By Francisco Salazar
Although Antonio Margarito is focused on his showdown against Manny Pacquiao, fight fans in Oxnard, CA focused on the fighter known as the “Texas Tornado” on Sunday afternoon. Despite overcast skies and a constant drizzle, fight fans stood in line to meet Margarito, who took time out of his busy training regimen to the first annual charity event. The event took place at Robert Garcia’s Boxing Academy in South Oxnard. All proceeds go to a fund for yearly travel and lodgings for amateur fighters at the Boxing Academy.
Margarito was also joined by Middleweight titleholder Sergio Martinez, unbeaten Lightweight contender Brandon Rios, and unbeaten Featherweight contender Miguel Angel Garcia, and other local dignitaries.
Fight fans paid a nominal fee for a signature from all fighters or more for another signature from Margarito. Fight fans had their picture taken with Margarito or all fighters. All fighters autographed gloves, posters, pictures, or shirts.
Garcia, Margarito’s trainer, put the event together with the assistance of publicist Manuel Herrera. The event also included a classic car show, food, and live music.
Garcia was pleased with the turnout and thankful for the generous donations from the community.
“This fundraiser helps local amateurs in Oxnard,” said Garcia, who also trains Rios, his younger brother Miguel Angel, and other top fighters. “It’s a significant help and it supports not only my fighters here at the Academy, but all of Oxnard. Tony sent four fighters to (San Antonio) Texas. It’s great because we do it for the kids.”
Margarito, the star attraction of the event, earlier in the month donated money for four local amateur s to attend the tournament in San Antonio. He has given his time generously for previous charitable events.
“I’m very happy that I can do this for the kids,” said Margarito, as he was signing autographs.
As for his November 13th showdown against Pacquiao in at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX, Margarito says that he is more than ready.
“The preparation for this fight is better than the ones before. I’m very happy and this is the best training leading up to a fight in my career. I’m very motivated to face him and you see that on November 13th.”
HBO cameras were there to film Margarito for the critically-acclaimed “24/7” series.