MANILA, Philippines – Newly crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight king Manny Pacquiao revealed on Tuesday that he apologized to his badly-beaten opponent, Antonio Margarito, right after their bout last Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News aired over TV Patrol on Tuesday, the Filipino boxing champion said he visited his opponent in his locker room to offer his apology.
“Nag-sorry ako. Sabi ko 'salamat' at nag-sorry ako sa kampo niya at sa kanya (I said sorry. I thanked him, then said sorry to him and his camp),” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo.
The diminutive Filipino champion bashed the taller Margarito black-and-blue during their title clash over the weekend.
After the fight, both of the Mexican’s eyes were badly swollen because of the beating. There was a deep cut under his right eye, which was evident as early as Round 7. It was later reported that Margarito injured his right eye socket, and would need to undergo surgery.
“Inakap ko siya and then nag-sorry ako sa wife niya and doon sa team (I embraced him and then apologized to his wife and his team),” said Pacquiao.
The Filipino boxer earlier admitted that Margarito was a tough opponent to beat, noting that the Mexican continued to press on despite his injuries.
Pacquiao said Margarito was already badly injured during Round 11. He was looking at referee Laurence Cole several times, hoping to have the fight stopped.
“I didn’t want to hurt him because boxing is not all about killing each other,” he said.
And since Cole permitted Margarito to fight on, Pacquiao decided to take it easy on the Mexican in the final round.
This was not the first time Pacquiao showed compassion to his fallen opponent.
In June 2008, Pacquiao tried to help Mexican-American David “Dangerous” Diaz on his feet after knocking out the latter for the WBC lightweight title.
The Filipino halted Diaz in the 9th round after outpacing and outboxing the Mexican-American.