Margarito hails Pacquiao

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ARLINGTON, November 16 – From his hospital bed, Antonio Margarito offered his congratulations on Monday to Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao, two days after the Asian fighter inflicted a punishing defeat on 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 in praise of the smaller Pacquiao. "It was a tough and difficult fight for me."

"Pac-Man" took a unanimous 12-round decision to claim the World Boxing Council super welterweight crown by delivering such a lopsided beating that the Mexican’s eyes were swelled shut and his face was bruised and bloodied.

Doctors scheduled surgery on a broken right orbital bone for Tuesday, once Margarito’s facial swelling had subsided, and the fighter said he hopes to fly to Los Angeles on Wednesday on the way to his Tijuana home.

"I was never going to quit and tried to win this fight to the very last minute," Margarito said.

Pacquiao, a lawmaker in the Philippines, will perform a concert in Lake Tahoe on Tuesday and then fly home after stretching his win streak to 13 fights and improving his record to 52-3 with two drawn and 38 knockouts.

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