Antonio Margarito releases statement
Antonio Margarito remained hospitalized in Dallas on Monday as he awaited surgery Tuesday on the fractured right orbital bone he suffered during a one-sided decision loss to Manny Pacquiao Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium.
But Margarito, who did not attend the post-fight news conference because he went directly to the hospital, where the fracture was discovered, gave Pacquiao his due.
Rafael's Boxing Blog
Get the latest scoop and analysis on the world of boxing from ESPN.com's Dan Rafael in his blog.
"I would like to congratulate Manny Pacquiao for his win on Saturday Night," Margarito said in a statement. "It was a tough and difficult fight for me and I hope the fans enjoy our battle at Cowboys Stadium.
"I also want to thank [Top Rank promoter] Bob Arum for always believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to fight Manny Pacquiao. I also want to thank all the fans who came to see me and who watched the fight on TV and continue to support me."
In winning the fight 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 on the official scorecards, Pacquiao won a vacant junior middleweight belt to give him a title in a record-extending eighth weight division.
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) was in control from the outset and apparently fractured Margarito's face in the fourth round, when his right eye swelled and bad bruising appeared underneath it.
Margarito went the distance but took a pounding despite outweighing Pacquiao by 17 pounds on fight night as well as having a 6-inch reach advantage and 4½-inch height advantage.
Pacquiao pounded on Margarito so severely that at one point in the 11th round he looked to referee Laurence Cole and asked him to stop the fight. After the fight, Pacquiao said he carried Margarito in the final round because he did not want to inflict anymore damage to him.
"I gave it all I had, but unfortunately I was not able to get the victory over the best fighter in the world today," Margarito said. "As I said before the fight, I was never going to quit and tried to win this fight to the very last minute. We had a great training camp and I want to thank [trainer] Robert Garcia for a great job and everyone in Oxnard [Calif.] for their great hospitality. I am also very grateful [for] my wife Michel, [co-managers] Sergio Diaz and Francisco Espinoza for all their support."
In addition to the fracture, Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs), fighting in the United States for the first time since the hand-wrapping scandal that erupted before his fight with Shane Mosley in January 2009, also needed six stitches in his right cheek and three more in his right eyebrow, according to Top Rank spokesman Lee Samuels.
The surgery was put off until Tuesday while doctors waited for the swelling in his face to subside. If Margarito's surgery goes well, he plans to return to Los Angeles on Wednesday and then go home to Tijuana, Mexico. Pacquiao, meanwhile, was dinged up after the fight as well, although without injuries as severe as Margarito's.
Pacquiao was nursing bruises, a sore wrist -- understandable after hitting Margarito almost 500 times -- and sore ribs. HBO will replay the lopsided, but action-packed pay-per-view fight Saturday at 10 p.m. ET with its live coverage of Sergio Martinez's middleweight title defense against Paul Williams from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.