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Archive for August, 2008

Antonio Margarito: The Welterweight Beast

Posted by beeshabo on August 19, 2008

After his 11th round TKO win over former champion Miguel Cotto, Margarito has risen himself up the rankings and into a position he’s been longing for his entire career, he is now a highly recognized World Class Boxing Champion. Margarito began his career like most Mexican fighters, lacking amateur experience and forcing himself into the professionals to make an honest living for himself and his family. But as a 15 year old professional, Margarito found himself fighting at a much higher level than he was ready for, he was just a boy fighting men, thrown into the lion’s and forced to learn on the job. Margarito’s fast start showed as he lost 3 of his first 12 bouts, but went on to 21 fight win streak before losing a technical decision in a 2004 rematch with Daniel Santos. To most, having a been brought up the “Hard” way in career can take a lot out of a fighter, they tend to battle instead of box, they lose something along the way, but that is not the case for Margarito who seems to have benefited from his tough upbringing.

Margarito has transformed himself into a strong hardened World Class Welterweight Champion, now a major player in a crowded (with talent) Welterweight Division, there are fighters out there like Paul Williams (who Margarito lost to), Sugar Shane Mosley, Joshua Clottey, Andre Berto, Luis Collazo, Miguel Cotto (Still a good fighter), Zab Judah (hit or miss), Kermit Cintron (who Margarito defeated twice), Ricardo Mayorga and Carlos Quintana.

The only fights I think are meaningful for Margarito at the moment will be a rematch with either Joshua Clottey or Paul Williams, in the Clottey fight, Margarito was clearly behind in the middle rounds, but Clottey broke his hand mid way through the fight, Clottey was no longer as effective as he was early on, and Margarito was able to rally back and come on strong and earned a close decision win. Then there was the Williams fight where Margarito was too tentative and didn’t get off to a quick start, Williams was able to put the early rounds in the bank and Margarito found himself playing catch-up, although Margarito came on strong towards the end, it was too little too late and he lost a decision. Still, with loss to Williams, and a semi-contreversial decision win over Clottey, Margarito came back with an impressive first round demolition of Golden Johnson and a one-sided massacre over hard hitting Kermit Cintron, these two wins solidified a match-up with Puerto Rican Star Miguel Cotto, the fight had been previously derailed due to the Williams loss, but was put right back on track and was set.

Before the fight, I thought Cotto’s superior boxing ability would be too much for Margarito to handle, well, I was wrong, but not entirely as Cotto was completely out boxing Margarito for the first 4 rounds or so, but then Margarito began to show the chin and strength that has defined his career, closing the gap and landing at will. Cotto’s mistake (IMO) was abandoning the jab and lacking his trademark body attack that had brought him so much success throughout his career, spending most of the bout fighting off the ropes and fighting off his back foot, Cotto was giving away power, Cotto’s plan to headhunt seemed to be misguided as nothing he landed ever bothered nor hurt the Tijuana Tornado, Margarito has one of, if not the best chin in the sport, he just kept coming and coming. Dealing with the constant pressure, Cotto still had his moments, counter punching and landing titanic shots to the chin of Margarito, but again, nothing slowed him down. By round 8, Cotto looked spent, breathing heavily and lacking snap on his punches, Margarito looked stronger and hungrier as the blood spilled from Cotto’s obvious broken nose, with 5 seconds left in round 10, Margarito hurt Cotto with a right left combination, I knew it was the beginning of the end, and I was right. In round 11, Cotto did nothing offenseively, he just circled and stayed away, with hard uppercut, Margarito forced Cotto to take a knee, now extremely fatigued and bloody, Cotto had nothing left, once the fight resumed after getting the mandatory 8 count from the referee, Cotto backed off into a corner and took yet another knee to avoid further punishment, Cotto gets up but his corner waves it off, Margarito got the most important win of his entire career..WHAT A FIGHT!!.

Now that Margarito has arrived, What can we expect from him?

Well, we know he’s the toughest man in boxing, and he’ll never back down from anyone, and those two elements combined will make him a must see fighter no matter who he’s in the ring with. I for one, expect Margarito to either fight Clottey or Williams in his next fight, with doubt of his lack luster performance against lanky Williams, and his close semi-controversial decision win over Clottey, Margarito will aim to prove everyone wrong, beat those who beat him, and convincingly beat those who say came close to beating him.

I think Margarito will put up a much better fight against Williams, and should win knowing he cannot wait, he’ll start much faster, and with Williams’ confidence, Margarito can put up a shocker. Even though Margarito beat a prime Miguel Cotto, he is still a hungry fighter, with revenge on his mind and sights of more lucrative paydays ahead, nothing will stand in his way. But, with that being said, Clottey in my eyes can be the one to dethrone the Mexican brawler, Clottey is a big, strong, slick and fast handed boxer with all the tools necessary to beat Maragrito, but can he? We’ll see

Surely we all cannot wait until the next time Margarito steps into the ring, and even more, With who?

But no matter who it is, or when, I will be in front of the TV routing for the Welterweight Beast

Margarito beats Cotto exactly as I predicted he would (if in fact he did):

Antonio Margarito: Keys To Victory

Brawl – If Margarito allows Cotto to set a pace, he will find himself missing punches and possibly frustrating himself, he must turn this into a brawl, make Cotto fight and stand his ground, that can enable him (Margarito) to land the big shots I feel he’ll need to win the fight.
Pressure
– Margarito must not take any backward steps, in his past fights, Cotto has fought well off the ropes, but he has not been pressured throughout twelve rounds, he is usually the pressure, Margarito should press the action and don’t allow Cotto to rest nor get into his groove.
Attack the Body
– Like Cotto, Margarito is also a great body puncher, hitting Cotto’s body can give Margarito an edge in what may turn into a head hunting affair.
Stay Close
– Margarito is no doubt a strong, tall welterweight, but he’s not the best when fighting at a distance, his best chances are for an in close fight where he can swarm Cotto and test him physically.
Throw the Upper Cut
– He throws a good one, but often from too far out, if Margarito falls in or lunges in while throwing the upper cut, Cotto will make him pay with precise counter punches, the best time for Margarito to unleash the upper cut is from a close and stable position, he can hurt Cotto with this punch and can possibly win him the fight.

Margarito did everything I though he would do to win, he made it a brawl, he Pressured, Attacked the Body, Stood Close, and Landed the Uppercut that made Cotto take a knee…not too bad!!!

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