Robert Garcia: Manny Pacquiao Visited Antonio Margarito's Dressing Room
The 31-year-old southpaw congressman from the Philippines beat Margarito bloody during an HBO pay per view televised, lopsided unanimous decision rout of Margarito (38-7, 27 knockouts) that was promoted by Top Rank Promotions.
Already the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king coming into the fight, Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) earned the WBC junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt in victory, as well as his eighth crown over as many weight classes, and his 13th straight win with eight knockouts during that run.
Over the course of the bout, however, Pacquiao landed 474 blows on Margarito, with 411 of them being power shots, and nearly 190 of them being to the right side of the Mexican-born fighter's face.
As a result, Margarito was hospitalized at Dallas Medical Center, where he underwent 75 minutes of surgery to repair a fractured right orbital bone.
But long before Margarito was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, causing him to miss the post-fight press conference, Pacquiao -- known as "The Mexicutioner" for his dominance of Mexican fighters -- paid a visit to the beaten man's locker room to make sure that he was okay, according to Garcia.
"He [Pacquiao] came to our dressing room right there and gave a big hug to Margarito and talked to us and gave us all a hug. He's good people," said Garcia, a former IBF super featherweight (130 pounds) champion who went 35-3, before retiring after scoring his 25th career knockout over John Trigg in September of 2001.
"I've been talking to [Margarito] almost every day. He's doing really good. He's having a good time. You know, I believe that we were just in against a superior fighter, the best in the world. You know, he showed his skills, his speed, so, you know, there's nothing I could have changed," said Garcia.
"We had a good game plan, but it didn't turn out," said Garcia. "You know, the fight changed after the fourth round with he [Margarito] got hit in the body and when they busted his bone under the eye. But, you know, we had our game plan, we had our moments, but that's part of boxing."
On Saturday night at the Pond in Anaheim, Calif., Garcia will go from coaching against a Filipino in Pacquiao to working the corner of another one in WBA interim super flyweight (115 pounds) titlist Nonito Donaire (24-1, 16 KOs) of the Philippines, who will fight in the main event opposite Ukrainian WBA bantamweight (118 pounds) champion Voldymyr Sydorenko (22-2-2, seven KOs).
"Everybody's been really nice with me. I love being up there with Nonito training. Him, his wife, his team, they're beautiful people. I love it. I enjoyed going over there," said Garcia. "I didn't mind traveling so I could be with him for three weeks so that I could be with him."
In victory, Donaire is virtually guaranteed a Feb. 19 bout opposite WBO and WBC bantamweight titlist Fernando Montiel (43-2-2, 33 KOs) of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mex.
"Nonito's next fight should be against Montiel in February," said Garcia. "So I will probably be up there with him a little longer than that."
The card will also feature Garcia's 22-year-old brother, Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia, bringing a record of 23-0, with 19 knockouts into his featherweight (126 pounds) bout against Olivier Lontchi (18-1-2, eight KOs).
"We're ready. We not only have Nonito Donaire fighting, but we also have my brother, Mikey Garcia on that card. It will be a busy night, but we're ready. The guys are ready," said Garcia. "Now we're in the main event with Nonito. It's a pay per view card and it's exciting."
Margarito's manager, Sergio Diaz, informed FanHouse that Margarito already is planning a return to the ring, perhaps as early as having a March tuneup.
Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, told FanHouse that he would like to make Margarito part of a New York-based, June 11 double-header at the new Giants' Stadium featuring a rematch pitting him against Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs), whom Margarito knocked out in the 11th-round in the past, and former WBA junior middleweight champ Yuri Foreman (28-1, eight KOs) opposite junior middleweight and middleweight (160 pounds) prospect Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (40-0-1, 30 KOs).
As for Pacquiao, Garcia believes that his next fight should be against six-time champion, Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs), with whom negotiations for a mega bout twice fell through, if not WBO and WBA lightweight (135 pounds) Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs), with whom Pacquiao battled to a draw, and, lost a disputed decision, respectively, in May of 2004, and, March of 2008.
Marquez is coming off of a Nov. 27, ninth-round knockout of WBO interim titlist Michael Katsidis (27-3, 22 KOs).
"Mayweather is the fight that I think that everyone wants to see, but I think that Marquez deserves a shot," said Garcia. "Marquez looked really good in his fight last Saturday, and I think that he deserves a shot."