by ALEX P. VIDAL
BOSTON, Massachusetts — They both have camped out in cold weathers. Best boxer pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao in Baguio City, Philippines and three-time world champion Antonio Margarito in Big Bear, California.
Pacquiao and the hard-hitting Mexican warrior will dispute for 12 rounds the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) light middleweight tiara at the cavernous Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, USA on November 13 this year.
Big Bear Lake is a city northeast of San Bernardino County along the south shore of Big Bear Lake, located 25 miles (40 km).
The population was 5,438 at the 2000 census.
Surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest, Big Bear Lake is a year-round resort destination for South California.
Seven-time world champion and semi-retired Oscar De La Hoya was so enamored of the place he picked it for his training camp in his ill-fated fight against Pacquiao on December 6, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Baguio City, on the other hand, is a highly urbanized city in northern Luzon, Philippines. It was established by Americans in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. Baguio City was designated by the Philippine Commission as the Summer Capital of the Philippines.
Team Pacquiao chose Baguio City over Vancouver, British Columbia when he revved up for this World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight battle against Miguel Angel Cotto on Nov. 14, 2009 also held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Now a member of the Philippine legislature representing Saranggani Province, Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KO) hopped from his major job in congress to his temporary training camp at the Elorde Gym in Paranaque City, Philippines before hieding off to the City of Pines recently.
He is favored to capture his record weight title against the taller Margarito (38-6, 27 KO), who holds a reputation as the first fighter to knock out the legendary Cotto on July 26, 2008.
Margarito is on a comeback bid after absorbing a humiliating stoppage loss to Shane Mosley on January 24, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It was the fight that cost him his license which had been cancelled after he loaded his fists with plaster of paris.
Despite his ill reputation, Top Rank boss Bob Arum tapped Margarito to face Pacquiao after efforts to lure former pound-for-pound king and undefeated Floyd Mayweather in one of the longest negotiations in fight business history failed.
Margarito got back his license in Texas.
Pacquiao repulsed Joshua Clottey via 12-round unanimous decision for WBO welterweight crown on March 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in a match backed by Cowboys big boss Jerry Jones. /MP