Monday, November 15, 2010
A view of the Pacquiao vs. Margarito fight from the “cheap seats” in Cowboys Stadium
After Pacquiao’s impressive victory on Saturday night, questions arise about his future and the prospect of other big fights at Cowboys Stadium.
ARLINGTON With a boisterous crowd of 41,734 in attendance, Manny Pacquiao dominated Antonio Margarito from opening bell to the twelfth round, winning a unanimous decision and claiming the WBC interim junior middleweight title.
A packed fight card with 11 matches, including two major title fights, the event began at 6:30 p.m, continued until just before midnight, and featured a live performance by rapper Nelly. Moderately-priced tickets for the event ($50 to $700) seemed to have encouraged buyers, and lower levels of the stadium were nearly full. Elsewhere in the stadium, attendance was much poorer than anticipated, as Top Rank promoter Bob Arum guessed that 60,000 fans would fill the seats.
While the action in the ring provided entertainment, reconfigured Cowboys Stadium was an attraction all its own. Turf removed, the boxing ring was elevated at midfield and surrounded by floor seating. Concession and merchandise stands filled the concourses around the stadium and fans moved freely throughout the night -- many indifferent to the bouts taking place.
The audience was largely Hispanic: Fans vocally supported Margarito of Tijuana, Mexico, with chants of “Sí, se puede” ("Yes, we can"). However, by the end of the night, Margarito had suffered a beating. His left eye nearly closed from swelling and was badly cut. Pacquiao allowed Margarito to finish the fight by refusing to be the aggressor in the final round. Lead by a boisterous Filipino contingent, the crowd chanted “Manny, Manny” as the fight came to an end.
Pacquiao later admitted in post-fight interviews that he did not want want to hurt Margarito further.
In another high contact fight, touted prospect Mike Jones defeated Jesus Soto Karass in a pitched battle. Though Jones wobbled Soto Karass in the second round, he was unable to knockdown the tough Mexican fighter. Soto Karass came on strong during the late rounds, but Jones won a split decision that drew boos from much of the audience.
In a fight for the vacant WBA super bantamweight title, Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba easily defeated Ricardo Cordoba of Panama in a fight with little action or excitement. After defecting from Cuba, Rigondeaux has been on the fast track to a title. With two Olympic gold medals and an extensive amateur background, Rigondeaux seemed a veteran in only his seventh professional bout. For Cordoba, it was his 41st fight and his third loss. A restless crowd booed, catcalled, and started the wave in boredom and disapproval while Rigondeaux handily out-boxed Cordoba to win a split decision.
After Pacquiao’s impressive victory on Saturday night, questions arise about his future and the prospect of other big fights at Cowboys Stadium. Pacquiao, a congressman in the Philippines, has mentioned the possibility of retirement, although a mega fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. next year remains a possibility. While Cowboys Stadium, where Pacquiao has fought twice, is a possible site for a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather showdown, the scenario is unlikely given Mayweather’s insistence on fighting in Las Vegas.
Pegasus News Content partner - The Assignment Desk, DFW
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