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Pacquiao Wins by TKO Over Margarito

At Least That's How This Fight Should've Ended

Add "Manny the Merciful" to the legacy of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Confirming that his combination of two-fisted quickness and power was far too much for Antonio Margarito, the now-eight-class world champion Pacquiao closed one of his opponent's eyes completely, almost closed the other, pleaded with the referee and with Margarito's corner to end the fight in the 10th round, then just went through the motions during the last five minutes of the fight, knowing he had won easily and hoping that he wasn't going to accidentally kill his opponent.

If this was a fight, they would've stopped it. Oh wait, it was a fight, and nobody stopped it.

But somebody should've stepped in at the end of the10th and awarded Pacquiao the TKO that he earned for his efforts this night in Dallas. But referee Laurence Cole declined to step in. His decision is defensible, in that Margarito, although almost fully blind by the 10th round, had not been knocked down, was not wobbling, didn't have that glassy-eyed look that says "end it now," and refused to stop moving forward against Pacquiao.

Inexcusable
On the other hand, Margarito's corner showed inexcusable contempt for their man's health by not throwing in the towel. They'll use the excuse that Margarito didn't want to quit, and the old canard that Mexicans never stop fighting. Of course their man didn't want to quit; no world-class boxer does. That's why it's essential for the cornermen to rise to the challenge and make that very hard decision to tell their man it's over.

Margarito's trainer, Robert Garcia, had said he wants to be well-known and respected after this fight. He got the former, but I doubt the latter.

There was apparently no doctor in the house, either, or at lest not one that was watching the fight. Margarito went to the hospital immediately afterwards; this is not uncommon after fights at this level, but in this case, one hopes he receives better care in the hospital than he did ringside.

Pacquiao sliced into Margarito power, precision, and frequency from the opening bell. By the fourth round, the fight announcers were calling for Floyd Mayweather. Unless Pacquiao started to play around and let Margarito back in, this fight was over then.

Pacquiao did start to fool around a bit in the middle rounds, as he remains a bit impish, with his pure love of fighting trumping his boxing judgement even now, in the zenith of his career. He let Margarito work him into a corner a couple too many times, and paid for his indiscretion by receiving a few hard shots to the body and head, including a left uppercut that put him on rubber-leg street for a few seconds.

The Boy Done Good Again
But Pacquiao, who received about a dollar for his first street fight when he was a boy, has always reacted quickly and well to such pressure. It seems to make him gleefully mad when he's hit, and in this fight, he quickly knocked Margarito around with 5-, 6-, and 8-punch combinations each time he got into a little trouble.

The main event was preceded by numerous events on an undercard of varying quality. Two young Filipino fighters won their matches, while a third, the grandson of local legend "Flash" Elorde, lost. Another fight featured an aggressive, strong, very unattractive rising star named Brandon Rios; and two other decisions on the card were hinky, with one smelling like an absolute fix; I won't comment further on that.

Point of information: I watched this on a closed-circuit broadcast in a movie theater in Manila. The crowd was mildly boisterous. The Philippines has a proud boxing history and tradition, and these fans knew that they were watching a bad beating.

After Pacquiao easily defeated Oscar De La Hoya, these fans also don't get manically exuberant about every Pacquiao fight, in the way they are often portrayed. They love their man, but to understand the Philippines means to understand that everything--every thing--in this culture is focused on the group, not the individual.

Manny is like an older brother to many of them, a younger brother to others, and a son to others. The pride is national, and the love is unconditional. Manny's merciful treatment of Margarito reflects the best of this culture and nation, and the fans will no doubt regard those last five minutes as among the greatest of his career.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.