In an amazingly dominant performance, Manny Pacquiao claimed his unprecedented eighth title in a new weight class, pounding out a unanimous decision victory over Antonio Margarito at Cowboys Stadium.
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO) won every round on one scorecard, taking that one 120-108, and won the other two by scores of 118-110 and 119-109. Bad Left Hook and SBNation.com scored it 119-109 for Pacquiao.
Over the course of the bout, Pacquiao closed the right eye of Margarito (38-7, 26 KO) with his speed and amazing power. No fighter in the history of boxing, arguably, has carried power, speed, and outright dominance up in weight as far as Pacquiao has over his incredible, Hall of Fame-bound career. In this fight, Margarito had a 17-pound weight advantage by the unofficial HBO scales (calculated after the fighters re-hydrated overnight), five inches of height, and six inches of reach.
All things being fair, Margarito gave a stirringly gutsy performance against superior speed and technique. When one considers that Margarito has not faced a top-level opponent in 22 months, you can’t question the heart of the Mexican fighter, whether or not you consider him not just a villain of boxing, but the villain of the entire sport. There is a good chance that the once-disgraced Margarito gained some new respect tonight in his losing effort; he was incredibly brave, never backed down from Manny, and just kept looking to land the big shots he felt could turn the tide.
But in the end, Antonio Margarito, like Miguel Cotto, Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Joshua Clottey, and many others, was simply not quite good enough to beat Manny Pacquiao. As the rounds added up in the action-packed fight, the awe over Manny Pacquiao grew. To be quite honest, you can forget Floyd Mayweather Jr. for now. The story in boxing is Manny Pacquiao, who won’t duck anyone, takes huge challenges, and then dominates fighters he probably just shouldn’t. Antonio Margarito gave his best effort, and it wasn’t close. Pacquiao’s status as the active global icon of boxing is well-earned. He proved it once more tonight at Cowboys Stadium.