Friday, November 12, 2010

Pacquiao vs. Margarito: Analysis based on fight science

Mexican fighter Margarito appeared very confident and very "at ease" a few days before his scheduled super welter weight fight with Pinoy phenom boxer Manny Pacquiao. 

Margarito says he is extremely confident he'll stop the world's best  pound-for-pound boxer in their November 14 fight. His reason? Pacquiao is not in his "natural element" since he started in a very low weight class and his climb to the super welterweight category is not natural and was undertaken in extreme difficulty. Pacquiao has to gain a lot of weight for this fight and this he did with a very small body frame. 

Pacquiao admits that he gained a lot of pounds for this fight. If you look at his frame, it is smaller than Margarito's. For those who don't know about fight science, the bigger the body frame, the stronger the punch is. Reason? Fighters use their entire body to gain enough strength for their punches. If you are heftier than your opponent, chances are your punch is stronger than somebody less than you. 

Margarito and Pacquiao would be fighting in the same weight division, so ideally, their weight would actually be the same at fight night. There would be some differences though. 

Margarito's reach is longer than Pacman's, his height the ideal one for a welterweight, and his body frame is bigger than the Pacman. This poses a real problem with the Pacman. 

Margarito's weight is equally distributed in his entire frame. If his hands are bigger than Pacman, surely that would be an advantage really since that would pack a heavier and stronger punch than the Pacman's. 

If Margarito has a stronger reach, he'll be able to tag the Pacman even if he's slower. The main thing for Margarito is to be able to corner the Pacman and throw those punches. If the Pacman dances, then, it'll be no problem with the taller Mexicano since Pacman's dance is limited by the boxing ring. Surely, there would be several occasions where Margarito would be able to throw those stronger punches and probably, by sheer luck, throw one that would change the face of world boxing history.

In the Pacman's case, his weight should actually be equally distributed in his body frame, especially in his muscular biceps and arms. The arms are really reflective of the kind of punching power the fighter can throw. The arms and hands are used by the fighter to throw his entire weight into the opponent's face or body. 

Pacman's arms are smaller yet somewhat firmer than Margarito's, suggesting that the Pacman has trained more than Margarito's. Its different though if we talk about their hands.

Pacman's hands are smaller than Margarito's. This means a lot in fight science. This means a smaller area of impact, and lesser force to throw to an opponent. Pacman has to punch twice or even thrice to be able to equal what Margarito can throw as a natural welterweight. 

Speed, yes, that's a factor in boxing. If you're faster than your opponent, the chances of you being stung is lesser than if you're a lumbering giant. 

However, everyone knows that every fighter is sure to be hit because of the space he's given to maneuver. The boxing ring limits the fighter's movement, and there would really be occasions where Margarito would be able to exploit to the detriment of the Pacman.

Margarito's breadbasket is a lot better than the Pacman's, suggesting that the Mexican fighter can take all those punches with ease should the Pacman unleash them in the mid-section. Based on what Margarito revealed in several TV interviews, his breadbasket is somewhat firmer due to training. Margarito can take what the Pacman can throw in.

I noticed though, that Margarito's legs are not as strong as the Pacman's, so balance would be a factor in the fight. I don't exactly know if Margarito has a strong chin. That would actually be a strong factor in the fight. 

Pacman has to throw those punches in Margarito's face and target the chin if that is his weak spot. However, he has to do it either by short jumping to reach the face since the Mexicano is taller than the Pacman. 

Unknown to many, if a fighter does a short jump, that increases the force of the punch. The fighter would not just use his entire body but the force that he gets from jumping would add to the force that he unleashes in his punch. The punch would be stronger still if the fighter knows how to use breathing techniques. If he breathes at the right moment and synchronizes it with the force from his arm coming from the stomach and unleashes the punch at the precise moment of impact, then, it would do more damage. 

Of course, that tactic would take an extra effort and extra exertion from the fighter than say a fighter whose height is equal to that of his opponent. If the Pacman did a lot of running and hiking, that would increase his stamina. Pacman would now have a bigger than even chance of defeating a heftier and taller Margarito. 

Now, here's the thing.

This fight is really all about who's more determined and hungrier than the other. Surely, Margarito has a lot to prove. He's the hungrier fighter in this one. He wants to be the one who'll upset the five year winning streak of the Pacman. 

The hungrier the fighter, the stronger his punch becomes. If a fighter wants to win, he'll doing anything, even throw the kitchen sink, just to achieve his goal. 

Pacman, if you are to look at this fight, has nothing to gain and nothing to lose if he loses this fight. Fact is, if he loses, he stands the chance to gain more money from a re-match or even realize that dream match with the blabber mouth Mayweather Jr. 

If Pacman wins this fight yet again, no one would have the heart to fight him, since he'll now be the most indestructible fighter in world boxing history. 

If he loses though, more boxers would be willing to fight him to retirement.