So much ink has been dedicated to both the brilliance of Manny Pacquiao's achievements and to the odious nature of Antonio Margarito's behavior, I think we can all live without any further review of the either history. What we can't avoid however is the very high likelihood that a contract for these two to meet will be signed any day now.
The conventional wisdom, colored as always by high flying passions, is that Manny is on a historic run of such proportions that he will simply notch Margarito as another victim. This same wisdom that has relegated Margarito to the status of villain has, in many if not most cases, dismissed him as a legitimate contender. Not only illegitimate, but impotent; as in he has lost the power that had made him such a vaunted opponent. An opponent so feared, many will say the Manny's co-owner of the P4P title, Floyd Mayweather, 'retired' instead of facing in the ring.
I refer here to the man once known as the Tijuana Tornado. A slow starter who, once unleashed, gained such furious momentum he simply outworked and out-punched all who came before him. A man whose beard was cast in granite; who would walk through the fires of the best welterweights in his time. The man who, just two summers ago, took the best of Miguel Cotto's artillery and flat out destroyed him.
I know...Margarito was exposed. He lost to Mosely after this hair...I mean his wraps...were cut from his hands. Shorn of his power, he simply crumbled when hit by a mere mortal, Shane Mosely. And with his power gone and a year in exile, he fought a lackluster warmup in south of the border. And so, of course, he is just food for fodder; another big name for Manny to notch before meeting (maybe) his final opponent.....Floyd Mayweather.
But I ask, what if conventional wisdom is wrong. What if Margrito is rested after two wars, one with Cotto and one with Mosely. What if he returns to the limelight revitalized and motivated, wearing both shirts, the one that says Margacheato...and the one that says Tornado.
And what if Manny, having fought bigger men every six months and having campaigned for a won a congressional seat back home is, well, just not quite the same Manny. In other words, tired, distracted, whatever. This is a man with nothing really left to prove; a man who is once again taking a risk fighting a much bigger man.
I posit that scenario as one fraught with far more uncertainty than most; one which may produce a far different landscape than is expected.
So I ask, what happens if..... Margarito wins.