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Friday, July 24, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto: Fans weigh in

Boxing fans obviously are passionate about the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas. Their reaction to my column on why I believe Cotto is Pacquiao’s biggest test since his second fight with Juan Manuel Marquez is evidence of that. Here are some of the emails I received and my thoughts:


You've got to be kidding, Pacman a great boxer? He had Marquez down three times in the first round of their first fight and couldn't finish him off and then got schooled by a real boxer. Manny does have talent, no doubt, but he is not versatile. He carries power in his hands but was also knocked out early in his career by a body shot (Cotto's specialty). Pacman hasn't really fought a fighter like Cotto, young, strong, boxer, slugger and can adapt. We all know Cotto can come back from being hurt but Pacman has recently yet to be tested. And when fighters who are used to being aggressive get tested hard, the results are usually disastrous. Cotto by late stoppage. -- Orlando

A lot of people use Pacquiao’s fights against Juan Manuel Marquez as evidence that he’s not a great fighter. The problem with that argument is that Marquez also is a great fighter. And, whether we agree on the scoring, Marquez has yet to beat Pacquiao.


You got me. I thought you were going to write something interesting about the fight. But what you did was pull the old switcharoo.

I guess Cotto should simply stay home. Hell, he is going to lose to the all mighty Pacman. LOL. Bottom line is that you are a FAN just like everyone else and are biased just like everyone else. Check your biases please. Pacquiao is a GREAT boxer? WHY? LOL.

Look, barring Cotto getting cut this will be a good fight. Of course I don't see it as you do. NO. I think the outcome will be different. I see the Pacman getting knocked out. Cotto is young, talented and he will be fighting close enough to his fighting weight that it should make no difference to him. Cotto has fought some of the best welterweights and if at times he looked less than spectacular it was not due to his lack of talent but rather the quality and talent of his opponents. He has fought Top 5 welterweights of the WORLD at their primes. Somebody has got to lose and neither fighter will look spectacular when fighting fighters of this quality.

Pacquiao is good, no, very good. BUT, he is not GREAT. By the way the pound-for-pound title is a joke. Anyway, he has fought some very good fighters but the last two do not fall into that category. De La Hoya is out of him prime and came in as you said like a zombie. Hatton is average at best. To be honest with you I'm 38 years old, recently separated from the military and in damn good physical shape with no prior boxing experience other than fighting in the streets. If I were given a couple of bucks and a couple of months I would get in the ring with Pacquiao, De La Hoya, and Hatton and I could give them a run for their money. I can't believe what passes for Great fighters.

Pacquiao has BIG flaws and when he gets in the ring with someone on an even par with him he will have trouble. Cotto will knock him out.

Here is the crazy thing: I'm not even a Cotto fan. There was a buzz and I watched a couple of his fights but I didn't see anything more than a good fighter, we both agree on that. Where we disagree is when you say that Pacquaio is a GREAT fighter and that he somehow has an advantage. It will be a good fight but you've made a very poor argument as to why the smaller fighter would win. -- Pablo

I’ve made a poor argument as to why the smaller fighter would win … unless he wins. We’ll see. And I’d pay to see you get into the ring with Pacquiao, De La Hoya and Hatton. LOL.


This is a prime example of overhype. I like Manny a lot but I don't know how you can point to his last three wins as being suspect on the path to greatness, dismiss Marquez's very strong contention that he beat Manny in both their fights, then call Pacman great with Cotto only being good.

The fact is that before the Margarito fight Cotto was considered great, he had outboxed Mosley and battered Judah. I personally believe that Clottey (who narrowly lost to Margarito) was more dangerous than both De la Hoya and Hatton. I think Cotto is a far more polished technical fighter, and he has shown his ability to adjust to pressure and styles. I don't really think Manny has. If he can't overwhelm completely with speed and power, he looks very amateurish and lost (see his first fight with Morales and both with Marquez).

If Cotto is good enough to deal with the speed and power of Mosley, as well as the size and strength of Margarito (who anyone would have to say was at least a 50/50 shot of packing his gloves) and Clottey, I think he'll have an answer for Manny. I also think that makes him great. -- Peter

Who believed Cotto was a great fighter before he lost to Margarito? What would that be based on? A single (and disputed) victory over one future Hall of Famer? Sorry but a fighter must pass many tough tests –- as Pacquiao has -– before he can be considered great. Also, I never dismissed Marquez’s contention that he won his fights against Pacquiao. The fact is that Pacquiao scored a draw in their first bout and won the rematch; that’s all I ever said. The smartest point you make is that if Cotto can cope with Mosley’s speed, he should be able to cope with Pacquiao’s speed. That might turn out to be the case. And, remember, I DID say it is distinctly possible that Cotto will beat Pacquiao. I just don’t think it will happen.

NO 147

Overall I liked your article. Every fight Pacquiao has, I am on the edge of my seat worrying about that punch that comes out of nowhere (“Hit Man” knows what I'm talking about). I like the Cotto fight but he was only my fourth choice behind Marquez, Mosley and “Pretty Boy.” I am glad that one of those fights could happen. Any thoughts on why Pacman wouldn't fight at 147? He certainly did not look sluggish against Diaz. I presume that making a habit of fighting guys who walk around at 165 would be dangerous. Too bad the 140-pounders are not that interesting. Any insight into what happened with the Mosley option?

And I will be rooting for Marquez despite my dislike of his whining. -- James

Pacquiao fought Diaz at 135. The only time he fought at 147 was against De La Hoya. Why not fight at Cotto at 147? I think Pacquiao was willing to make a concession against De La Hoya because of the enormous amount of money he’d make and the fact trainer Freddie Roach knew it wouldn’t be a difficult fight. That’s not the case with Cotto, who is a strong welterweight. Forcing Cotto to come down to 145 limits Cotto’s natural size advantage. I think Pacquiao chose Cotto over Mosley for several reasons. Among them: Cotto probably would generate bigger pay-per-view numbers. I also think Roach believes it’s an easier fight.


I really don’t see Cotto being able to deal with Manny’s speed. I doubt Cotto will hit him that much and I think the speed of Pac coming at him will be more than he has ever had to deal with. Cotto is a good stalker, but with Pac’s recent foot movement and hand speed, I see a big problem for Cotto just based on speed, not power. I do however feel that Cotto is not at his best, but Pac is. Pac’s confidence, self belief, etc, right now is going to be hard to beat. I think Cotto has demons from the Margarito fight, the tough Clottey fight, the issue with his uncle, the lawsuit from his uncle, his distrust of Top Rank after supporting Margarito in wrapgate, etc.

With all of that said, when/if Pac beats Cotto it will have been a monumental task moving up from featherweight to campaign, taking on the best in the welterweight division! Something that Floyd wanted no parts of (for whatever reason) and I am a fan of Floyd. -- J.B.

I don’t think you’re giving Cotto enough credit. He’s a pro; he’ll be able to put distractions aside and focus on Pacquiao. And, again, he has the ability to pull an upset.


Great article on the upcoming Cotto vs. Pacquiao fight. Your insight on Cotto's performance against Clottey was right on. He had a very bad gash throughout the fight that obviously limited his performance. You are also right on that Cotto is Pacquiao's biggest challenge to date (since Marquez) and this fight will determine how great Pacquiao is. You obviously know your boxing and I look forward in reading your articles. Great Job! -- Jesus Z

Too bad we have to wait 16 weeks to see it.


I respectfully have to tell you that you will be wrong after Nov 14th. You will still be able to say "Pacquiao won but ..." Look at the past year for Cotto. The man has had a pretty tough year. A few punches from Pacquiao and Cotto's face will open up easily again. This is absolutely the wrong time for Cotto to fight Pacquiao. Bob Arum knows this and is basically tossing Cotto to his hot fighter. This fight is for Arum and to pad Pacquiao's resume. Nothing more. 145 makes this fight virtually meaningless. Why not fight a titleholder at his weight? It’s ridiculous. Cotto has no shot. It would take a miracle. Cotto is right on the edge of top 10 p4p but right now he is just too vulnerable. Fact. Cotto doesn't make it past 7. Sad but true. -- Chris

You might be right about the cut. That’s always a possibility, particularly after it has already happened. That would be shame, wouldn’t it? Again, I think you’re underestimating Cotto. He beat a tough guy in Clottey with a very bad cut; that said a lot to me. And I think you’re making a bit too much out of the catch weight. Cotto weighed in at 146 against Clottey. I know every pound counts but a single pound isn’t THAT much of a difference. I suspect Cotto will be plenty strong at 145.


I'm a big fan and find your articles to be fair and straight. I don't think your good vs. great comment on "Cotto is Pacquiao's first real challenge since Marquez" piece to be as broad and accurate as it should be.

If Cotto has a weakness/strength it's that he's faced tougher competition through longer rounds, which may have worn him out to the point where Manny thinks he can win by boxing. However, the match up will be a war and based on his previous fights Cotto has the bigger heart and perseverance to win a fight through the championship rounds. November may be the first time Manny is being tested by a true welterweight who can handle the catch weight. The catch weight is also not the limiting factor; I tend to think Cotto's trainer is the key to the fight since it will affect the game plan, conditioning and adaptations Cotto will have to make throughout the fight. -- Cesar

Well, I’ll say this: If the fighters are still standing in the late rounds, it will be interesting to see who is the stronger of the two.


I was reading your article and I was so impressed by noting someone so smart, very accurate and objective. I have to be honest to you, at the end I let you go down and crash like every other person with no brain. I do not understand why with all the evaluation regarding this fight you ended like someone with no knowledge.

This are your own words: "At the same time, whether anyone likes it or not, we can look at those three opponents and find significant flaws. David Diaz is tough and well-schooled but not an elite fighter. Oscar De La Hoya, once one of the best, was a zombie the night he met Pacquiao because of weight loss and natural deterioration. And Ricky Hatton, when it came down to it, was good but overrated. Bottom line: Cotto is big enough, experienced enough and good enough to beat the most-celebrated fighter in the world, a fact that Pacquaio’s many fans will find hard to swallow. It’s true, though; it can happen."

People have to understand that technically Cotto still undefeated, Margacheatta’s gloves were loaded for that fight. Every time he fights we found people like you looking for excuses to find a name which will beat Cotto. On Nov. 14 Cotto will destroy Pacquiao, possibly in six rounds. Probably you will tell me that I am crazy. Let me tell you something: Pacquiao’s resume cannot be compared with Cotto’s. I was watching almost every single fight from Pacquiao and he did not prove that he is smarter, has better boxing skill and is stronger. He struggled very badly with Marquez; a lot of people saw Marquez winning that fight. None of Pacquiao’s adversaryes can be compared with Cotto. Diaz was an inflated champion with no skill and power, De La Hoya already expired from the best time without mentioning that fight he was like a cadaver and Hatton was a punching bag with no movement and technique. So I ask you this question now: Do you still think Pacquiao will beat Cotto? If your answer is yes, you should quit writing. If on the other hand you agree with me, then I believe you are a good, smart boxing writer. Anyhow, I am planning to go to Las Vegas, probably because people like will help me a lot and I will be able to make some money. Take care and keep the great job. -- Angel

One thing I’ve learned, Angel, is that it’s dangerous to be as cocky as you are. What are you going to say if Pacquiao wins?


I totally agree with your views in regards to the Pacquiao-Cotto fight this coming November.

But mind you, based on Cotto's last outing against Joshua Clottey in their title bout, Pacquiao will absolutely and definitely pummel and out-speed the Puerto Rican because his movements are very much sluggish and slowpoke to say the very least. And … his stamina and tenacity is not enough, in my opinion, to outclass the current pound-for-pound king, Pacman. -- Luther

Luther, you would pick Pacquiao over one of the Klitschkos. But I love your passion.


I do agree with your article, and I thought it was well written. I believe that Cotto is indeed Pacquiao's toughest test to date. I do believe, however, that Pacquiao will have some trouble if Cotto can weather the early storm that Pacquiao will unleash in Rounds 1 and 2. Clearly, Hatton could not survive that. If Cotto can make it past the 7th, and not let his exhaustion show, I believe he has a chance to win a UD. But since it will be in Vegas, and Arum loves Pacquiao soooo much, Cotto will have to clearly win the decision decisively. I highly doubt he will get a close decision in Vegas against Arum's best buddy Manny Pacquiao. Cotto's best shot is to sit back and try to figure out Pacquiao early, look to counter punch, and not try to trade punches. If he can keep this up for the entire fight, then I believe Miguel Cotto has a very good chance of victory. -- Nick

I understand what you're saying about the judges -- it makes sense -- but I suspect Cotto will get a fair shake in Nevada. And you're right; the fight will get very interesting if Cotto can prove early that he can hang with Pacquiao. I think the fight will go into the later rounds. However, I think Pacquiao will be the one who finds a way to win.


I am a big Pac fan. I have seen Cotto fight and he is a very good fighter. Whatever happens, it will be an action packed fight. Cotto is definitely better than Hatton.

Regarding your article and Pac prediction, I really hope it comes true. From my point of view, however, I see the fight as dead even. Regardless of what other people think, I do not believe that Pacman is a welterweight. I believe that based on his body size, he should be at 135.

Cotto is just too big. This is the guy that went toe to toe with Margarito, Clottey and Mosley! This will play a big part in their matchup.

This is what makes Pacman a great fighter. Same with JMM, in fact. They should get more recognition for the challenges they take by going up in weight and therefore always taking the harder fight. In fact, if Pacman loses to Cotto, I believe that he should still be in the Top 5 P4P. What do you think? -- Jens

The fact Cotto is an authentic welterweight is one of the most interesting aspects to this fight. He might very well be too big and strong for Pacquiao. I think speed and ability trumps size, though. Cotto is no Hatton, as you pointed out. He's also no Pacquiao. And should Pacquiao remain on the pound-for-pound list if he loses? I would say so as long as he doesn't get blown out.


Consider also that it's quite possible Margarito had that weird plaster-like substance in his gloves for that fight with Cotto. I don't say that easily, given that I long admired Margarito, but when sparring partners complained that "something may have been going on," you have to wonder. I'm not saying it's a fact or that there's no doubt about it. But somehow, I don't think his camp just thought of it when the Mosley fight came up.

Either way, yes, I agree that Pacquiao edges out a decision. -- Brad

We’ll always wonder whether Javier Capetillo packed Margarito wraps the night he fought Cotto. The thought is disgusting, given the beating Cotto took and the permanent damage it might’ve caused. Either way, I think Cotto has bounced back nicely from the worst night of his career.

Source: ringtv.com

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