Another win, title for Manny

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: November 14, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — Manny Pacquiao has won another world title in another weight division.

More than 41,700 were in attendance to witness Pacquiao claim the vacant WBC junior middleweight championship with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Antonio Margarito.

The bout was the featured main event of a HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast from Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Saturday.

Pacquiao, at 5-foot-6, defeated a former world champion nearly six-foot tall and outweighed him by more than 12 pounds by the time they stepped into the ring. However, the size and weight didn’t matter, as Pacquiao proved why he was the better fighter.

Pacquiao was the faster fighter. He was the more accurate puncher. He also had the better footwork. Add that to explosive power-punching, great footwork, and a solid southpaw stance and you have a machine named Pacquiao. Although he did well, Pacquiao admitted fighting Margarito wasn’t easy.

“It’s hard,” Pacquiao said. “I really do my best to win the fight. He’s a strong, and very tough fighter. I can’t believe it, he’s a strong and tough fighter.”

Pacquiao’s dominance was reflected on the three official judges’ scorecards: 120-108, 119-109, and 118-110. It was a masterful performance by Pacquiao, who has TKO’d world champions Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and David Diaz during a celebratory career.

Margarito was perhaps the strongest fighter Pacquiao has ever faced.

“He’s really strong Pacquiao added. “I got hurt when I was trapped against the ropes. I’m so lucky tonight.”

Margarito, unlike Pacquiao’s last opponent Joshua Clottey, didn’t simply play the role of sitting duck. Margarito did attempt to move forward to pressure Pac-Man with a barrage of punches. But Pacquiao was simply too fast for Margarito.

He simply couldn’t handle Pacquiao’s hand speed and precision.

It didn’t help Margarito that Pacquiao was a southpaw. Pacquiao’s right jabs easily set-up his booming left hand. Pacquiao’s in-out footwork kept the much taller Mexican off-balanced throughout the contest. Margarito couldn’t establish a rhythm the way he did against Miguel Cotto and Kermit Cintron (twice).

The bout quickly deteriorated into a technical mismatch, as Pacquiao at one point pleaded with the referee Lawrence Cole to stop the fight. Margarito’s face was a swollen, lacerated mess.

He showed a lot of toughness, but at what price?

Pacquiao-Margarito Undercard

Two-time Olympic gold medalist, Guillermo Rigondeax (7-0, 5 KOs) became a world champion in only his seventh professional bout. The 30-year-old Cuban claimed the interim WBA super bantamweight title following a very close split-decision victory against the more experienced Ricardo Cordoba (37-3-2, 23 KOs).

The judges scored the bout 117-109, 114-112 (Rigondeax) and 114-112 for Cordoba, as both fighters tasted the canvas. Cordoba was floored in the fourth round off a body shot, but dropped Rigondeax in the fifth round.

Rigondeax overall was simply the more illusive boxer and the better fighter.

WBA No. 1-ranked, junior welterweight contender Brandon Rios (26-0, 19 KOs), fresh off his solidifying seventh-round disqualification victory over Lamont Peterson in September, overpowered Omri Lowther (14-3,10 KOs) at 2:17 of the fifth round.

Unbeaten welterweight, Mike Jones (23-0, 18 KOs) was awarded a close 10-round decision win over Jesus Soto-Karass (24-5-3, 16 KOs). The judges scored the bout 97-93, 95-94 for Jones and 94-94 (even).

It was a slugfest from the opening round that saw Karass apply lots of pressure on Jones. Karass was able to trap Jones against the ropes and unload with hooks and uppercuts. However, Jones busted cuts around Karass’ eyes.

Jones himself showed a lot of grit and metal toughness in a very competitive bout.

Haye TKOs Harrison

WBA heavyweight champion David Haye promised everyone that his title defense against 2000 Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison would be both a massacre and a public execution.

In the first world heavyweight championship fight between two British fighters since Lennox Lewis KO’d Frank Bruno in September 1993, Haye (25-1, 23 KOs) destroyed Harrison (27-5, 20 KOs) at 1:53 of the third round on Saturday at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England.

The 6-foot-2 Haye weighed 210 pounds.

That was 43 pounds lighter than the 6-foot-5 Harrison. The size and weight disparity didn’t matter because, the better fighter won. Haye, a former unified WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion, proved to be too fast, too explosive, and too powerful for Harrison.

It was as though Harrison didn’t have a prayer as soon as the bell wrung. Haye paced himself and measured his attack behind a pawing jab, but when he realized Harrison wasn’t much of a threat, he simply jumped on him.

Haye was all over Harrison in that third round. It was terrible to see someone as big and strong as Harrison beat so badly. Harrison stood motionless, as he allowed Haye to pummel him viciously. Haye managed to floor Harrison hard to the canvas, but did return to his feet only to get pummeled against the ropes some more.

The bout was Haye’s second successful defense of the WBA crown he won from 7-foot-3, 325-pound Nikolai Valuev (W 12) in November 2009. In his first defense, Haye humiliated former champion John Ruiz (TKO 9) before forcing him into retirement last April.

Perhaps Haye has ended the career of the once highly-touted Harrison, who suffered the third knockout defeat of his career. Harrison once had the hopes of British boxing on his shoulders after winning the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. But losses to Mike Tyson-conqueror, Danny Williams, Michael Sprott, and Dominick Guinn ruined Harrison.

Yes, he did avenge the KO defeats to Williams and Sprott by knocking them both out in rematches, but Harrison was already labeled an underachiever. Harrison disappointed so many promoters, managers, journalists, and fans through the years it’s not even funny. For every punch Haye landed, the crowd erupted — a testament as to how much Great Britain hated the underachieving Harrison.

With each win, Haye continues to build his profile, his skills, and resume as a heavyweight champion. Perhaps once day the world will finally witness the grudge match between Haye and unified IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.