2010 FGB Awards – Boxing

2010 was yet another year in which we didn’t get Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. It was another year in which there were very few blockbuster fights, but we did get to see a lot of good boxing thanks to Showtime and HBO.

Thanks to guys like Sergio Martinez, Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao, Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez, Juan Manuel Lopez, and Bernard Hopkins, it was an entertaining year.

Joining me on the awards are Duan from this site and Jake Emen from Pro-Boxing Fans. You can see the Pro-Boxing Fans awards on their site.

Boxer Of The Year

Duan – Sergio Martinez

The undisputed middleweight champion, Sergio battered Pavlik over 12 rounds to take the belt, and then reversed the loss that should have been (a win), devestating Paul Williams in 2. This is a guy who has taken no short cuts. He’s gone on the road and taken all comers. I’m absolutely delighted that he is finally got what he deserves. A class act and one of the sports true good guys.

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FGB Radio – UFC 123 Preview And Pacquiao Vs. Margarito Recap

Jason (aka dadrrtywhyteboi on Twitter) and I preview UFC 123 which features Lyoto Machida against Rampage Jackson as the main event, even though Matt Hughes vs. BJ Penn III might be the bigger fight.

We also discuss:

– Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito
– Why boxing fans need to watch Sergio Martinez this weekend
– The plight of MFC fighter Jesse Juarez
– Whether Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir is the next fight for both
– WEC/UFC merger and some of the negatives around it
– UFC 122 and how the merger should help bland events

Right click to download or stream below.

Antonio Margarito Vs. Manny Pacquiao Play By Play

There’s already been so much drama in the back for this fight and it hasn’t even started yet. Team Margarito isn’t happy with Pacquiao’s hand wrap, ironically so and Team Pacquiao wants Margarito to take a drug test because they thought he took hydroxy-cut. All we saw was something that looked like spenda, but if Margarito is going to load his wraps, you probably want to know what he’s putting his his drink too. Supposedly, Margarito was drinking coffee too, which is odd because caffeine will dehydrate.

I’m not sure that I’m surprised about any of this. The Texas Athletic Commission refused to test Margarito before the fight and said they’ll do full analysis after the fight per Kevin Iole’s article. When Strikeforce was in Texas a few months ago, the Texas commission didn’t even drug test at all.

As Dusty Rhodes said one time, “If you play with dogs, they’ll b-b-b-b-b-b-bite-chya”. Team Pacquiao/Arum had to hold this fight in Texas because it was the one commission that would allow Margarito to get his boxing license back. The fact that they don’t do any pre-fight drug testing is eye opening, but I’m not sure what you can expect based on their history.

Nelly is now rapping live in front of a boxing audience. At least get LL Cool J to perform Mama Said Knock You Out if you want a rapper performing old songs. He also just did Just A Dream.

Antonio Margarito vs. Manny Pacquiao

R1
The way Margarito stands it doesn’t seem like such a big height difference. Manny is standing right in front of him. He’s not moving in and out as much as I thought he would. Margarito is using his jab very well. Manny landed a nice straight left that’s the best shot of the round so far. He also landed a straight right. Margarito’s reflexes seem a bit slow.

R2
Margarito is winning this round whenever he stays offensive. Once he stops punching, Pacquiao lands several shots. Manny is having more issues with Margarito’s strength and size here. He’s going to have to move more in and out and not allow Margarito to throw inside shots. It’s odd that he’s staying right in there. Margarito’s round.

R3
Pacquiao’s doing a better job of landing first, but Margarito seems content with allowing him to land and be comfortable inside so that he can bully him. Margarito’s going to get hit a lot, and he’s betting that Pacquiao isn’t strong enough to put him out. He has to take some to give some. Much stronger round for Manny.

R4
When Margarito gets inside, he needs to be more accurate because if not, Pacquiao tags him several times. Manny has already given him a big bruise that has turned into a cut underneath his right eye. Excellent round for Pacquiao. He was amazingly accurate and Margarito took a beating.
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24/7 Pacquiao/Margarito – Episode 4

Another fighter training under Robert Garcia, Brandon Rios was added to the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Margarito and he was on the flight from Oxnard to Dallas. He saw a magazine with Pacquiao on the cover and called his picture the Spanish word for “bitch” and said Margarito was going to knock him out. Seeing the same magazine, Margarito tears the head photo of Pacquiao off the cover.

After getting to Dallas, Margarito wanted a sweat and ran on the treadmill. After he was done, he took off his shirt and said that there wasn’t any steroids in his body and that he was all natural.

Freddie Roach doesn’t think Margarito will touch Pacquiao.

While Margarito flew first class, Pacquiao had his own chartered 747 from So. Cal to Dallas.

They show Bob Arum talking about his son who passed away while hiking after falling from the peak of a mountain. He said that Manny dedicated this fight to John, his son. He says that the fight has helped take his mind off the loss of his son.

Manny says he won’t be fighting for long because he has a new job and he wants to serve people. Roach says that this fight could be it unless Mayweather comes to the table and he doesn’t think he will.

They show Garcia’s apology for the leaked video of Margarito and Rios making fun of Roach’s Parkinsons, which made its rounds yesterday.

They both looked great in their weigh-in photos as well. Both look to be in tremendous shape.

Thoughts

This was the weakest of the episodes as the last one usually is. I thought they should’ve gone a bit deeper into Margarito and Rios making fun of Roach, but I’m guessing they didn’t have a lot of time. Want to make Margarito an even bigger heel, show the video and talk about.

Predictions – Antonio Margarito Vs. Manny Pacquiao

Antonio Margarito should thank Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, and most importantly, Bob Arum for giving him the chance to make money again. If Margarito would’ve never fought again after getting caught with illegal hand wraps, I’m not sure many people would’ve cared. Even though he’s in one of the biggest fights of the year, he isn’t relevant. It’s all because of Manny.

Manny Pacquiao is the biggest boxing star since Oscar De La Hoya. As much as I think Floyd Mayweather is the guy who could be Pacquiao’s krytonite, he’s not at Manny’s level of stardom right now. Floyd may be a great draw on PPV, but there’s no way he’d be able to draw 70,000 people to Cowboys Stadium, unless he was fighting Pacquiao.

But as Pacquiao’s star shines brighter than ever, there’s a darkness to this fight. Most big boxing fans don’t really want to see the fight because they don’t think Margarito should even sniff a chance that very few boxers ever get. Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach may say in interviews that they think Margarito deserves another chance, but the main reason they made the fight is because it was the best money fight they could make at the time. They don’t really care about Margarito’s career.

The only reason people are interested in this fight is because they don’t want to miss Manny. When you have a boxer like this at the top of his game, you want to see it all because you know that one day he won’t be fighting anymore. One of my favorite sports writers, Tim Kawakami who once wrote a biography on Oscar De La Hoya, didn’t even want to make a prediction for this fight. He’s simply not interested in the fight because he doesn’t think Margarito deserves any of what he’s been given.

But I was still able to get predictions from writers around the boxing world and blogosphere.

Here is the panel:

Kevin Iole – Kevin writes for Yahoo! Sports and is one of the few writers who writes as equally well about boxing as he does about MMA. Read him by clicking his Yahoo! Sports profile. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @KevinI as well.
Tim Starks – Tim writes my favorite boxing blog on the earth, The Queensberry Rules and has already written a ton about this fight. Go read it all.
Jake Emen – Jake is the managing editor at Pro Boxing Fans and you can follow his great group of writers on Facebook as well.
Robert Lashley – Robert (aka Brotherman) is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
Duan Greally – Duan is a writer for Fight Game Blog.
GG – That would be me, editor of Fight Game Blog.


Kevin Iole – Pacquiao by decision

His speed and quickness are far too much for Margarito. If Pacquiao avoids the corners and laying on the ropes, I think it’s an easy fight for him. He’ll be able to cut Margarito up and probably close his eyes.

But if he goes to the ropes to see what Margarito has like he did against Cotto, it’s a mistake. Margarito has a great chin and is going to be there and just keep coming. If he has a spot where he’s able to pin Pacquiao down, it’s to his advantage.

I see Pacquiao by a wide decision or perhaps even a late stoppage if Margarito can’t see.

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24/7 Pacquiao/Margarito – Episode 3

Pacquiao looks a lot better in his marathon sparring session.

One of his sparring partners sparred with Antonio Margarito and he broke his orbital bone and it nearly ended his boxing career. He thinks it may be because of Margarito’s hand wraps.

Margarito says that he doesn’t cheat. And he’s answered that question the same over the last two years. In a great heel line, he says Pacquiao may think he’s hitting him with plaster, but it’s just going to be his hands.

Margarito doesn’t care about circling away from the power hand. He just cuts the ring off and brings pressure. He’s sparring with all lefties and doing so with a jacket on. I’m guessing it’s to help him cut weight.

Robert Garcia keeps his gym open late so that the kids can come in and stay off the streets.

Manny says he’s not going to gain more weight because he feels sluggish heavy. His conditioning coach says he trained for Clottey at 153 pounds and Pacquiao is only going to weigh-in at 147-148. Margarito could be upwards of 20 pounds heavier than him on fight night.

Roach says he at first thought it was going to be a close fight. But not anymore. He thinks it’s going to be an easy fight. Garcia says he’s never done predictions with his fighter, but he has no doubt that Margarito is going to stop Pacquiao in the late rounds.

Margarito doesn’t think Pacquiao’s going to be able to hit hard enough. Roach says they’re going to knock out Margarito.

Thoughts:

I think it was the worst episode thus far, but it was still good. Because of how confident Roach and Pacquiao were, I wonder if the training issues were just a smoke screen because there wasn’t much conflict.

Margarito was more subtle in his heel mannerisms and I think it’s the right move. However, based on what I heard about what he did recently, he may have gone overboard.