down to their star regardless of what racial, cultural or generally accepted decency lines they may cross.
Oh, how sweet it would be to see them unable to find the words to excuse their favorite fighter’s inability to beat a guy who supposedly wasn’t fit to wash his shorts.
Will the upset happen? Probably not.
Pacquiao is too good and, frankly, Margarito isn’t. It’ll probably take Mayweather himself to finally put an end to Pacquiao’s reign, and that won’t happen until 2011 at the earliest.
But oh, how wonderful an upset would be.