MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1) – Although Manny Pacquiao dominated his 12-round bout against Antonio Margarito, he admitted that he was also hurt by the sturdy Mexican.
“I hurt once, in one round when I stayed in the ropes,” Pacquiao said in the post-fight interview. “I recovered right away.”
The “Fighter of the Decade” hammered a unanimous decision against “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito with the scores 120-108, 118-110 and 119-109.
He won his 8th world crown, the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight title, at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“He’s strong. I never expected him to be as strong as he was. He’s a very tough fighter. I can’t believe he took all those punches,” Pacquiao said in a Reuters report.
The boxer who is also a congressman also stated that he was lucky because he was able to overcome Margarito’s punches to his body and face.
The Mexican, however, suffered cuts on his eyes. The wounds took a toll on him as the fight progressed.
Pacquiao said he felt for his Margarito because of his swollen and cut eyes as well as his bloody face.
The Filipino boxing superstar mentioned that he was trying to motion to call for a doctor to take a look at Margarito’s cuts.
“There were really bad cuts in the eyes,” Pacquiao said. “Boxing is not for killing each other, you know.”
He also stated that he was not looking for a knockout in the final round. “I take it easy because my trainer told me to take it easy and just be careful,” he related.
Not the end for Margarito
The Mexican, for his part, acknowledged that Pacquiao was much quicker than him.
“We knew Manny was very fast… We were going good until I got caught, and then that’s when the problems started coming,” Reuters quoted Margarito as saying.
He also disclosed he did not consider retiring against the Sarangani province congressman.
“No, no way. I’m a Mexican and we fight until the end. This time I failed Mexico but we will fight to the end,” said Margarito, who was seeking to redeem himself from the infamous hand wrap controversy that plagued his career for almost two years.
Pacquiao’s trainer, however, wished that the fight was halted.
“We didn’t lose a round,” said Freddie Roach. “I wish they had stopped the fight. They probably ruined his (Margarito’s) career by not stopping the fight.”
No need for Mayweather
Meanwhile, Pacquiao was asked about the possibility of facing undefeated American superstar Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
“For me if the fight happens, it happens. If not, I'm okay because I really don't need him. I’m satisfied with what I did in boxing with all the achievements that I have. I’m satisfied and happy. I thank God for everything he gave to me,” said the Filipino boxing superstar.
Pacquiao was supposed to face Mayweather this year if not for the glitches in negotiations.
They were scheduled to face off first on March 13 then on November 13.
“If the fight happens, then it's good for the people who love boxing,” he added.
Record 8 world titles
The triumphant Filipino superstar raised his hand in victory to the delight of thousands of his supporters who watched the bout live at the Cowboys Stadium.
Aside from winning the WBC super welterweight crown, Pacquiao also held 7 world titles in 7 weight classes:
• WBC flyweight title
• International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight title
• Linear featherweight title
• WBC junior lightweight title
• WBC lightweight title
• International Boxing Organization (IBO) junior welterweight title
• World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title
Pacquiao now has 52 wins (with 38 KOs), 3 losses and 2 draws.
Margarito, on the other hand, fell to 38 wins (with 27 KOs) and 7 losses. – With a report from Reuters