Pacquiao’s on top of the boxing world
ARLINGTON, Texas — Manny Pacquiao was more concerned with the set list for his upcoming concert than he was with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The fight every boxing fan wants to see may never happen, but Pacquiao had a firm date to sing at Lake Tahoe before heading home and taking up his more formal duties as a congressman in the Philippines.
All was well early yesterday after Pacquiao cemented his claim as boxing’s best by giving Antonio Margarito such a brutal beating that he went to the hospital. About the only problem was that Pacquiao couldn’t sign autographs for adoring fans because he had trouble holding a pen.
Margarito remained in the hospital yesterday and promoter Bob Arum said the boxer has a broken right eye socket and will have surgery tomorrow in Texas.
Small wonder, considering Pacquiao had just spent 12 rounds bouncing those hands off of Margarito’s head. He hit Margarito from almost every angle and with stunning accuracy, closing both his eyes and bloodying his face while dominating every round of their 150-pound showdown.
It was a virtuoso performance by Pacquiao, though not terribly surprising since boxing fans have come to expect that from the little superstar. Size never mattered on a night when speed ruled and the crowd of 41,734 at Cowboys Stadium roared at every combination.
Pacquiao’s mother got so caught up in the excitement that she briefly fainted as the fight ended. Most everyone else stayed upright, watching in delight as Pacquiao finished off a night’s work by kneeling down in a neutral corner and saying a prayer of thanks.
The lopsided win gave Pacquiao his eighth title in as many weight classes in a remarkable career that began with him fighting at 107 pounds as a teenager in the Philippines. He dominated the entire way, battering Margarito so badly that Pacquiao pleaded with the referee to stop the fight in the 11th round.
“I told the referee, ‘Look at his eyes, look at his cuts,’ ’’ Pacquiao said. “I did not want to damage him permanently. That’s not what boxing is about.’’
No sooner had the judges handed in their tallies, though, than Pacquiao was answering questions about the one fighter he has yet to beat. Mayweather may be the only credible opponent left for Pacquiao, though promoter Bob Arum talked after the fight about a possible bout with Shane Mosley or a third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
“I don’t want to talk about Floyd Mayweather,’’ Pacquiao said. “If there’s a decision, I’ll take it to Bob Arum.’’
If Mayweather spent $65 to watch the pay-per-view he may be even more reluctant to fight Pacquiao than before. He also has legal problems stemming from an altercation with the mother of his children that could interfere with a possible fight in the spring, but Arum believes that if Mayweather wants to fight, then the bout could be made.