by Kieran Mulvaney
The adage states that a good big man will always beat a good little man. But what happens when a good big man – or even a very good one – comes up against a great little one? Even when, on fight night, the big guy outweighs the little guy by 17 pounds?
In the fourth round of Saturday night's main event at Cowboys Stadium, it looked as if the answer would become clear perhaps earlier than most had expected. Manny Pacquiao, who won his first title at 112 pounds and was tonight 36 pounds heavier than that, raked Antonio Margarito with a series of punches to body and head that appeared to have the end in sight. Body shots doubled over the bigger man, leaving his head in range for Pacquiao's blistering combinations. Margarito staggered into the ropes, but he weathered the storm, and a few rounds later it began to seem as if size indeed would be a factor.
Stalking forward relentlessly, Margarito began to bully Pacquiao to the ropes, digging to the Filipino's ribcage as he sought to grind him down. Pacquaio looked hurt and tired.
He was in desperate need of a second wind.
Then he found it.
This time there was no turning back. Pacquiao, once more, raked Margarito with combinations. The Mexican, his face a bloody mess, his eyes now mere slits, never stopped coming forward, but it was a forlorn hope. He could barely see the target he was stalking, never mind the artillery that was headed his way.
By the end of the twelfth and final round, the result was a formality. Margarito had regained a manner of redemption by staying on his feet, but Pacquiao had defied the physical odds again, and cemented his already firm grasp on boxing greatness.