Saturday, October 2, 2010

Antonio Margarito on Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, the Hand Wraps

FanHouse spoke to Mexican-born, ex-champion Antonio Margarito by telephone from his training facility in Oxnard, Calif., where he is preparing with trainer Robert Garcia for southpaw seven-time titlist and WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king Manny Pacquiao and an HBO pay per view televised Golden Boy Promotions clash that will take place on Nov. 13 at The Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The 31-year-old Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 knockouts) of the Philippines will be in pursuit of his eighth crown in as many weight classes when he meets the 32-year-old Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) for the vacant WBC junior middleweight (154 pounds) title.

Margarito will be fighting on American soil for the first time since January, 2009, when he was dethroned as WBA welterweight (147 pounds) titlist following a ninth-round knockout loss to Shane Mosley at The Staples Center in Los Angeles, and a resulting hand wrapping scandal led to the removal of his license by the California State Athletic Commission until last month when Texas licensed him to face Pacquiao.

Margarito discussed the illegal, plaster-like substance that was placed into his gloves by then-trainer Javier Capetillo and discovered in his wraps, removed and confiscated prior to his facing Mosley, his strategy against Pacquiao, as well as his quest to restore his hard-punching image and ring mystique in this Q&A.

Translated by trainer Robert Garcia.

FanHouse: Where are you training and how is training going so far?

Antonio Margarito: We're training in Oxnard, California right now at Robert Garcia's Boxing Academy. Everything has gone very well. We've done our training perfectly. I'm feeling good, my weight is good, and we have nothing to worry about.

Who have been your sparring partners?

This is our first week of sparring, and today was our third day of sparring. We sparred three times this week. We've got four sparring partners. One of them is named [southpaw] Ricardo Williams Jr. [16-2, nine KOs.] The rest of them, we know their nicknames.

We four sparring partners, most of them have nicknames that we don't know. But we have four, good, fast, strong and solid sparring partners, and the work is going very well with them.

How do you expect to counter Manny Pacquiao's speed and mobility?

Cutting off of the ring and just generally applying a lot of pressure and throwing a lot of punches will be a big factor. I will need to throw punches in four- to five-punch combinations.

Will the body shot be critical to your strategy?

Yes, that will be a key to my doing well in this fight. There will need to be a lot of body shots thrown.

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