ARLINGTON, Texas — Manny Pacquiao was more concerned with the set list for his Tuesday concert than he was with Floyd Mayweather. The fight every boxing fan wants to see may never happen, but Pacquiao had a firm date to sing at Lake Tahoe before heading home and taking up his more formal duties as a congressman in the Philippines.
All was well early Sunday after Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) cemented his claim as boxing's best by giving Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) such a brutal beating that he went to the hospital and remained there Sunday. Promoter Bob Arum said Margarito has a broken right eye socket and will have surgery Tuesday.
Pacquiao spent 12 rounds bouncing his hands off of Margarito's head. He hit Margarito from almost every angle and with stunning accuracy, closing both his eyes and bloodying his face in dominating every round of their 150-pound showdown.
Giving away 17 pounds in weight and 5 inches in height, Pacquiao's speed ruled before 41,734 at Cowboys Stadium as he won his eighth title in as many weight classes. Pacquiao was battering Margarito so badly that he wanted the fight stopped in the 11th round.
"I told the referee, 'Look at his eyes, look at his cuts,' " Pacquiao said. "I did not want to damage him permanently. That's not what boxing is about."
Margarito moved forward throughout, but he paid a terrible price. "There was no way I was going to quit," he said. "I'm a Mexican, we fight until the end."
Immediately after, Pacquiao was answering questions about the one fighter he has yet to beat. Mayweather may be the only credible opponent left, though Arum talked about Shane Mosley or Juan Manuel Marquez.
Mayweather has legal problems stemming from an altercation with the mother of his children that could interfere with a spring fight, but Arum believes if Mayweather really wants the fight, something could be arranged.
"I don't want to talk about Floyd Mayweather," Pacquiao, 31, said. "If there's a decision I'll take it to Bob Arum. … My ultimate concern as a fighter is I want the people to be happy."