Pacquiao weighs in light

2010-11-13 07:39

Dallas - Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito weighed in for their World Boxing Council super welterweight fight with the Filipino superstar coming in just over five pounds lighter than his opponent.

Wearing plaid boxer shorts and white and orange socks, the 31-year-old Pacquiao tipped the scales at 144.6 pounds which is also 3.9 pounds lighter than his trainer Freddie Roach had originally anticipated.

Margarito weighed in right on the catch-weight number of 150 pounds for Saturday's title fight at Cowboys Stadium.

Pacquiao said he was pleased with his weight because he loses too much speed when he gains pounds.

"I trained a lot," he said. "I think because I trained so hard and because of the training hard that's why my weight is what it is."

Pacquiao is going for his eighth world title in as many weight classes and his 12th consecutive victory.

Roach said they had been experimenting with higher weights for Pacquiao but in the end Pacquiao wanted to shed more pounds.

"I gave him the green light to just take care of himself," Roach said. "That (144 pounds) is what he weighs naturally. So this is his natural weight that's what we decided to come in at."

The weigh-in took place at the north end of Cowboys Stadium which is the home of the gridiron Dallas Cowboys. The only dignitary of note on the stage with the fighters was Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Margarito (38-6, 27 KOs) is the largest fighter Pacquiao has ever faced. And the Mexican could be between 10 to 15 pounds heavier than Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) by fight time.

The threat of rain caused organisers to move the weigh-in indoors. Fans started lining up hours before the ceremony began and the crowd grew to about 1 000.

Many wore yellow, blue and red and waved Filipino flags while chanting "Pacquiao, Pacquiao, Pacquiao."

There was also a smattering of Dallas Cowboys jerseys and Mexican flags from Margarito's supporters.

Margarito is fighting in the United States for the first time since serving a one-year suspension after getting caught with illegal hand wraps for a fight against Shane Mosley.

Earlier this week Margarito was seen mocking Pacquiao's trainer Roach in an Internet video which sparked a heated war of words between the two camps. Roach suffers from Parkinson's disease.

Boxing fan Reyes Lopez said a win over Pacquiao would enable Margarito to put his troubles behind him.

"He has to redeem himself and there is no better way to do that than to fight a guy on top," said Lopez, 27, who works in a bottling plant in Mesquite, Texas. "He has nothing to lose. He has been on the bottom and so he knows what it feels like."

Edwin Mallango travelled all the way from Toronto, Canada, to see his hero Pacquiao fight. He said Pacquiao is sincere and someone all Filipinos admire.

"Manny Pacquiao is the complete sportsman," Mallango said. "He is humble, gifted and he carries himself like a fighter.

"If he was greedy and arrogant then nobody would like him. He's cool and he is respectful of other fighters."

Organisers are hoping for a larger crowd than the 51 000 that attended Pacquiao's last title fight in Dallas eight months ago against Joshua Clottey.

Promoter Bob Arum said they had sold about 41 000 tickets by Thursday but they expected last minute sales and the walkup crowd to raise the total to around 60 000 by Saturday.

The fight will start about 06:15 SA time and is expected to be shown in 80 million homes and venues in over 135 countries around the world.

Pacquiao will earn at least $15 million for fighting in Dallas on Saturday night. Margarito will earn R3 million.