21,000 people sold out Madison Square Garden on Saturday to watch Miguel Cotto give Antonio Margarito his comeuppance, and there would be no other acceptable outcome.
A Margarito victory would have been catastrophic, as would have a run-of-the-mill boxing debacle akin to Bernard HopkinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ aborted match against Chad Dawson a few weeks back. As such, with the exception of the first Mets game at Shea Stadium after 9/11, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve attended a sporting event where the outcome seemed quite so crucial.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not really a boxing fan,Ã¢â‚¬Â the guy working at Champs Sports in Times Square told me as I tried on a Manny Pacquiao sweatshirt. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But I never miss one of MannyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fights.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been expecting anyone other than Antonio Margarito to be waiting in the ring for Manny Pacquiao this November, you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been paying attention. This is the fight Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wanted all along.
Disappointed itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather? Sure, me too.
But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the way this sport works. Nothing comes easy. There are always agendas.
The highly anticipated war between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto went down on Saturday night pretty much as I expected, but it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean that PacquiaoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s victory was any less striking or significant.
Most everyone has some sort of demon that they carry with them, not necessarily on the surface. These arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily Norman Bates-type demons, Exorcist-style demons, but rather things that weigh on us daily that we have to overcome.
On the eve of the biggest fight in the career of both Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, the burdens that the two highly skilled fighters bring with them have become the story.