By Mark Vester
After Manny Pacquiao demolished Oscar De La Hoya last Saturday in Las Vegas, forcing the former six-division champion to call it quits after eight rounds, some began to wonder how Pacquiao would do against the man people view as the number one fighter at 147 - WBA welterweight champ Antonio Margarito.
Margarito fights at welterweight, but has the appearance and power of a middleweight Pacquiao moved up from lightweight to welterweight to fight De La Hoya. He plans to moved down to junior welterweight to fight Ricky Hatton in 2009. Both Pacquiao and Margarito are promoted by Top Rank.
If Top Rank and Pacquiao want it, Margarito is willing to take the fight.
"Pacquiao looked very good and showed that he can fight against the better welterweights. If he and the promoters agree, and want to do it [a fight with me] - I will gladly do it," Margarito told El Nuevo Dia .
At the end of the day, there is too much of a size difference between Pacquiao and Margarito. In 2003, Roy Jones Jr. moved up by 25-pounds to the heavyweight division to beat John Ruiz for a title. Jones was smart enough to moved back down instead of fighting the giants like Lennox Lewis and the Klitschko brothers. Pacquiao can probably fight the smaller welters like Mosley, Cotto or an Andre Berto, but fighters like Margarito and Paul Williams are seen as being too big.
Nobody has chased after De La Hoya any harder than Margarito. He tells the paper that Oscar should walk away from the ring and retire. He doesn't believe that anyone will want to see him fight De La Hoya anymore.
"He should retire because he looked very bad against Pacquiao. I believe people were interested in a fight between me and De La Hoya, but now nobody wants to see it," Margarito said.
Margarito has a big fight lined up on January 24, against former three-division champion Shane Mosley. Win or lose, Margarito will face Miguel Cotto in a June rematch. Still, he is not overlooking Mosley. He says the Mosley fight is something he takes very seriously.
"I have always been willing to fight Cotto again, but right now I am not thinking about Cotto. My concentration is on Mosley, who is a very strong opponent and I am preparing very well to come out with my hand raised high in the same fashion as I did against Cotto, where very few people believed that I could win and I showed to everyone what Antonio Margarito can do," Margarito said.
Call me delusional but I think Pacman actually has a chance in this fight! He's fast much faster than Cotto and won't gas; obviously if Margarito can turn it into a brawl he'll win by first round knockout, but I genuinely think with the great footwork and speed Pacman has he could potentially box and move for 12 rounds to beat Margarito.