Pacquiao batters bigger Margarito for 8th title
     November 14, 2010 1:45pm
Antonio Margarito was one opponent that others would have loved to hate. He was caught loading his hand wraps in 2009 and lost his license to box in California. In the days leading up to his title bout with Manny Pacquiao, Margarito's camp even made a video making fun of trainer Freddie Roach's Parkinson's Disease.

Yet in the end, Pacquiao stayed true to character and took mercy on a bloodied opponent by pulling his hardest punches in the final minutes. His legion of fans wanted a knockout. Pacquiao settled for a unanimous decision.

The world's top pound-for-pound fighter had already won seven world titles in seven weight divisions to achieve boxing immortality.

And on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Pacquiao annexed his eighth world title by battering Margarito to claim the World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight championship in the packed Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The fight went the distance, a full 12 rounds, but Pacquiao was in control from the opening bell until his last punches to Margarito's swollen, bloodied face.

Filipinos gathered around the world to root for a knockout against Pacquiao's biggest opponent ever — with the drama heightened by pre-fight suspicions of loaded hand-wrapping and Pacquiao trainer Roach's demand for a drug test for the Mexican.

Pacquiao staggered Margarito early, notably in the third and fourth rounds when a welt started growing below the Mexican's right eye. It would eventually open into a bleeding cut.

But Pacquiao couldn't bring down his slower, bearish opponent, who possessed advantages in weight, height, and reach.

Margarito seemed to trap Pacquiao several times in the ropes or in a corner, but the Filipino would counter with a flurry of punches and dance away as if it was all part of the strategy.

Facing a brave but pitiful opponent in the last rounds, Pacquiao coasted to victory without going for a final-round knockout. Afterward, he even said that he had hoped the referee would stop the fight in the 11th round.

At one point in that round, Pacquiao looked at referee Laurence Cole, as if waiting for him to stop the fight.

"Yeah, I took it easy," Pacquiao said after the fight, before plugging his scheduled concert the next day in Lake Tahoe.

All three judges – Juergen Langos, Glen Rick Crocker, and Oren Shellenberger – saw the fight in Pacquiao’s favor: 120-108, 118-110 and 119-109, respectively.

Pacquiao dominated the fight based on the punch stats as he landed 474 power punches compared to Margarito's 229.

Based on the fight contract, Pacquiao is guaranteed $15 million while Margarito is assured of $3 million. Both fighters will also receive a percentage of the revenues based on the pay per view buys.

Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson was seen at Pacquiao’s corner along with Roach, assistant trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri, and strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Pacquiao and Margarito treated the crowd of 41,734 to non-stop explosive action right from the opening bell. A total of 50,994 fans saw Pacquiao beat a defensive-minded Joshua Clottey early this year. - OMG/HS/KY, GMANews.TV
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