- Michael Woods, Boxing
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On Nov. 13, Manny Pacquiao faces the heaviest challenge of his career. With seven world titles in seven different divisions (a boxing record), Pacman will go for No. 8 against Antonio Margarito, a former welterweight champ who will be the biggest challenger (both fighters agreed to a 150-pound weight limit) he's ever faced. Is Pacquiao, who is 4 inches shorter than Margarito, making a mistake? We know you're wondering, so we grabbed all your online jabs -- from the Margarito fight to Pacquiao's election to a congressional seat in the Philippines -- and threw 'em Manny's way.
Guess what: He threw back.
"Manny has never faced a beast like Margarito! I don't get how anyone can think that this fight will be a walk in the park." -- from Top Rank's Facebook feed
Pacquiao: "Margarito is my strongest opponent to date. But they've said this numerous times with past opponents: 'He's bigger, he's stronger.' It was the same result every time."
"Is it true that Pacquiao is a professional singer? I heard rumors that Manny sings, but a pro singer -- is it true?" -- Posted on answers.yahoo.com
Pacquiao: "I have two albums in the Philippines, and they both went platinum. Am I a better boxer or singer? I think fighter; I went platinum two times, but I'm seven times a world champion."
"Don't get me wrong. I'm a Pacquiao fan for life! But his training sucks! Too many distractions." -- From PhilBoxing.com message board
Pacquiao: "People say I shouldn't play basketball, but I play as part of getting ready for my fights. I don't go to parties. I practice my singing, and they think it's a party. My team is good and solid. It starts with the strategy from the master, my coach, Freddie Roach. I do not have too many distractions."
"Why not give him the chance to run the country as president? He may be the key for a better change in our nation." -- Posted on myLot.com
Pacquiao: "I'm focused on being the best representative of my people. Is the door open to be president of the Philippines? It depends on what the people want."
"He goes from featherweight to welterweight, and he's blasting the top guys. Couple that with Manny's enlarged head, and you've got to wonder about steroids." -- Posted on Ringtalk.com
Pacquiao: "Physically, maybe my head has gotten larger. But spiritually I am humble still. The person who wrote that, or any agency, can come to my camp. I have nothing to hide. When it is time for training, I put my faith in God."
"I don't think the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will ever happen. Mayweather is afraid of Pacquiao." -- Posted on ABS-CBNnews.com
Pacquiao: "It's frustrating to me also. I've shown I'll fight anybody, in any class. I hope it gets done, because it is good for boxing. To me, Mayweather just looks at the money. You have to provide for the fans. They give us the money we make."
Michael Woods is a researcher for ESPN The Magazine who writes often about boxing for the Magazine; his full online archives are here.
ESPN The Magazine, in their November 15, 2010 issue, asked Manny Pacquiao a series of questions they had found online. In this discussion, Pacquiao touches on fighting Floyd Mayweather, his training, his singing, politics and steroids.