Pacquiao says he'll 'fight anybody'
Manny Pacquiao has made his own thoughts clear on the legitimacy of Antonio Margarito's claim that he knew nothing about his hand wraps being loaded with plaster inserts in his 2009 date against Shane Mosley. (The inserts were confiscated before the bout.) Now the Filipino superstar boxer had some interesting things to say about how he came to accept this fight and what he'll do next.
Pacquiao was obviously occupied with winning a congressional seat in his native Philippines earlier this year, and then taking office and beginning to deal with the brutally poor country's woes.
When it became clear that Floyd Mayweather Jr. wasn't interested in participating in a November super bout, Pacquiao said he left choosing an opponent to "whatever Bob wanted," speaking of promoter Bob Arum.
Pacquiao said he approved Margarito "without thinking."
The Nov. 13 bout against Margarito at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, is for Pacquiao's record eighth different weight-class world title.
"That's more history in boxing," said Pacquiao. "Margarito is very aggressive, he's bigger and stronger. It's going to be a hard fight. I'm excited to fight him and exchange a lot of punches."
What would he do if he got the eighth title? Pacquiao didn't want to discuss a possible fight with Mayweather, cracking that if he never fought Mayweather, he'd be "OK ... more than OK."
But what about Juan Manuel Marquez, who was so dominant in his July 31 lightweight title defense victory over Juan Diaz?
"I didn't see it," Pacquiao said of the fight.
Didn't Marquez deserve a shot over Margarito? Pacquiao was asked. The pair have fought twice, with Marquez getting a 2004 draw and losing in 2008 by a split decision.
"I'm willing to fight anybody in the ring, maybe later," Pacquiao said.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Manny Pacquiao. Credit: Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters