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Pros weigh in on Pacquiao-Margarito
GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Manny Pacquiao is not only an overwhelming betting favorite with the public (I've seen him as much as 8 to 1 favorite, which seems absurdly high) to defeat Antonio Margarito on Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium, several top fighters and trainers are also going with the Pacman. Here's a sampling of predictions as compiled by Top Rank:
• Devon Alexander (junior welterweight titlist): Pacquiao will win by decision by out-boxing Margarito. Margarito is going to be big and have a size advantage. He is going to come to fight and apply pressure early, but I think Pacquiao will make the adjustment and out-box him by using lateral movement and hand speed.
• Andre Berto (welterweight titlist): Pacquiao definitely has the advantage in speed, but Margarito is going to apply tremendous pressure so it's going to be a great fight. I think Pacquiao's speed is eventually going to win out, and he will come out with the victory.
• Timothy Bradley Jr. (junior welterweight titlist): Pacman wins by TKO in 3 rounds.
• Joshua Clottey (former welterweight titlist, who has losses to Pacquiao and Margarito): Pacquiao is going to win by hitting him with too many punches. I can tell by the interviews that Margarito thinks Pacquiao doesn't have the power because he is so small, but he does have the power. Because of this, Margarito will eventually turn the fight into a street fight, a do or die fight. This would not be good for Margarito because Pacquiao will then hit him with so many punches; Margarito will go down and Pacquiao will knock him out. To have a chance in the fight, Margarito needs to respect him in the ring by throwing jabs and fighting a smart fight. If he does this, he will have a slight chance of winning. A slight chance, but I don't think so.
• Miguel Cotto (junior middleweight titlist whose two losses are to Pacquiao and Margarito): I don't have a prediction for this fight. I will only say that will be a tough fight for both fighters.
• Yuri Foreman (former junior middleweight titlist): I pick Pacman, because he is more versatile; he has the advantage of speed and lateral movement. He is just overall a better boxer
• Roy Jones Jr. (former four-division champ): I love Pacquiao. He's a gifted talent in and out of the ring. If he's still as smart as usual, he should pull it out.
• Zab Judah (former undisputed welterweight champ): I will fight whoever the winner is.
• Peter Manfredo Jr. (middleweight contender): Having Freddy Roach in your corner is like having an army on your side. Having been trained by Freddy in the past, I know that no one gets his fighters more prepared. Pacman wins by majority decision.
• Paul Spadafora (former lightweight titlist): Pacquiao is too fast up the middle. Margarito is tailor-made for Pacquiao's style because he's too wide with his punches. Pacquiao will stop him in the later rounds.
• Dan Birmingham (two-time trainer of the year): I believe Pac will be too fast; his constant movement and work rate will be too much for Margarito. Margarito is strong and well conditioned, good chin, but he has problems with movers and quickness. My pick is Pac by stoppage by the ninth round.
• Kevin Cunningham (trains Alexander): Pacquiao will win by decision because of the hand speed. He is going to be too quick. He is going to be in-and-out, and he is going to use angles.
• Angelo Dundee (legendary cornerman and Hall of Famer): The style of Margarito is the style that gives a southpaw trouble. He comes forward, and the only way to fight a southpaw is to come forward. That is my interpretation. I trained a half dozen southpaws. I had a boxer named Andy Durell fight the greatest boxer of all time, Willie Pep, and he took it as a warm-up in Miami Beach. The southpaw gave him all the trouble he wanted, busted him up and everything and it was supposed to be an easy fight. Margarito has the style to give him ulcers. Margarito will be the biggest guy he has fought, and he will fight aggressively and throw punches from every angle. … It is a tough fight, and it wouldn't amaze me to see Margarito come away with a win.
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