GRAPEVINE, TEXAS—I thought we’d be carving up the Thanksgiving pavo next but I could be wrong as our now familiar host hotel, the Gaylord Texan, exploded into the Christmas spirit on Friday.
They call their theme a “Lone Star Christmas,” meaning the usual holiday trappings but with a Texas bent or twang.
It includes 1.5 million holiday lights; a life-size Gingerbread House; visits by the ever popular Santa Claus and Jinkee, oops, I mean Mrs. Claus; a 50-foot rotating Christmas tree rotating in one of the three atriums; Toy Soldiers; a “Charlie Brown Christmas” bit and more, all of being lapped up by parents and kiddies with video and regular cameras in tow.
If you look at the video below, showing Antonio Margarito hammering Miguel Cotto in their final round, you might have great fear and apprehension about Manny Pacquiao getting his lights put out by the Mexican Mauler this evening (Saturday) at Texas Stadium.
Your worries are needless but understandable.
This fight, this buildup, started as a passion play (wow, is Easter next?) and is finishing as one.
We started with Margarito’s desperate three state bid—Nevada, California and finally Friendly Texas—to get a boxer’s license. His vociferous advocate was Bob Arum, promoter of both Manny and Marg and a guy who is loathe to let outside promoters into his swelling revenue pots, a common affliction with his kind.
We finish with the distasteful but soon apologized for Elie SeckbahAOL Fan House video in which Margarito, young boxer Brandon Rios and trainer Robert Garcia make light of how Pacman tutor Freddie Roach’s boxing-induced Parksinson’s often makes him tremble.
“Bad behavior,” Principal Arum termed it to me, saying the heartfelt apologies by the trio ameliorated the situation.
As is typical in the run-up to a PPV TV bout, all publicity is GOOD publicity.
All this did was induce some fence sitters to get on the Margarito Bad Guy bandwagon and also the Cheering for Good Guy Manny team.
The weight difference—Manny’s measly 144.6 to Margarito’s allowable limit of 150 from Friday—is meaningless.
Roach told me so Friday night, smiling broadly and noting how Manny has done some of his best work
at around that weight.
Let’s all face it, Pacman turns age on Dec. 18 and he will never be any kind of a junior middleweight.
He’s too short in stature. Those of you hoping he ever fights a 6-2 Paul “Punisher Williams, your dreams are in the fantasy division, nothing more.
I see four, maybe five bouts before Pacman quits the ring, including a Floyd May weather super bout next spring
But you wanna fight Manny, you got to make welterweight, 147 pounds, from here on in.
As for this encounter of the fistic kind, I expect Pacquiao’s formula—speed combined with elusiveness,m landing quick shots and then moving out of harm’s way—to work well.
It could merely an enough to win clearly effort. Or it could be a bravura performance. We know it can’t possibly be more lackluster than what we all endured here on March 13 when someone apparently glued Joshua Clottey’s gloves (Superglue?) to his earlobes.
Pacquiao lives in Legendland.
Margarito has been a better than pedestrian talent but he’s no Hall of Famer, no Mexican icon even before he and Slimeball Capetillo tried the handwrap chat move against Shane Mosley.
I don’t know about cement like substance in a boxer’s wraps but they say water seeks its own level.
They also say “no good deed goes unpunished” which I now surmise is true since “Margacheato” gets at least $3 million in his paycheck.
The Good Big Man beats the Good Little Man or so goes the boxing aphorism.
I say the Great Little Man beats the Good But hardly Great Big Man.
Anything else is a Christmas tale, save it for the kiddies.
As for me, I was 27 when I “found out” that Mr. and Mrs Claus are bunco artists with criminal rap sheets as long as Santa’s long, white beard.