As Antonio Margarito walked away from the ring after receiving a devastating beating from Manny Pacquiao, one had to wonder where their fighting careers would go from here. It is easy to say that Pacquiao’s next fight should be against Floyd Mayweather, but with Manny’s growing responsibility to his country and Mayweather’s pending domestic abuse issues, no one can be sure what will happen next.
The biggest questions surround Margarito, who faced one of the most physically damaging losses of his career on November 13th. It has been mentioned by countless fans as well as by Manny’s trainer that the fight should have been stopped well before the 12th and final round, but Margarito proved that he is one of the grittiest in the business as he continued to stand and take punishment. Pacquiao clearly let off the gas-pedal in the final round and carried his opponent through it, but the damage was already done. The post-fight images of the Mexican fighter were downright disturbing, and I doubt that even his best friend would have recognized him at first glance.
While it’s easy to say that Mayweather should be next for Pacquiao, answers don’t come to mind as quickly when you consider Antonio Margarito’s boxing future. Before the fight with Pacquiao, trainer Freddie Roach raised a very interesting point that Margarito not only left odd welts on the heads of previous opponents, but also kept his gloves on after each of his two fights prior to the hand-wrap scandal. Any fight fan knows that it’s a priority for most boxers to have their gloves removed directly after the bout; why Margarito chose to keep his on after certain fights can only be answered with speculation. It looks as though boxing fans will just have to wait and see whether Margarito can come back after such a brutal loss and amid allegations of cheating.
Some are saying that this fight could end up being the end of the road for Pacquiao as well, and considering the fact that he has an ever growing responsibility as a congressman in his native country, this seems like a legitimate thought. Regardless of the speculation, boxing fans around the globe are still holding out hope that Floyd Mayweather can manage to dip and duck his way out of legal trouble and agree to a fight with the Filipino in the near future. While this sport has proven to be notoriously hard to predict, one thing we know for sure is that while Margarito may be one of the toughest fighters in the business, Pacquiao has proven once again that he is one of the best.