When sports become predictable they also get boring. So while predictions on the Manny Pacquiao vs Antonio Margarito fight for the WBC Super Welterweight crown tonight at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas are coming in fast and furious, I’ll be the first to admit that while I’ve covered boxing for years, I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen.
And that’s exactly the reason I’ll be watching it.
By nature, sports are unpredictable, and that’s why millions of people around the world play and watch them. They add a sense of adventure, excitement, and romance to what could otherwise be pretty routine lives. Nobody knows what’s going to happen next and if they do, they should all be rich men by now after having cleaned up by betting on winners.
We all know what we’d like to see happen, and have theories and questions, but the outcome of a sporting event is up in the air until the final, bell, whistle or buzzer. This is why sporting events such as the American men’s hockey team beating Russia in the 1980 Olympics, Leon Spinks beating Muhammad Ali in his eighth pro fight and Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson have become such unforgettable moments in sports and history.
I’d love to see Pacquiao knock out Margarito, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. In fact, he might not even beat him, let alone stop him. But there’s always that chance and hope that our favorite fighters can turn things around no matter how badly they may be performing. And that’s what makes boxing such a special and unique sport. If you’re getting hammered in any other sport such as baseball, basketball, football, and hockey, you need to mount a comeback piece by piece.
When you’re down on the scoreboard 10-0, you need to achieve the almost-impossible by making it 10-1, then 10-2, 10-3, and so on. But that’s not the case with boxing, you may have been beaten around the ring for 11 rounds two minutes and 50 seconds and then suddenly land that one-in-a-lifetime haymaker that knocks your opponent cold. I can’t think of any other sport that can end in such a dramatic fashion in just a matter of seconds.
So whoever you’re cheering for in the Pacquiao vs Margarito fight, never lose hope until the final bell, your man’s on the deck while the referee reaches a count of 10, or the ref has draped his arms around him while waving the fight off. There’s always a chance in boxing even for those who have no chance.