While Manny Pacquiao appears to be the overwhelming favorite for his November 13 bout with Antonio Margarito, an upset is not as unlikely as Pacquiao’s fans would hope it would be.
Last March, when the Filipino superstar squared off against Joshua Clottey, he showed he no longer has the same evasive abilities he had earlier in his career. At certain points of the bout, Pacquiao appeared completely stuck to the mat as he stood there and simply took the shots that Clottey was sending his way. If he applies that same philosophy tonight, Pacquiao is in for a rude awakening.
Given Margarito’s clear-cut size advantage, a few shots from the Mexican-American fighter have the potential to do serious damage to Pacquiao. With Pacquiao’s increasing aversion to taking powerful punches and, really, no proven ability to take body hits well either, he could be in trouble if he doesn’t prance around the ring and evade his opponent like he’s done all of his career.
Considering videos of Pacquiao’s training sessions show him to be a tad bit flat-footed and slower than he used to be, it will be interesting to see what he does when Margarito starts heaving those strong punches. In fact, in some of the latest footage Pacquiao is looking noticeably bigger and slower – something that could prove to be his downfall on Saturday night.
Keep in mind, Pacquiao’s workout partners have not possessed even half of the skill level of Margarito, and yet Pacquiao’s own representatives have noticed that the Filipino boxer has gotten worked on numerous occasions. If Pacquiao had problems with the likes of the flunkies tossed in the ring against him for practice sessions, it will be interesting to see what Margarito has in store for him.