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Thursday, June 18, 2009


New York, NY- Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs) was ringside at Madison Square Garden for the Joshua Clottey vs. Miguel Cotto match Saturday night. Seated next to his promoter Bob Arum, who also promotes Cotto, this gave Manny a chance to size up his potential next opponent. As of right now, it appears that Pacquiao and Cotto will fight in the fall. This is due to the fact Floyd Mayweather has postponed his July 18th fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, claiming to a rib injury. Pacquiao sees something in Cotto that he believes he can exploit and he's not alone. I ran over this fight in my mind and I could find ten reasons why Cotto might not want to make his next fight against Pacquiao.

1. Speed: Miguel has decent speed, but he's not as fast as the fiery Filipino. Cotto will have a hard time dealing with several rounds of Pacquiao’s punches constantly coming at him in barrages. Undoubtedly, even if Cotto is able to block some of Pac's punches, others will get through and with his power, they can indeed cause serious damage.

2. Intensity: Cotto has had problems with determined and intense fighters. In his only loss, Cotto was stalked and walked down by Antonio Maragarito, who scored an 11th round TKO last July. If Cotto thinks that Margarito was intense, Pacquiao may redefine intensity altogether for him. With Pacquiao‘s added speed, it’s hard to image Cotto winning a whole fight going backwards.

3. Power: Pac has amazing power for someone who started off as a minimum weight (105 lbs) and now is knocking out welterweight (147 lb.) and junior welterweight (140 lb.) opponents at the sports highest level. Cotto has been down and hurt before in more than one fight, so in my opinion Pac would be very dangerous should he land in the proper spots. No one knows yet how Pac's punches may affect Cotto, but if/when the bell rings it will be too late to reconsider.

4. Momentum: Manny Pac in the eyes of most boxing experts is the best ‘pound for pound’ fighter in the world. Millions love him as legions of new fans are added to his movement every time he fights. He has the entire Philippines behind him and if you watched 24/7, stars like Mark Walberg, Mickey Rourke, and others were all on hand during his training sessions. It would be a pro Pac atmosphere leading up to the fight, something Cotto is surely not used to.

5. Durability Cotto has been in several tough wars. He was cut badly in two of his last four bouts. He's looked tired and beat in the later rounds although he still is aware what's going on. Pac is a lot fresher of a fighter at this point in his career and because of this, would make him less likely to fade than Cotto. Clottey looked like he had Cotto almost beat. It’s likely Pacquiao would have the tools to bring Cotto that much closer to the edge.

6. The Money: Right now Bob Arum seems to be leaning toward giving Pacquiao the lion share of the money for the fight. It has been reported as high as 70 percent. Pacquiao is the bigger star and he’s looking to cash in on his popularity while he can. Considering a 30% share of the fight, Cotto should not even take the fight. But on the other hand, it will be his biggest payday yet.

7. Weight: Although Cotto moved up from junior welterweight (140 lbs) to welterweight (147), he has not fought there in some time. Pac is going to try to bring him down to 142 to even out the weight difference and make Cotto less comfortable, if not drawn and unable to fight much like Oscar De La Hoya in the fight. This plan worked well against Oscar and I’m sure Pac’s trainer, Freddie Roach won’t mind.

8. Location: It's likely that this fight will not happen in New York, but rather in Las Vegas where bigger and better accommodations could me made for the numerous high profile guests that would attend. Cotto is used to fighting at his virtual home in New York and fighting in Las Vegas may be strange for him. Simply put, Miguel would have a spot on the biggest stage, but he wouldn't be the star.

9. Cotto’s Fight To Lose: Being that Cotto is the naturally bigger man a win would certainly not mean much for him as his opponent. If he beats Pac, he's defeated a smaller fighter, who although is magnificent still may be seen by the public to be too small for the naturally bigger Cotto. If he loses to Pac, Cotto will likely have a tough road to rebuild his career, particularly if he is knocked out. It would indeed make it two knockouts in his last four bouts and undoubtedly the curtains on his career would start to squeak and close.

10. Smarter Fights Out There: Cotto arguably hasn't lost a fight, considering the plaster of Paris ordeal with Antonio Margarito. He is tough and still marketable. With this being the case, he still has quite few options for opponents who would love the opportunity to fight him as well. He can focus on becoming the linear welterweight champ by going after WBC’s Andre Berto (25-0, 19 KOs). Or he can rematch with WBA champ Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), whom he has already beaten and would likely have a solid chance of repeating given he sticks to the original game plan.

In closing, I’m not saying that I don’t want this fight to happen, or that Cotto can’t win. It will be very exciting, even more so if Cotto can pull off the upset. It’s just that the odds are seriously against him and he might want to explore what else is out there before putting it all on the line in the fall.

Source: ringtalk.com

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