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Monday, August 31, 2009

Is Cotto a Shot Fighter? – Boxing

By Dave Lahr: Although Miguel Cotto is still winning his fights, he didn’t exactly impress in his last fight against Joshua Clottey in June. There are people who feel that Cotto hasn’t been the same since being beaten by Antonio Margarito last year. To be sure, Cotto didn’t look like his old self in defeating Clottey by a 12 round split decision win. Cotto fought as if he was unsure of himself after getting cut by Clottey.

Some of that appeared to be Cotto being worried about the cut, but the other part looked as if Cotto was tiring out and on the verge of quitting.

Cotto didn’t quit and stuck it out, but it looked for like for a moment there that Cotto was ready to go out on his feet. With that in mind, it’s not exactly the best of timing that Cotto is facing an opponent as dangerous as Manny Pacquiao off of a performance like the last one.
Pacquiao is in the prime of his career and is looking better than he ever has. It would seem that Pacquiao are going in different directions right now. Cotto may be sinking at small angle, but he appears to be a bit on the downward slide.

Whether that was just a momentary appearance because of his tough fight with Clottey is unclear. But Cotto’s going to have to look more impressive than he did against Clottey if he wants to come out victorious against Pacquiao on November 14th.

Cotto will have to be prepared to fight his heart out if he wants to win this fight because he can’t afford to slip mentally in this fight or be concerned about a cut. If he gets cut, Cotto is going to have to be prepared to fight that much harder if he wants to win the fight. The good news is that Pacquiao doesn’t hit as hard as Margarito with every punch.

Pacquiao can punch plenty hard when he puts all his energy into his shots, but he can’t fire off one big shot after another with the same kind of power that Margarito can on a consistent basis without tiring out or leaving himself open. Cotto will have to be better at covering up and making sure that he doesn’t get nailed by Pacquiao’s right hooks and straight left hands.

Cotto likely won’t be able to change his stamina problems too much for his fight with Pacquiao. But Cotto can work on his defense and try to block some more shots. I don’t know that Cotto is a shot fighter, but I think he didn’t react well when he was taking punishment at the hands of Clottey in his last fight.

Cotto lucked out in a way in that fight because Clottey stopped punching as much in the later rounds and gave Cotto a break to get his act together. Pacquiao, for his part, probably won’t lessen up on his attacks and will keep Cotto under a constant level of pressure.

Freddie Roach will be able to detect whether Cotto is tiring in the later rounds and will give Pacquiao instructions to go after him. Pacquiao is quite adept at following instructions from his corner and will tirelessly follow whatever advice that Roach gives him. This is why Cotto will have to pace himself and cover up well so that Pacquiao can’t batter him to pieces late in the fight.

As for whether Cotto is shot or not. It’s still too early to tell. He’s certainly not fighting at the level he was before his loss to Margarito, I can say that much for him.

Source: boxingnews24.com

Cotto-Pacquiao will be in a 20-foot ring

Just in case you heard the weird claim from Miguel Cotto's trainer Joe Santiago that the Manny Pacquiao side had demanded a gigantic, 24-foot ring for November 14, you can safely stop wondering what anyone's talking about and be relieved to learn that the fight will be in a 20-foot ring.

From Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer:

"It has to be in a 20-foot ring. Any promoter can ask for an exception, but they probably wouldn't get it. Nobody has asked for a 24-foot ring in this fight."

From Bob Arum, promoter of both men:

"I don't know where this came from, but it's not true. In the state of Nevada, you have to use a 20-foot ring."

So in case it isn't clear yet: Nevada regulations call for every single boxing fight to take place in a 20-foot ring. Every single one. You can ask for a different sized ring, but you are unlikely to get it. And apparently, despite Santiago's distressed claims, the Pacquiao team has not asked for a larger ring, or any other size ring. In fact, they apparently have never really brought up the ring, as it would seem to me that everyone involved should know that in Nevada, the fights are fought in a 20-foot ring.

Source: badlefthook.com

Team Pacquiao: House divided, Koncz wanted Roach as Loan Arranger

“Freddie Roach…he’s only the trainer.”—AGENT MICHAEL KONCZ
There’s friction, it’s not fiction, within the boxing camp of Pinoy Idol Manny Pacquiao.

The Megamanny Mansion is becoming a house divided against itself and, as Abraham Lincoln historically noted, such a house cannot stand.

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble because the longtime jealousy of Pacman’s furtive Canadian agent Michael Koncz has for the celebrated Coach Roach is out in the open once again.

From Day One, when Koncz first started insinuating himself into Megamanny’s inner circle, there has been bad blood between the Wild Card Gym guru and perennial Trainer of the Year Award winner.

It’s easy to say, oh Pacman he thrives on dissension within Team Pacquiao, he’s like Muhammad Ali in that regard, he gets a weird kick out of the infighting, backbiting and knifethrowing going between members of his well paid crew.

But trusted adviser and well regard Pinoy boxing man Wakee Salud has come out and stated publicly in Cebu that Roach is right to say he’s “pissed” about the way Koncz and Pacman attorney Franklin “Jeng” Gacal seem to blow him off on important boxing matters.

The genial Salud also added that Roach, now making funeral arrangements in Las Vegas for his youngest brother Joseph who died suddenly at age 47 Saturday, is right to be angry that Pacman has not chosen an initial training base or done any light work to get ready for the Nov. 14 Miguel Cotto showdown.

(Roach is not returning calls in his bereaved state and Koncz never answers me so I didn’t bother to chase him.)

For his part, Koncz is blasé and said Megamanny can start training on Sept. 5. Koncz glosses over the fact that Pacman has a mentally strenuous publicity/press conference activity blizzard coming up with appearances in New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Now I can reveal one strong source of the enmity between Koncz and Roach.

When Koncz, who became Pacman’s “White Shadow” to get into the fighter’s good graces and abandoned his wife and kids in Orange County, was financially strapped he first turned to the prosperous trainer for a sizable loan, said to be in the 25 to 50 thousand dollar range.

Goodhearted Roach, who lives so modestly and eats, sleeps and breathes boxing six out of seven days a week, turned to his personal and trusted financial adviser regarding the money loan.

The adviser called a couple of veteran boxing types he knew well and inquired about Koncz.

Naturally, those boxing guys knew little, if anything, about the fistic Johnny Come Lately.

The adviser recommended not giving the handout to Koncz.

“Koncz has never forgotten that,” an inflamed source told me Monday. “That burned Koncz and he’s held it against Freddie ever since. That and all the media attention that the popular Roach gets, it burns Mike’s backside.”

In desperation, Koncz turned to Top Rank top dog Bob Arum. That's where he got the sorely needed financial transfusion.

Sounds to me like Pacquiao needs to put down his movie and sitcom scripts and right his own ship.

He’s sailing into deep and dangerous waters with Boricua Cotto and this tension cannot work to his boxing benefit.

What say you, Manny? Or will you handle it the way Koncz has not, internally?
The fragging between the troops has got to stop.


Arum: Don't panic, Pacquiao will go camping in Mexican mountainsWith the wisdom born of 40 plus years as a wildly successful fight promoter, Bob Arum

With the wisdom born of 40 plus years as a wildly successful fight promoter, Bob Arum thinks the Pacquiao Worldwide Army (PWA) should take their collective fingers off the panic button.

I had a newsy and informative chat with Uncle Bob, the Top Rank ringmaster who will turn age 79 on Dec. 8, Monday night.

Using my special Uncle Bob decoder ring, I think I’ve deduced where the Pinoy Idol will launch his serious training for the Nov. 14 bout against the hard-hitting Boricua Miguel Cotto.

Arum told me Cancun was out (“too flat”) and that the Philippines and the Bahamas were also rejected by Megamanny as his camp base for the period before he winds up at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

I joked with Arum about Outer Mongolia getting the Manny nod and then put myself in check. Holy jalapeno, Tio Roberto, I asked, what about the Mexican mountains of Toluca, not far from Mexico City?

“I can’t tell you,” Arum said. “So no comment.”

My special decoder ring buzzed and the steam kettle whistle inside it also sounded. I felt the guy who cracked the piñata with one swing of the bat.

Having said that, I could also be wrong but, as I’ve written before, Toluca makes mucho sense.

“I am not panicking,” Arum said. “I know Manny.

:We spoke this morning. I gave him the bad news on Freddie’s younger brother, Joey, and Manny was really shaken up. He said, ‘I know Joey, that’s the one who lives in Las Vegas. He later reached out to Freddie to express his condolences to him. Manny was totally unaware of it. He’d been shooting a movie or a TV show or something like that.”
And here I thought Pacman sat by his computer breathlessly awaiting my latest essay on Examiner.com and Boxingconfidential.

“No reason to panic, absolutely not,” Arum said of Pacman’s training regimen. “When we’re done with the press/publicity tour, which to New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and LA and then finishes (without Cotto) in San Diego Sept. 15, Manny is going to camp.

"Unlike most of these guys, Manny never balloons up in weight. He will have his usual, solid eight weeks.”

Arum said Cotto will keep working in Caguas, his hometown, and later relocate to Tampa.

Arum downplayed the public displays of dissension within the camp with Roach being “pissed off” on one side and agent Michael Koncz and lawyer Jeng Gacal carping on the other.

“That’s kid stuff, it’s really tame. It’s par for the course. It happens in fighter’s camps. Freddie is trying to do his job and the other guys feel he’s trying to do the manager’s job. Once they get to training camp, the other two don’t interfere. Once they get to camp, there is one boss and that is Manny but Manny listens to Freddie. So it all works out.”

Arum reiterated the the MGM Grand Arena is “virtually sold out” with some choice ringside seats remaining available.

“And we’re going to put in 15,000 closed circuit seats and tickets in Las Vegas also.”

So, while Pacmaniacs are spinning like gyroscopes, Uncle Bob says don’t worry, be happy.

Let the CRIMINALS, the VILLAINS, the MONSTERS and everyone else be afraid as Wapacman is coming soon!

Source: examiner.com

Cotto Needs to Knock Pacquiao Off His High Horse

’m really looking forward to November 14th, so that WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto can knock Manny Pacquiao down a peg or two. This guy needs be stopped pronto. I was comfortable with Cotto giving Pacquiao a slow methodical beating for 12 long rounds, but now I prefer that Cotto get rid of Pacquiao as soon possible, preferably in the 1st or 2nd rounds. Pacquiao needs to stopped.

Think of it this way: If Pacquiao were to win the fight, we’d probably be seeing a future of him continuing to fight catch weight bouts again fighters that would have little choice but to have their titles on the line or risk being stripped of their titles by the sanctioning bodies.
That’s what happens when you get a fighter that gets too powerful for their own good. They can throw their weight around and make things happen. You know and I know that any close decisions involving Pacquiao very likely go to him, just as was the case in his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez last year. Who in their right mind saw Pacquiao winning that fight. And that’s what I’m talking about. Unless Cotto stops Pacquiao now, he’s going to have too much power for his own good.

I don’t how Pacquiao got popular because he doesn’t deserve it my view. It was the wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton that did it for him. Before that, Pacquiao was just a fighter like anyone else. He won some fights and then would lose some others. But once he got the wins over De La Hoya and Hatton, suddenly Pacquiao has acquired a lot of popularity. And I don’t see that as good thing. I think it’s time that Pacquiao lose and be brought down to earth.

I want to see him get knocked out, because when you have a popular fighter like him, there’s too much wriggle room for the judges to give him a decision unless Cotto knocks him five or six times in the fight. We’re talking about a popular fighter here. Boxing is known for this kind of thing.

That’s why Cotto has to take Pacquiao apart and make sure that there’s no chance that Pacquiao and get a decision awarded to him unjustly. Because, believe me, if Pacquiao wins by another controversial decision, there’s probably next to no chance that Cotto will get a chance to get a rematch.

If you don’t believe me, just look at Marquez. He’s still waiting for a rematch a year and half later after his controversial loss to Pacquiao. And you know what? Marquez is probably going to wait a lot more longer for a fight against Pacquiao. My guess is probably never.

Source: boxingnews24.com

Roach slams advisers

CEBU boxing promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud said there is a reason why American trainer Freddie Roach is frustrated about the delay of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao’s training.

Pacquiao’s opponent, World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto, has taken a head start in the preparations for their Nov. 14
fight in Las Vegas.

“Roach has the right to be upset because Cotto has started his training but Pacquiao hasn’t,” said Salud.

“As a trainer, Roach knows the best training for his figher. He knows the right time to start practicing. But right now, he can’t do anything because Manny is the boss,” he added.

Salud also clarified that chances of Pacquiao training in Cebu remains slim.

“The original plan was for him to start his training in Baguio but that never materialized. Will he come to Cebu? Who knows. He might, he might not. Only Manny knows what goes on in that head of his,” added Salud.

In a boxing website, Roach expressed his frustration, especially towards Pacquiao’s advisers Atty. Franklyn Gacal and Michael Koncz.

“I am pissed and I am tired of these guys. They treat me like shit,” said Roach in boxing website insidesports. ph.

Roach added Gacal and Koncz are the ones who benefit the most in the financial aspect if Pacquiao wins.

Koncz, Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser was also quoted in boxingscene.com saying that Roach is only the trainer and not the manager.

“I know what’s best for my fighter,” said Roach.

In another website Koncz said Pacquiao’s fans have nothing to worry about it because Pacquiao will finish all his obligations in the Philippines by Sept. 5 and can then start training. ESL of Sun.Star SuperBalita.


Pacquiao vs Cotto: Large Ring Means Manny Will Box

It's been revealed that a 24-foot ring will be used for the November 14 bout between WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao. The ring size was requested by Team Pacquiao during the negotiations. It lays out the battle plan of Pacquiao to stick and move, jump in with combinations and jump right out before Cotto can counter.

Manny is going to play it smart and stay away from Cotto's biggest advantage, his power. Cotto's trainer Joe Santiago knows the ring size will be a big advantage for Manny but they are training on tactics to cut off the ring and close the distance on Pacquiao.

"Among the things that were being discussed during the negotiations for the fight, the Pacquiao's people were asking a ring that measures 24 feet. That would give the Filipino the advantage, but we are going to prepare Miguel in such a way that he will be able to cut off the ring," Santiago told Primera Hora. "Miguel is the stronger fighter and that is going to benefit us to get the win on November 14."

Source: boxingscene.com

If Miguel Cotto's shot, Manny Pacquiao will let us know

For all the talk we've done here about the November 14 encounter between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, I've done my absolute best to stay way away from the "Miguel Cotto is a changed fighter" talk, and certainly haven't touched the "Miguel Cotto is shot" talk. The former may be true in some respects, and I personally feel that the latter is foolish. I've said repeatedly that those underestimating Cotto are way too quick to count out the Puerto Rican warrior, who won a good, hard and close fight against Joshua Clottey in June.

But I will say this, as I've certainly been wrong before and undoubtedly will be again: If Miguel Cotto is a reeling fighter, then Manny Pacquiao is exactly the guy to cement that idea.

After all, Pacquiao has a pretty strong record of putting the finishing touches, so to speak, on great careers. No less than four superstar fighters have essentially been put out to pasture by the Filipino icon this decade.

The first of the four was Mexico's Erik Morales, Pacquiao's second-greatest rival and one of the most gutsy, courageous fighters of his generation. When we say someone "fights like a Mexican," Morales is exactly the type of guy who employed the style we're talking about. He had boxing skills, but he was easily drawn into firefights. In their first bout back in 2005, Morales beat Pacquiao (115-113 across the board) with a phenomenal performance. It was also the last "real" Erik Morales performance we'd ever see.

In his next fight, Morales was stunned by Zahir Raheem, losing a 12-round decision, and then he rematched Pacquiao. This time, it was the younger, stronger Pacquiao that really gut-checked Morales, eventually stopping him in the 10th round. It was a hell of a fight, just as their first bout had been, but it was clear who the better man was, too. They fought once more in November 2006, with Pacquiao completely dominating and overwhelming Morales, winning by third round TKO.

The second man was Morales' greatest rival, Marco Antonio Barrera. Pacquiao fought Barrera in 2003, coming in as a pretty heavy underdog for most, a fairly one-dimensional slugger with good speed and an awkward southpaw style. He was a one-handed fighter at the time. And that night, he tore Barrera to pieces before the Mexican's corner mercifully stopped the bout in the 11th round.

Morales fought once more, moving up to lightweight and losing a competitive scrap to David Diaz. He now intends to come back, but his relevant career is almost certainly finished.

In 2007, Pacquiao and Barrera fought again, and this time Barrera was the heavy underdog. He was coming off of a loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, a fight that was far closer than it was scored, but Pacquiao-Barrera II just never sizzled. It failed to truly captivate the interest of the fans, as the obvious true desire was for Pacquiao-Marquez II. Barrera also announced prior to the fight that it would be his last, and come fight night, he fought like a man simply there to earn one more good paycheck and not get himself embarrassed or knocked out. He lost a wide decision, fighting tentatively until swiping Pacquiao with a blatant cheap shot late in the fight.

Barrera, of course, also came back from retirement, making an ill-advised move to 135 pounds. It has not gone well, and his career, too, is now simply active instead of relevant.

Number three: Oscar de la Hoya. No question Oscar was weight-drained, out of shape, and far past his prime. But Pacquiao did what no one else had ever been able to do: He completely dominated de la Hoya to the point where Oscar had no choice but to swallow his pride, get off his stool, and quit. Even when Bernard Hopkins knocked Oscar out with a wicked body punch years ago, Oscar tried with all he had to get up off the mat and keep going. In that case, he physically couldn't do it. In this case, Pacquiao destroyed him physically and mentally.

Oscar retired from the ring after his loss to Pacquiao.

And then the fourth, obviously, is Ricky Hatton. Hatton is hinting that he's going to fight again, but he's never going to be the same guy. I do think in my gut that Ricky can still compete at a high level against most guys at 140 pounds, but would it shock me if he went out and wound up getting beaten by a much lesser-regarded fighter? No, it wouldn't. Pacquiao definitely took something from Hatton in May.

I'm not saying that Manny Pacquiao is the sole reason these guys retired. Oscar was aged and had done everything he was ever going to do in boxing as an active competitor. Morales and Hatton were both in their prime athletic years, but Morales in particular had already taken a lot of punishment over his legendary career, and Hatton had taken his fair share of lumps, too. Barrera simply seemed to lack any desire.

But in every case, there were two commons: Manny Pacquiao and whispers (sometimes much more) that Manny's opponent simply wasn't the fighter he used to be. Pacquiao's last two fights with Morales, the rematch with Barrera, the mega fights with Oscar and Ricky; every single one of them involved a guy that a good portion of folks thought was toast, or close to it.

Miguel Cotto has heard the same talk since his July 2008 loss to Antonio Margarito. Yes, there's a ton of controversy surrounding that fight now, but it doesn't change the physical effects it may well have had on Cotto, which could still be taking a toll on him. There are also the mental problems it may have introduced. He didn't look trigger-shy at all against a clearly overmatched Michael Jennings, but there are two ways to look at the Clottey fight. The first is he fought smart and with a bad cut that came from a headbutt, winning in a fine performance. That's how I prefer to see it.

But there are also those that really feel Miguel didn't look very good against Clottey and lacked that killer instinct he used to have.

If it's not there for Miguel Cotto the way it used to be, we're going to find out. Clottey may be a bigger, physically stronger guy than Manny, but one thing he doesn't have that Pacquiao does is that killer instinct, that finishing ability. Manny comes to finish fights, and a Cotto that isn't ready for that type of fighter anymore would be a Cotto in very big trouble on November 14.

Source: badlefthook.com

Fighters, Fans, and Pay-Per-View

Finally, the autumn has arrived and the two most highly anticipated fights of the year are at hand, Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto. Fight fans have long discussed and debated the outcome of these fights but it is the “making of” these contests that has shook up the boxing world. Typically, boxing promotions revolve around fighters and their promoters arguing why their fighter and/or company is the best, why you should tune in, buy tickets, order the pay-per-view, etc…True boxing fans, casual and diehards, generally care less about sales and marketing and more about in the ring action but ironically when it comes to these two fights, boxing fans seemingly are less concerned about the actual fight as they are with final pay-per-view sales..

In regards to these two fights, websites and boxing forums from around the world have received endless streams of articles, interviews, chats, and blogs full of facts and opinions. By lending an ear to the fans and researching their opinions it is clear that a battle line has been drawn between those who support the pay-per-view drawing power of Pacquiao vs. that of Mayweather. Based on the comments of many who support Pacquiao it is clear that they want the September 19th Mayweather-Marquez event to fail financially. They have put in a lot of work towards convincing anyone on the fence to not buy this fight. They say Marquez is too small, he is handpicked, he has never fought at welterweight, etc…while at the same time they ignore that Mayweather has been retired for two years, will certainly have rust, was called out by Marquez and agreed to a catch weight below 147. Most importantly, those against this contest conveniently ignore that Marquez is universally regarded as the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world; simply put, this is no tune-up.

The Mayweather-Marquez event has several positive components going for it; what is fascinating however is how those who are against this fight take its positives and attempt to turn them into negatives. For instance, many fans have long complained about purchasing pay-per-views that do not have an attractive undercard. This event however does not have that problem; it will showcase not only pound-for-pound stars Mayweather and Marquez but will also feature the rematch of WBA featherweight champion Chris John vs. Rocky Juarez and the always exciting Michael Katsidis vs. Vicente Escobedo. According to the anti-fans, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) only stacked the card with great fights because they are afraid Mayweather can’t draw. Well if this is the case then I hope no fighter ever becomes a draw again because according to this logic we only get a great card because the headliner can’t draw.

Also, GBP announced that the Mayweather-Marquez fight will be shown in movie theaters across the country. While this is without a doubt one of the best things that has happened to boxing recently, the anti-fans again have attempted to turn this into a negative stating, “They only showing it in theaters cause their afraid no one will buy the pay-per-view.” So again, according to this logic, fear of Mayweather’s inability to draw has brought big fights back to theaters; therefore it appears to this writer that we should thank the so-called non drawing power of Mayweather rather than criticize it.

In contrast, though every true boxing fan should be excited about Pacquiao vs. Cotto, Top Rank’s proposed undercard featuring Yuri Forman vs. Daniel Santos does not come close to matching the GBP offering. Also, the only innovation currently associated with this bout is the creation of a WBC Diamond Belt, which is precisely what the boxing world does not need, another belt. With that said however, there is not nearly as many fans if any at all, criticizing or hoping for Pacquiao-Cotto to fail financially. Perhaps this means that fans are happy with this fight alone regardless of the undercard or maybe this only proves that Mayweather has some of the most dedicated anti-fans in the sport, or as their called in the boxing world, haters.

Though any discussion of boxing is good, why fight fans are dedicating so much energy in debating pay-per-view sales makes one wonder if they believe their getting a cut of the profits. My ultimate goal for both of these fights is simply to add another great fight to my collection, and perhaps even engage in a healthy debate or two regarding who is the best pound-for-pound. The fact of the matter is if fans want to see the biggest fight that can be made “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao” then it may be wise to support their current assignments.

Ultimately, these fights are a win-win for the sport of boxing and the fans, why anyone who claims they are true boxing fans would hope for any of these events to fail is ridiculous. Only Dana White of the UFC, who will be going up against Mayweather-Marquez on September 19th, should be wishing with fingers crossed that no one will take interest in this bout. If his wish indeed comes true then it will not be the fans of UFC he should thank but boxing fans themselves who have willingly shunned their own sport. Keep it up and we will soon be watching boxing’s funeral, if you can’t be there live, I am sure you can catch it on pay-per-view.

Source: eastsideboxing.com

Is Miguel Cotto Pacquiao's toughest challenge?

Is Miguel Cotto Pacquiao's toughest challenge?- I will say that the answer to this question is a very loud YES... One however must remember that Oscar De La Hoya was put in that role some 2 fights ago against the Pac-Man, all Pac-Man did in response was step up and destroy De La Hoya and made the Golden Goose retire on his stool. Going into the Oscar fight, many picked Oscar to win because of Oscar's experience, height, weight, and over all skill. After the bell rang, Oscar seemed to only have experience and height. Oscar sure didn't have the extra weight on him since Pacquiao entered the ring weighing more than the Golden Boy. Manny was just too fast, too strong, too smart, and too skillful for Oscar come fight night. I picked Oscar to destroy Pacquiao, when I look back now, I should have changed my mind when I heard that Victor Ortiz and Edwin Valero were said to have been toying with Oscar in camp. Lesson learned, I feel that Cotto is Pacquiao's toughest challenge since his first encounter against Erik Morales. In Cotto, Pacquiao will be dealing against a man that is very strong, has power in either hand, has above average footwork, and like Pacquiao this fighter has the heart of a lion. We are all in for quite a treat.

Will Juan Diaz give Malignaggi a rematch in the Big Apple?- In one word I will say No, No because knowing some of the players involved in all this, some will ask what makes Malignaggi and his team think that the judges that will be used in New York are any better than any other judge used anywhere else? In fact some are already saying that Paulie's promoter Lou Dibella used the same strategy when he put up his gem at the time Jermain Taylor against Cory Spinks and Winky Wright at Memphis which is pretty much Taylor's second home. Alot feel that Cory used enough lateral movement and swift footwork to beat Taylor but was robbed by the judges, so where was the belly aching then? To take it a step further, in reading the message boards from boxing fans, there are alot of fans out there that feel strongly that Herman Ngoudjo was robbed when he came to Atlantic City to face Paulie, so where was the boxing is full of shit rant then? I for one do feel that Diaz should give Paulie the rematch because the fight was very entertaining and in many peoples eyes the fight could have gone either way. I think that the rematch will be even better than the first match. As I noted above people will say what they think and what they feel, some are right and some couldn't be more wrong. I say make it right, first fight was in Texas, next fight should be in New York, and if third fight is needed, then somewhere neutral, where that neutral spot is located at exactly? Well, that all depends on who you ask.

Now or never for Cotto to seize the #1 spot at the top of pound for pound list?- Yes, I will say that the time is now for Cotto to seize that lofty spot at the top. Cotto has pretty much always flirted around the top ten on the pound for pound list, well it's time to stop flirting and it's now time to capture it. A Cotto loss will once again put Cotto between 5-10 slot on the list, if Cotto gets destroyed then it's very possible that he may fall off the top ten all together. A Cotto win will shoot him right to the top around 1 or 2 since many still feel that Money May is the man at the top. If Cotto crushes Pacquiao, I will then say that Cotto would then have to be the best fighter in the world since he just would have beaten the monster that has been destroying everything in his path. The time has come for the Boriqua Bomber.

Source: diamondboxing.com

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pacquiao vs Cotto: Cancun Site Offered For Manny's Training

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says that a sprawling hacienda in Cancun has been offered as a training site for world pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in preparation for his ‘Fire Power” showdown against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto with the added attraction of the WBC “Diamond Belt” also on the line at the MGM Grand on November 14.

Arum said that Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz had visited possible training sites in Mexico and that Pacquiao would “have the (Cancun) hacienda all to himself. Its private and its great. The weather is perfect so we advised him to go but what he does, who knows.”

Arum shared trainer Freddie Roach’s concern about setting up training camp in the Philippines with its many distractions aside from the fact that Cotto is a dangerous opponent who cannot be taken lightly by anyone, including Pacquiao.

He said the Filipino boxing icon has “got to let us know so we c an set things up. The Bahamas is still available, its all available. The only object is for “him to pull the trigger” so they know where he’ll train.

The Top Rank promoter who has chartered Pacquiao’s career to remarkable heights said Pacquiao should have “started light training right now and the go to heavy training when he comes over here” even as he expressed the hope that Pacquiao was at least doing some running.

Arum said other than Pacquiao’s training camp site and schedule “everything is going great” even as he disclosed that one more US baseball team, the San Diego Padres will stage a “Manny Pacquiao Night and they are going to give the proceeds on the extra tickets they sell to the Manny Pacquiao Foundation.”

The baseball promotional tour will begin at Yankee Stadium in New York before they leave for a press conference in Puerto Rico after which they fly to a night with the San Francisco Giants after which they go to Los Angeles .

At the same time Arum said that Pacquiao won’t be able to watch the Rodel Mayol title rematch with WBO light flyweight champion Ivan Calderon on September 12 because they have to “get on a plane that afternoon to go to San Francisco and on Sunday we’ll have a press conference with 50,000 at the giant Dodgers Stadium” in Los Angeles.

Source: boxingscene.com

Pacquiao-Cotto: Koncz Says No Training Worries

World pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz says there is “no need to worry” about Pacquiao’s training schedule for the “Fire Power” encounter with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto because “everything is going according to schedule.”

Koncz told BoxingScene.com, insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports that Pacquiao had set a September 5 deadline to finish shooting his movies, TV shows and commercial endorsements and that “everything is right on schedule.”

He said Pacquiao was working even on Sunday just so he could get everything done and then concentrate on training for the Cotto fight.

Koncz said Pacquiao had started jogging but would now begin running on a regular basis.

He said that the Filipino boxing icon will begin training in the gym and stepping up his preparation after the promotional press tour which is scheduled to begin in New York on September 10.

Koncz said he didn’t know what trainer Freddie Roach was talking about when he criticized both Koncz and Pacquiao’s lawyer Franklin “Jeng” Gacal.

As for Pacquiao’s decision on a training site, he said they were scheduled to meet over dinner to discuss the options.

Source: boxingscene.com

Cotto vs. Pacquiao: A Fighter’s Fight

Fonseca: On Nov 14th, Miguel Cotto will be facing Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. If your a fight fan and or fighter/boxer, you should be excited as I am. Two of boxing’s exciting and great warriors are set for battle and it promises to be an all out action packed WAR.

First, we have Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2 37 by ko), who is coming off of a recent destruction of Ricky Hatton, a fighter who in my opinion wasn’t overrated at all. He was just not as good as everyone thought he was. Pacquiao has the chance to become the first boxer to win 7 belts in different weight classes, a huge accomplishment if he can get pass Miguel Cotto.

Now lets analyze the Pacman: First of all, he has very fast hands and good foot work, and over the past few fights has had good lateral head movement. However, he still has the tendency to get a little wild at times and tries to brawl which would not serve him well against a pretty good counter puncher like Cotto.

I believe that most people feel that Pacquiao’s greatest weapon for this fight is his speed and ackward movements, which often give his opponets trouble. The question on everybody’s mind is can Pacquiao really take hits from a real welterweight, even though Cotto isnt a really big welterweight?

Well, in my opinion no he was caught a few times by Oscar De La Hoya, and it didnt hurt him but it got his attention. The same for when hatton connected – which neither De La Hoya and Hatton did much of – but that doesn’t mean that Pacquiao will be beaten by Cotto. Pacquiao can still win. Manny can’t stay still or get caught or it isnt going to be an early night.

I honestly don’t see how anyone can say that Pacquiao is going to stop Cotto. I just dont see it happening at all. The only way I think Pacquiao can win is by scorecards or because of a referee stoppage due to a cut.

Manny is a very talented fighter, ferocious and has got a lot of guts. Even though I think that he is good, I don’t think he’s an all time great. By no means am I taking anything away from him; He has accomplished a lot and has given his people a lot to cheer about, but I cant help but notice that many of his opponents have been cherry picked.

Pacquiao fought both Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera at the end of their boxing careers, beating both of them. But I think Pacquiao lost both of his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez. Now to more recent fights, Pacquiao fought a washed up, old, dehydrated DeLa Hoya and Hatton, who was never an elite fighter to begin with, and who has zero defense. But again not taking anything away from Pacquiao, he did what he had to and his trainer, Freddie Roach picked good fights for him.

We have Cotto (34-1, 27 KO’s) who is coming off of his slim win over Joshua Clottey in June. I felt that Clottey rightfully lost the bout because of the first round knockdown and Clottey’s lack of work in the last rounds. I hear so many people say Cotto will get dominated and he will get knocked out, and so forth and so on. But I don’t think that’s the case.

Cotto has a good shot at winning. He has at least to me proven that he still has heart and good boxing skills. Cotto did seem a little uneasy at times in the Clottey fight but to me its understandable Clottey is a big welterweight.

Cotto might be able to offset Pacquiao’s speed with his counte punching, his power and good boxing skills, like Cotto did against Shane Mosley, Carlos Quintana and Zab Judah. Many people believe that Cotto is damaged, but I personally don’t think that. Cotto can win if he finds a way to hit Manny.

I do believe if it goes to the score cards it will be hard for Cotto to win. The favorite – in this case, Pacquiao – always has a advantage, just like the Paulie Malignaggi and Juan Diaz fight, which was a shame for boxing. Cotto has a tendency to get gassed in the later rounds and do a lot of baking up. He needs to be prepared and in top shape to prevent that from happening.

Cotto isn’t slow at all but he isn’t faster than Pacquiao. Not taking anything away from Cotto but he isn’t what he was before (before his 11th round TKO loss to Antonio Margarito) but he is slowly coming back to his former self.

Whether Margarito used plaster or not, a loss is a loss no matter if it wasn’t fair. Cotto needs to get back up and move on fast if he intends to win. It’s going to be an interesting fight no matter the outcome and I’m counting down the days. Cotto/Pacquiao is going to be a very great fight, a fight of the year. I hope the fans show both Cotto and Pacquiao the respect and admiration these two great warriors deserve for what they do for the sport of boxing.

This wouldn’t be a good piece without a prediction, so here it goes: I see the fight not going past the 10th round. The only way Cotto can win is by stoppage or knockout in the later rounds, maybe sooner. I believe that Cotto right now is the hungrier fighter and that he will deal with Pacquiao’s speed. It might give him trouble in the beginning but he will adapt like he has against the other fast fighters he has fought. I don’t see Pacquiao taking Cotto’s shots but again it’s boxing and anything can happen.

So there’s my prediction. I see Cotto winning by late stoppage or knockout in later rounds. I think he’ll be too strong for Pacquiao, and a lot stronger than anyone Manny has faced as of yet. People said that about both De La Hoya and Hatton but Cotto is on a whole different level.

Source: boxingnews24.com

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roach sounds alarm - Pacman busy in showbiz

MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach is sounding the alarm over in Los Angeles and Manny Pacquiao is busy shooting a commercial somewhere in Metro Manila.

The three-time Trainer of the Year yesterday told fighthype.com he’s “pissed off” about Pacquiao’s failure to make it clear where he wants to train for the Nov. 14 fight with WBO champion Miguel Cotto.

Roach said he talked to Mike Koncz over the telephone the other day, asking Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser if they’ve made a decision on where or when the training for the fight would start.

“I talked to Mike Koncz yesterday, and I said, ‘Where are we going to train?’ He said, ‘I haven’t asked Manny yet.’ I said ‘you haven’t asked Manny yet? What do you mean you haven’t’ asked Manny yet.’”

All Koncz could say was that Pacquiao was busy making a movie, and Roach, as suggested by the report, must have blown his top when he said, “What the hell? You’re scared to ask Manny?”

Roach, normally cool, added, “I’m pissed off about it.”

Yesterday, The STAR failed to get in touch with Koncz but got through on the phone with Pacquiao’s lawyer Franklin Gacal, who said there’s only so much Koncz or anyone else around Pacquiao could do.

“It’s not only Freddie who’s trying to get it (training) started but us, too. But Manny’s too busy finishing his movie. We, including Mike, never fail to remind him of his commitments on and off the ring,” said Gacal.

“But he’s the boss. He makes the decisions. You know Manny. Freddie knows Manny,” said the lawyer, who said Pacquiao was busy shooting a commercial for a deodorant as of presstime yesterday.

“I’ve asked everybody concerned that all these should be over by Sept. 5. That’s pack-up time,” said Gacal.

Pacquiao said he wants to train in Baguio upon his return from the five-day press tour that starts on Sept. 10 and would take the Filipino pound-for-pound champion and Cotto to New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and LA.

Roach said Baguio is not the ideal place to train because of all the distractions. He said he fears the same thing would happen as when Pacquiao trained for some time in Cebu City for his last fight with Marco Antonio Barrera.

Roach said there’s Toluca or Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, or Cancun and even the Bahamas as the other places to train. But not in Baguio because “we don’t need vacation areas with tourists watching us and so forth.’

“Right now we really don’t know yet where training would start. But Manny still likes Baguio. ‘Yun pa din ang gusto niya (He still likes it),” said Gacal.

Source: philstar.com

I’m pissed and tired – Roach

As the sun began to set in Los Angeles on Friday, Freddie Roach was still at the Wild Card Boxing Club nursing hopes that his phone would ring and that Manny Pacquiao – or even somebody from the Filipino’s camp – would be on the other line.

“Nope,” Roach answered when asked whether there’s been contact with Team Pacquiao the past 24 hours. “I am pissed and I am tired of these guys. They treat me like shit.”

Roach was referring to Pacquiao’s advisers Mike Koncz and lawyer Franklin Gacal, whom the multi-awarded trainer says have benefited financially from the fighter’s meteoric rise.

“I know what’s best for my fighter,” said Roach, who is against Pacquiao’s plans to set up camp in Baguio.

Pacquiao has been forced to look for a place to train owing to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provision that – if violated – will result in Pacquiao paying millions in taxes to the IRS.

Roach had been hoping that his repeated cries all over the Internet would compel Pacquiao or his aides and advisers to pacify the 48-year-old trainer by assuring him that all is well in the often chaotic world of Pacquiao.

Roach said the city of Toluca in Mexico looks to be a perfect venue for Pacquiao’s preparation, stressing that state-owned training facility will be more than ready to play host to somebody like Pacquiao.

Roach said a friend of his, Joseph Brown, is willing to lend a hand in having the Toluca camp reserved for certain hours for Pacquiao’s use.

“I stayed in Toluca and found it to be secluded enough from the mainstream public, yet functional with enough amenities to serve this purpose quite well,” Brown said in an email to Roach.

Brown said a Mexico-based Cuban cruiserweight, Carlos Duarte, works as a trainer in Toluca and assures Roach and his team that the red carpet will be rolled for Pacquiao.

Other venues being looked at are Cancun and Nuevo Vallarta, famed resort cities in Mexico.

Still, Roach is not ruling out the possibility of making that back-breaking flight to Manila accompanied by Pacquiao sparring partners. Roach has tapped Raymund Serrano, Shawn Porter, and Urbano Antillon as guys Pacquiao would spar with in the eight-week training camp.

“I will do the best I can (if Manny decides to train there),” said Roach, who has trained the 30-year-old lefty since mid-2001.

Source: mb.com.ph

Manny Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now’- Paulie Malignaggi

When I asked “The Magic Man” Pauli Malignaggi yesterday, who was a victim of some “hocus-pocus” himself in Houston last weekend, why people are favoring Manny Pacquiao so much against Miguel Cotto, Malignaggi replied,

“People jump on bandwagons. Manny Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now. He’s popular. He got nice wins over Hatton and De la Hoya. Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon,”

Whether you love him or hate him, agree with what he says or not, Malignaggi speaks the truth- his truth. You don’t have to believe him but one thing’s for sure, he believes in what he says. Boxing has been deluded with so much lies and promotions that often times you really can’t believe anybody in the sport anymore. Malignaggi however is an exception to the rule. You may not like or agree with what he says, but he will give you his honest opinions on matters he has knowledge in.

That’s why in part two of my interview with Malignaggi, I asked for his opinions regarding two of the biggest bouts in boxing before the year closes.

Malignaggi feels that Cotto and Mayweather’s size and strength advantage will be keys to victories over their smaller opponents. He also thinks Joshua Clottey was a tougher fight for Cotto than Pacquiao would be and believe he has a chance to be proven right in November. I do agree that he will have a chance to be proven right and that Cotto is far tougher than a lot of people give him credit for as reflected by the 2-1 betting odds Pacquiao is getting in betting lines but I disagree that Pacquiao will be an easier fight for Cotto than Clottey. If anything it’s a toss-up for me. With that said though, Malignaggi has far more ring experience and credibility than a lot of us combined and has faced Cotto in the ring so I wouldn’t dare argue with him either. I will however respectfully disagree.

Check out the video below and read the transcribed highlights of my interview with Malignaggi.


D Source – What do you think about Miguel Cotto vs. Manny Pacquiao in November?

Paulie Malignaggi – I got Cotto for that fight. I had picked Pacquiao to beat Hatton in May. I just didn’t think it was Hatton that beat me but the lack of correct training in my end that really won the fight for Hatton. But I think Miguel Cotto is a different class of fighter (compared to) that Pacquiao has faced. I don’ think Pacquiao has faced really good fighters but he’s going to find out that Miguel Cotto is not only a bigger guy but a stronger guy. He’s a stronger fighter than people make him out to be. And Cotto’s fought fast guys in the past. He’s fought Judah, he’s fought Mosley. He fought some strong guys. He fought Judah, Mosley, Margarito. I don’t think Pacquiao is going to hit harder than those guys hit him. Pacquiao’s coming up in weight. He’s a strong guy for his weight but I think at a certain point he’s going to have to deal with a lot of strength. Miguel Cotto was dismantling 140-pounders when he was a junior welterweight because he’s a bigger man and harder puncher than most of these guys. Manny Pacquiao is a smaller man even at 140 pounds or so. Getting him in the ring with Miguel Cotto, I just don’t see how it’s going to work out for him. And it’s not that I’m taking away anything from Manny Pacquiao. He’s a really good fighter. He’s a really good fighter for a guy his size. Maybe some of the bigger guys weren’t that good like Oscar was past his prime and Hatton wasn’t really as good that they give him credit for. I got Cotto stopping Pacquiao.

D Source - Why do you think people are favoring to win this fight though?

Paulie Malignaggi – People are (inaudible) right now. People jump on band wagons and Manny Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now. He’s popular. He got nice wins over Hatton and De la Hoya. Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon. Miguel Cotto hasn’t looked so spectacular but in my opinion he hasn’t looked so spectacular because he has fought very, very good opposition. And when you have two good oppositions against each other, then you’ll have an evenly matched fight. I think in the end will see that Joshua Clottey will have given Cotto a tougher fight than Manny Pacquiao. I said the before he fought Clottey that Clottey will give Cotto a tougher fight and not Manny Pacquiao. And now I will have a chance to be proven right. I believe he will have much easier time with Manny Pacquiao than Joshua Clottey.

D Source – And how about the Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez fight?

Paulie Malignaggi – I think it going to come down to, two good fighters, but one’s a bigger man, one gets hit the other doesn’t get hit. And the one that doesn’t get hit is also the bigger man. I just don’t see Marquez giving Floyd too many problems, you know. So I see Floyd taking that one rather easily if not a late stoppage a unanimous decision.

Source: examiner.com

Friday, August 28, 2009

Cotto a tough nut to crack, says Roach

Freddie Roach doesn’t want Manny Pacquiao to have the illusion that Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto is just going to roll over and die on November 14.

While most ringsiders see Cotto as being slow-footed and easy-to-hit, Roach sees something that makes him truly a livewire opponent.

Roach said people may have forgotten that Cotto holds a huge win over one of boxing’s toughest and trickiest fighters in Shane Mosley, who, like Pacquiao is quick on his feet and punches in bunches.

“Cotto beat Mosley,” said Roach, sounding a bit puzzled over claims being peddled that Pacquiao would have an easy time disposing of Cotto when they square off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Cotto bested Mosley when they fought in November 2007.

“This is going to be Manny’s toughest fight,” said Roach, who wants to set up training camp in Toluca, Mexico, to ensure that Pacquiao stays focused in the runup to Cotto.

The fight will be at 145 lbs and Cotto’s coveted World Boxing Organization welterweight crown will be on the line.

Despite an apparent slide in Cotto’s performance the past year, Roach remains a believer that Cotto still has a lot of championship juice left in his tank.

Cotto has started training in Puerto Rico under the strict supervision of head trainer Joe Santiago and strength coach Phil Landman.

Pacquiao hasn’t started his as the Filipino is still busy fulfilling all his showbiz commitments and is scheduled to report to the gym in mid-September which will officially kick off his eight-week training camp.

Source: mb.com.ph

Breaking Down Cotto vs. Pacquiao: And the Winner Is…

Less than three months separate salivating fight fans from the November 14 catch weight showdown in Las Vegas between WBO Welterweight Champion, Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs), and pound-for-pound kingpin, Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs). At stake is Cotto’s WBO Welterweight Belt, along with the newly-minted WBC Diamond Belt, though most fans know there’s plenty more at stake than title straps.

Also up for grabs are legitimate claims to pound-for-pound supremacy within the boxing world, and a seemingly guaranteed match-up with the winner of the September 19 bout between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) and Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs).
And while Internet chat rooms are abuzz with passionate support for both combatants, who will really have the edge on November 14? The theories are numerous, but the old adage still rings true: Styles make fights. It’s one of the reasons Kelly Pavlik was able to vanquish Jermain Taylor on two occasions, and why Bernard Hopkins was able to completely outclass Pavlik in a separate bout, despite the fact that Taylor had beaten Hopkins twice himself. Whose style suits them best in this fight?

The vast majority of analysts seem to agree that Pacquiao’s speed and footwork have the potential to give Cotto fits, and conversely, that Cotto’s power and potent body attack embody threats that Pacquiao has likely never faced in his long and illustrious career. However, both fighters have proven in the past that they have the tools necessary to adapt to their opponent’s attack. Cotto managed to neutralize the speed and footwork of Zab Judah in 2006 and Shane Mosley in 2007, and Pacquiao quickly put to bed any concerns over his apparent size and strength disadvantages in his dismantling of Oscar de La Hoya and Ricky Hatton earlier this year.

Leading up to Pacquiao’s last two fights, critics argued that his opponents possessed physical characteristics that would spell his doom. Both times they were proven wrong. However, assuming a normal rehydration between the weigh-in and fight night for Cotto, its safe to say that Cotto will represent the biggest obstacle that Pacquiao has ever met in his career, both literally and figuratively. Will this finally be the fight where Pacquiao meets his match in someone who’s simply too big for him?

Or will this be a fight that turns out exactly as odds-makers are predicting? The early 2-1 odds in favor of Pacquiao spell the belief that Cotto won’t be able to keep up with a fighter with the speed, pop, and footwork that Pacquiao possesses.

Critics can argue advantages and disadvantages until they’re blue in the face, but one point that everyone should agree on is that this fight was named “Firepower” for a reason. For as long as this fight lasts, fans can expect high-paced action from bell-to-bell. Cotto and Pacquiao have built fan-friendly reputations because of their penchant for delivering and absorbing punishment, not because they were content to Compu-box their way to a points victory. And despite your allegiances, fight fans from every corner should be thrilled that this bout has come to fruition.

What does the future hold? Over the next three months, how the boxing landscape will be painted is anybody’s guess. Will we see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather in 2010? Cotto vs. Marquez? Or some other variation among the four fighters? Time will tell. Let the countdown begin.

Source: boxingnews24.com

Roach wants Mexico

Top trainer Freddie Roach wants to bring Manny Pacquiao to a secluded training camp up in the mountains of Toluca in Mexico in preparation for the Nov. 14 fight with Miguel Cotto.

“It’s absurd to train in the Philippines,” said Roach in an interview Thursday with fightnews and Manila Bulletin as the Hall of Fame trainer brushed off suggestions that Baguio be used as an alternate camp to the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood. “Cotto is going to be the toughest fight and anyone who says that it’s going to be easy is a f_____ idiot!” Roach said he “knows what’s best for my fighter,” pointing to the high elevation of Toluca as the perfect site for Pacquiao’s usual eight-week training.

Roach said Toluca (8,793 feet above sea level) is the best choice to set up camp. The city has a temperature of seven to 21 degrees Celsius during the months of September and October and is easily accessible by land from Mexico City.

Roach said Pacquiao didn’t reach his full potential when they trained in Cebu in 2007 for the rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera as there was a steady line of people watching their every move.

“There were lots of distractions and there’d be a lot more now since Manny is ten times more popular,” said Roach.

Even if Pacquiao trains daily under his watchful eyes, Roach is not sure if Pacquiao will stay mentally focused.

“The Governor might fly him out during the weekends,” said Roach without naming anyone in particular although he could be referring to former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson, who owns a private jet.

Pacquiao is being advised to limit the number of his stay on US territory owing to an IRS provision called the Substantial Presence Test which mandates non-resident aliens like Pacquiao to limit their number of stay in a three-year period. It has been discovered that Pacquiao has exceeded the number of days allowed and if he decides to spend the entire eight-week training camp in the US, he will be taxed heavily.

Top Rank head Bob Arum first suggested the Bahamas as a possible site then mentioned the resort cities of Nuevo Vallarta and Cancun in Mexico as options. Vancouver in Canada was also mentioned but the constant rains there forced his handlers to rule it out.

Pacquiao hasn’t decided where to train for the Cotto fight although he has mentioned Baguio as an option since he is still heavily involved in the shooting of a movie, TV shows and commercials.

Roach said he hasn’t been contacted by Pacquiao’s people these past few weeks and he feels slighted that he is not being consulted.

“I have tried calling Manny but the guy I spoke with couldn’t understand English and I feel that they’re trying to stop me from talking to him,” said Roach.

Still, Roach said he won’t be surprised if he ends up taking that long flight to Manila.

“But if Manny wants me to go there, I’ll go but…”

Meanwhile, Arum said he will try to convince Pacquiao to junk the idea of training in the Philippines.

“I will talk to (Pacquiao adviser) Mike (Koncz) and we’ll see what happens,” said Arum.

Source: fightnews

Roach: Pacman will expose Cotto

Renowned trainer Freddie Roach believes Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto will be exposed when he tangles with Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao on November 14 in Las Vegas.

“I'm expecting Cotto to be at his best,” said Roach, who revealed that Pacquiao will only train three weeks in the US and will have to spend five weeks somewhere else.

“But Pacquiao is at the top of his game right now. I'm expecting Cotto to be more resilient than Oscar and Hatton were, so he'll give us a better fight than those two guys did. The biggest thing with Cotto is that he's a strong guy, but Manny's not going to stand in front of him and trade. I feel that we'll be able to expose Cotto. His skills aren't quite where they used to be and we're going to expose him.”

Pacquiao normally spends at least eight weeks of training at the Wild Card Gym in California, but a complicated Internal Revenue Service rule known as the “substantial presence test” mandates that non-resident aliens can only spend a certain number of days in the United States. If a person exceeds that number of days in a three-year period, they are considered a resident for tax purposes and their income is taxed accordingly.

“The IRS rule says that Manny can only be here in America for another three weeks or so,” said his trainer Freddie Roach, in an interview with BoxingScene.com from the Wild Card Gym. “I thought Bob [Arum] might find a way around it. But they tell me they can't, so we're going to have to go someplace else.”

Cotto, meanwhile, has warned Pacquiao to prepare for the worst when they meet in November.

“Pacquiao lost to Morales in their first fight, had a draw against Marquez and then a razor-thin victory in the rematch. Pacquiao faced a very tired and aged (Oscar) De La Hoya. Then Ricky Hatton, an overrated fighter,” Cotto told Fightnews.

“Against me the story will be different. It will be a war,” added Cotto, who is already in his fourth week of training in Puerto Rico under chief trainer Joe Santiago and South African conditioning coach Phil Landman, who has arrived from Los Angeles.

Source: inquirer.net

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cotto vs. Pacquiao: The One True Superfight Of The Year

The upcoming bout between Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao on November 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas holds so many intangibles that boxing fans are champing at the bit for the opening bell to ring.

Every year there is one fight that defines the sport whether or not the match-up itself warrants such scrutiny. Cotto – Pacquiao is this year’s high water mark. (Don’t let Floyd Mayweather’s diarrhea of the mouth concerning his comeback against Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19th fool you.) Whether Cotto – Pacquiao lives up to expectations remains to be seen but most insiders speculate that for however long it lasts this bout, because of the respective styles and temperaments of the fighters, will be fan friendly from first punch to last.

And then there are the questions surrounding both fighters.

Is Miguel Cotto damaged goods?

After his brutal loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008, in a fight of the year candidate, many wondered if the beating Cotto took over the second half of the bout robbed him of his prime. Fighters are so vulnerable, no matter how skilled and how courageous, that even one vicious encounter can take away bits and pieces of his physicality and his will. For Cotto, the Margarito fight was his foray into hell. We don’t quite know if he’s come all the way back.

Cotto fought masterfully for six rounds but Margarito’s imperviousness to pain or fatigue overwhelmed him in the bout’s final rounds. Cotto, his face battered and his will depleted, took a knee in the eleventh round and suddenly his future as an elite fighter was in question.

Can he come back from such a wicked beating, many wondered.

Cotto rebounded with an easy victory over the limited Michael Jennings in February to take the WBO welterweight title and then he took on the rugged Joshua Clottey in June. The razor thin victory over Clottey seemed to split opinion on Cotto right down the middle.

He suffered a hideous gash over his left eye early in the bout but his resolve remained firm and he battled through it. Some saw the close victory as an indicator of wear and tear on a body subjected to several taxing fights over the years. (To his great credit Cotto has sought out and taken on tough competition over his last several fights.) Others applauded his courage, fighting through injury and closing the show strongly. It seems with Cotto everything is open for debate.

Everything, including his loss to Margarito, which came into question when the Mexican fighter’s hand wraps were discovered to have been padded with hardened bits of a plaster-like substance before he entered the ring to take on Sugar Shane Mosley. Had Margarito and his team done the same thing prior to his dismantling of Cotto and simply gotten away with it? It’s a legitimate question, but the damage done in that fight is done. It can’t be wiped away from Cotto’s mind and body.

All questions regarding the past are actually moot now that the biggest fight of Cotto’s career is on the horizon. His future, and perhaps his legacy, will be determined on the outcome of this one big fight.

As for Pacquiao, his legacy is already secure. Few, if any, will question the legitimacy of his greatness as a fighter. He is already a lock for the Hall of Fame. But a win over Cotto, particularly if it comes in dramatic fashion, will elevate him into the pantheon of the all time great fighters.

Pacquiao’s star quality began to change when he broke apart David Diaz in June of 2008 for the WBC lightweight title. That perfect performance, against the perfect opponent, led him to a showdown with Oscar De La Hoya.

Going in, many assumed Oscar’s size and strength would be too much for Pacquiao. But the Filipino used speed and angles to dominate a weight drained De La Hoya who, on that night, was more tin than gold.

With that signature win under his belt Pacquiao’s popularity exploded. Even marginal fans of the sport, and non-fans as well, took notice of the diminutive fistic titan.

He then solidified his standing as boxing’s most popular figure with his most emphatic performance yet – a second round stoppage of junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton. The knockout of Hatton was so conclusive that it could actually serve as the only highlight reel necessary in years to come to define Pacquiao’s career.

However, skeptics – and they are out there – point out that in these three key victories Diaz was a marginal foe at best, De La Hoya came in too light and was probably shot and the popular Hatton was a wide open target and arguably overrated to begin with.

There’s a bit of truth in all of that, but hindsight justifies the brilliance in us all. Going into the fights with Hatton and particularly De La Hoya, many people picked Pacquiao to lose. Well, not only did he not lose he embraced his moment on center stage like all great performers do and simply killed. In fact Pacquiao hasn’t lost a round since his 2008 rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Cotto is a different animal altogether. He is either at or a little past his prime. And though not a one-punch knockout artist he has very heavy hands, good boxing skills and a tremendous will to win.

He’s also a natural 147-pound fighter and at some point in Pacquiao’s rise in weight classes size will make a difference. Will this be that fight?

Should Pacquiao win in impressive fashion his status as an all time great fighter will be fully realized. It will also mark the closing act of a brilliant career, as Manny has stated that he only intends to fight two or three more times.

Should Cotto win all the questions surrounding him since the loss to Margarito will be brushed aside and he will have also reestablished his lofty standing in the pound-for-pound rankings. He can then look forward to further big time match ups down the line. A rematch with Sugar Shane Mosley, whom he defeated by a close decision in 2007, to decide preeminence in the welterweight division is a natural.

Whatever the outcome, because these two fighters always come to do damage and never fail to entertain, Miguel Cotto vs. Manny Pacquiao is the most anticipated fight of 2009 and should the fight exceed expectations and the surrounding hype boxing fans are in for a treat on November 14th.

Source: secondsout.com

Pacquiao wants Edinburgh boxer

As Manny Pacquiao begins preparations for his next fight against Miguel Cotto, the Filipino has requested Edinburgh southpaw Gary McMillan as a sparring partner.

Pacquiao, a five-weight world champion, thinks highly of McMillan after sparring with him in the run up to his lightweight clash with David Diaz last year and has requested that McMillan return to aid him against Cotto.

McMillan will soon travel out to Freddie Roach’s Wildcard gym in Los Angeles where Pacquiao refines his trade.

The Lochend boxer’s coach Terry McCormack has a strong relationship with Roach.

“This invitation doesn’t surprise,” McCormack told Scotsman.com.

“Freddie rates Gary very highly. Besides, Manny wants McMillan because his next opponent, Miguel Cotto, is famous for being a switch hitter who moves from orthodox to southpaw.”

It has been reported that Pacquiao may only be able to train in the US for a limited period before his fight with Cotto due to a tax revenue law for non-nationals.

It is believed that the Filipino only has a month remaining before he will have to pay tax on his earnings which could cost the boxing superstar millions of dollars.

As a result, Pacquiao and his team may begin preparations outside the US, with Canada, Mexico and the Philippines being suggested.

Source: sport.stv.tv

Cotto vows to stop Pacquiao

Miguel Cotto exuded confidence when asked about his chances against Filipino fireball Manny Pacquiao in a recent ‘interview’ made possible by the Puerto Rican’s legal adviser, topnotch lawyer Gabriel Penagaricano. Less than three months before he collides with Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Cotto told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin that Pacquiao is beatable and he has Pacquiao all figured out. “His weaknesses are obvious to me,” said Cotto.

While Cotto acknowledges that Pacquiao is one hell of a customer in the ring, the 28-year-old bomber is not awed.

“(Pacquiao) lost to (Erik) Morales in their first fight, had a draw against (Juan Manuel) Marquez and then a razor-thin victory in the rematch. Pacquiao faced a very tired and aged (Oscar) De La Hoya. Then Ricky Hatton, an overrated fighter,” said Cotto.

“Against me the story will be different. It will be a war,” said Cotto, who is already in his fourth week of training in Puerto Rico under the watchful eyes of chief trainer Joe Santiago and South African conditioning coach Phil Landman, who has arrived from Los Angeles.

Landman was amazed at the condition of Cotto when he first reported for work on Monday, stressing that the fighter followed the advice that he gave him following the June 13 victory over Joshua Clottey.

Cotto will continue to train in Puerto Rico in the coming weeks and will try to keep in shape even while on a four-city press tour with Pacquiao beginning Sept. 10 in New York. Other stops of the Top Rank traveling circus would be Caguas in Puerto Rico, San Francisco and finally, Los Angeles.

Cotto will transfer his training camp to Tampa, Florida, on Sept. 19.

Told about the key to victory against Pacquiao, Cotto was direct to the point.

“Hard training as always has been the key to my victories.”

And his message to Pacquiao and the Filipino people?

“I will only say that in November 14th I will step into the ring as always in excellent condition, and will win the fight for the glory of Puerto Rico,” concluded Cotto.

Source: fightnews.com

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arum Wants Soto vs. Valero

Top Rank boss Bob Arum is pushing for a junior lightweight matchup featuring WBC titlist Humberto Soto and Edwin Valero for the Nov. 14 card in Las Vegas headlined by Cotto vs. Pacquiao.

Publicist Ricardo Jimenez noted that Arum has already indicated that he'd like both parties to come to an agreement for that fight, where the winner could be a future foe of Manny Pacquiao.

"It seems that negotiations are already underway," said Jiménez. "It's the fight that Arum wants and the only thing that could complicate things is the fight purse since a lot of if has already been set aside for the main event.

Valero said on Friday of last week that he was ready to submit to new examination in Nevada in order to try and regain his license to fight while commenting on his approval of Soto as an opponent.

"Nevada will give me new tests soon and if God willing, I'll be ready to fight in Las Vegas against the best, and I consider Soto to be one of the best so I'm willing to make the fight," said the Venezuelan.

For his part, Soto commented that although he wants the fight, he finds it difficult to make at this time.

"My first objective is to complete my last title defense on September 15 in Monterey and then we'll see," said Soto. "It's a fight I'd love to have but we shall see."

Source: 411mania.com

Pacquiao not invincible – Cotto

Miguel Cotto appears not intimidated by Manny Pacquiao’s reputation and says the Filipino icon is beatable. “He has weaknesses,” Cotto says.
In the eyes of Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao is not Superman but just like Clark Kent.

“His weaknesses are obvious to me,” Cotto told the Bulletin in an interview that was made possible by his adviser, topnotch lawyer Gabriel Penagaricano.

While Cotto acknowledges that the Filipino pound-for-pound king “is a good fighter,” it doesn’t follow that Pacquiao is invincible.

“(Pacquiao) lost to (Erik) Morales in their first fight, had a draw against (Juan Manuel) Marquez and then a razor-thin victory in the rematch. Pacquiao faced a very tired and aged (Oscar) De La Hoya. Then Ricky Hatton, an overrated fighter,” said Cotto, who is in the thick of training in Puerto Rico for the much-awaited November 14 duel at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“Against me, the story will be different. It will be a war,” vowed the 28-year-old Cotto, who is a 2-1 underdog according to odds makers.

Cotto is currently in the fourth week of training under taskmaster Joe Santiago and the arrival of South African conditioning coach Phil Landman from Los Angeles will push Cotto even further in his daily workouts that will kick off with a 5 a.m. roadwork and followed by a 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. gym session.

Landman was amazed with the condition of Cotto when he first reported for work on Monday, stressing that the fighter had followed the advice he gave him following the June 13 victory over Joshua Clottey.

Cotto will continue to train in Puerto Rico in the coming weeks and will try to keep in shape even while on a four-city press tour with Pacquiao beginning September 10 in New York. Other stops of the Top Rank traveling circus would be Caguas in Puerto Rico, San Francisco, and finally, Los Angeles.

Cotto will transfer his training camp to Tampa, Florida on September 19.

Told about the key to victory against Pacquiao, Cotto was direct to the point.

“Hard training as always has been the key to my victories.”

His message to Pacquiao as well as his supporters all over the world was loud and clear.

“I will only say that in November 14th I will step into the ring as always in excellent condition, and will win the fight for the glory of Puerto Rico,” said Cotto.

Source: mb.com.ph

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cotto's Physical Trainer Arrives, The Hard Road Begins

The hard road begins for WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. His physical conditioning coach Phil Landman has arrived in Puerto Rico and is very pleased with Cotto's workrate in the gym and his mental state of mind. In previously interviews, Cotto said the arrival of Landman is the point where his camp would enter the second and more excruciating phase. Cotto faces Manny Pacquiao on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"Miguel looks strong, happy and very motivated. It's not like Miguel has lacked any motivation in the past, it's just that I see something different [in him]. You know it's an important fight and he's taking things very seriously. Mentally, Miguel looks ready for the long work that awaits him," Landman told Primera Hora.

Landman says the training camp will last around eleven weeks and then they plan to go on the promotional tour, and then move the camp from Puerto Rico to Florida. He says there are few things in Cotto that adjusting but he doesn't see any problems.

"This time the training camp will last about 11 weeks and it helps to ensure that Miguel reaches a certain condition before having to do the promotional tour and then going to Tampa, Florida," said Landman. "There are a few things we can improve and we will be concentrating on a combination of things."

Source: boxingscene.com

Pacquiao Warned By Ex-Trainer: "Cotto is Dangerous"

The American trainer who handled Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao when he won the WBC flyweight title with a spectacular 8th round knockout of highly-favored Chatchai Sasakul of Thailand in December 1998 warns Pacquiao that WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto is “definitely a dangerous opponent.”

In an interview for the top-rated weekly boxing show “The Main Event”, Rick Staheli said that despite the dangers posed by Cotto he expects Pacquiao to ultimately win the fight and a record seven world titles.

Staheli said “if Manny uses his hand speed, his foot speed and he boxes him (Cotto) I think he’s the better guy on that night. I think Cotto is going to have to catch him and knock him out to win that fight. I’m really looking forward to this fight.”

Staheli said that trainer Freddie Roach “knows the weaknesses and strengths of both fighters and he knows Manny strengths – using his foot speed, his hand speed, different angles and a lot of punches in bunches. And if he sticks to that game- plan and boxes him I think he’ll beat him.”

He said “at the end of the day I think Freddie (Roach) just wants him to win this fight and not get hit because he (Pacquiao) is venturing into dangerous waters when this guy (Cotto) is a 145 pounds.”

Australia’s new IBO welterweight champion Lovemore Ndou who gave Cotto a rough time before dropping a close twelve round decision in Las Vegas in 2004 believes Pacquiao has the speed to beat Cotto.

In an interview with the Australian boxing magazine “World of Boxing” Ndou predicted it would be a great fight but added “I believe Pacquiao could be fighting Cotto at the right time. C otto got beat up really bad by (Antonio) Margarito and he struggled against (Joshua) Clottey. Based on that it could be Pacquiao’s fight. Pac should be too quick.”’’

Staheli also told us he was looking forward to the comeback fight of Floyd Mayweather Jr against Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19 in Las Vegas in a fight that will be telecast “live” in the Philippines by the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN.

The American trainer said “It will be a tough fight for him (Mayweather) will win that fight and I think everybody wants to see Manny against Floyd, the last two pound-for-pound kings in the world.”

Staheli said he watched a replay of Mayweather’s fight against Carlos Baldomir and I realized that Pacquiao “is faster and to me Floyd doesn’t throw enough punches. I actually think that Manny can beat Floyd.”

Staheli said that if Marquez never fights Pacquiao again “he’ll go to his grave actually cursing Pacquiao because in his mind he thinks he won both of those fights where he got a draw and lost a controversial split decision. He is very, very hungry and he definitely wants a rematch with Pacquiao.”

Source: boxingscene.com

Revisiting Hatton-Pacquiao: What can Cotto do?

t's been nearly four months now since Manny Pacquiao ended what was then going to be the biggest fight of 2009 in less than six minutes of action. And no matter how many times I watch the video of the fight, I never cease to be amazed by how easy Manny made it look.

That night, the Filipino living legend not only outquicked and outboxed Manchester's favorite son, but he did so in a brutal fashion that left no questions whatsoever. Five months earlier, Pacquiao had stunned the boxing world by beating Oscar de la Hoya so thoroughly that "The Golden Boy" quit on his stool after eight rounds of action, so hopelessly out of the contest that there was no need to go on.

Oscar couldn't touch Pacquiao that night. Hatton never really got a chance to even try.

Oscar de la Hoya retired after what Manny Pacquiao did to him. It remains to be seen whether or not Ricky Hatton will fight again.

What we do know, though, is that both were fights that Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, quickly agreed to. In fact, the win over Oscar was barely in the books before talk of Pacquiao and Hatton on May 2, 2009 began. After some rough patches in the negotiation process, that fight came off, and now it's history.

Freddie took the Oscar fight when people said it was crazy because he saw that Oscar de la Hoya couldn't pull the trigger anymore, and I think he also knew from training Oscar that there was no way that de la Hoya was going to comfortably make 147 pounds.

Freddie took the fight with Hatton because he saw a vulnerable, limited fighter -- a very good fighter, good at what he does, yes, but so tailor made for Pacquiao that Roach knew Hatton had no chance to beat his guy.

But what about Miguel Cotto? Roach has backed off from the idea of fighting a pre-disgraced Antonio Margarito, because he plainly said, "Margarito is too big." He wanted Shane Mosley to boil down to 143 pounds. And he's made Cotto come down to 145.

Why is that?

It's because Pacquiao, great as he is, is not invincible. And Freddie knows it. You can easily say that Oscar and Hatton -- great challenges on paper -- were hand-picked by the mad scientist because he knew they'd garner huge attention, make a global superstar of Pacquiao, and make both he and his fighter a lot of money. Roach doesn't seem quite so confident now. The problem he's facing is simple: Manny's beaten two straight huge-name guys and done so in a manner that left the boxing world in awe.

And now, the fans will not accept anything less than the biggest and best challenges for Pacquiao. But Freddie is looking to give his guy the advantage. It's good business. Roach is very, very smart. I also mean to take nothing away from Manny Pacquiao. He'll be the favorite against Cotto because he's earned that right and then some.

But there's one thing Cotto can do to potentially turn the tide in a big way: Hit Manny Pacquiao. Hit him. There were brief moments in both of Pacquiao's dominant last two fights when he was hit by Oscar and Hatton and I thought it was very clear that he felt those shots coming from the two biggest men he'd ever faced. What Pacquiao did brilliantly was slow Oscar to flat-out immobility, and just blitz out Hatton with a beautiful right hook that eventually set up the jaw-crushing overhand left that ended the fight.

The question is still there: Can Pacquiao handle the power of a full-fledged welterweight? Cotto is not a big welterweight by any means. In fact, he's a small welterweight. He and Pacquiao are pretty much the exact same size. But he's been able to bang away at guys like Mosley, Margarito and Clottey, and while he stopped none of them and really never had any of them in grave danger, I don't think any of them will tell you it's an easy night getting hit by Cotto. And all three of those guys are much bigger than Manny.

The more a Manny win by wham-bam stoppage is predicted, the more I think we're going to see Pacquiao get into some real trouble against the supposedly "damaged" Miguel Cotto. And in turn, the more excited I get for this fight.

Source: badlefthook.com

Can Pacquiao Hit Harder Than Margarito?

Freddy Roach gave a little insight into Manny Pacquiao’s (49-3, 37 KO’s) game plan for his super fight with Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27 KO’s), explaining that he wanted to keep Pacquiao moving in and out so he doesn’t take a lot of punishment from Cotto, but is that game plan going to beat Cotto and furthermore like many of Pacquiao’s fans are saying, will this game plan knock Cotto out.

Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KO’s) who relies on his good footwork and movement around the ring, found that he couldn’t quite execute his game plan against Cotto , as Cotto made Mosley fight flat footed by switching to a counterpunching style against Mosley, now if Pacquiao’s game plan is to use a lot of foot movement he could find himself in trouble as Cotto has shown he can box against this style, saying that if Cotto does manage to throw Pacquiao of his game, does Pacquiao have the power and pressure to stop Cotto without getting hurt himself.
When Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KO’s) fought Cotto he took a lot of punishment from Cotto in the first half of the fight, and he was able to weather the storm, and in the second half Cotto appeared to tire allowing Margarito to apply pressure and beat Cotto, and although Margarito may have loaded his gloves in this fight you can’t deny that he took a lot of punishment from Cotto and had the staying power to finish the fight, you could say that Margarito laid out the blue print to beat Cotto.

But Pacquiao doesn’t fight like Margarito, and if he was to, I’m doubtful of the fight going in Pacquiao’s favour, his speed is his biggest asset in the ring but against Cotto he will need to throw a lot of power punches to throw Cotto off mentally and physically.

In Pacquiao’s last two fights he’s defiantly shown that going up in weight class has increase his punching power, which he demonstrated against De La Hoya, stunning him many times during their fight, I don’t even think De La Hoya had any idea that Pacquiao would be that strong, and I doubt Hatton thought that either when Pacquiao knocked him down twice and then finished him with a devastating left hand.

Pacquiao does have power in both his hands, but Cotto now knows this, and he seems to be taking the fight very seriously already opening training camp, he’s going to do everything he can from letting Pacquiao get those powerful shots off(as power as Margarito, probably not) bit still Pacquiao is a huge threat to Cotto and vice versa, but I’m not certain this fight will end in a KO, roach won’t send Pacquiao in guns blazing, he will want Pacquiao to protect himself from Cotto’s punches as he is the biggest threat to Pacquiao yet, he’s a strong welterweight and although he may have mental scare’s from the Margarito fight, Cotto’s not a shot boxer yet.

So although both fighters are big punchers I can see it being a strategic fight, as Pacquiao will be protecting himself and waiting for Cotto to slip up before he lands his shot, and I can see Pacquiao’s speed being a problem for Cotto who will have trouble finding Pacquiao around the ring. My prediction, I can see this being a long night for both fighters so I wouldn’t hold your breath for a knockout.


Nothing left to chance for Cotto

Miguel Cotto’s eyes are now burning with desire, the Puerto Rican’s conditioning coach Phil Landman disclosed on Tuesday.

Landman told the newspaper Primera Hora that Cotto “is strong, happy and very motivated” heading into the final 12 weeks of preparation for an all-important showdown with Manny Pacquiao on November 14 in Las Vegas.

“(Miguel) knows that this is a very important fight and he is taking it very seriously,” said Landman, who is originally from South Africa but is now based in Los Angeles. “There is something different in the way he looks. Mentally, Miguel is prepared for the long preparation.”

Cotto actually started training early in anticipation of a tough grind under Landman, who is expected to work alongside lead trainer Joe Santiago in whipping the 28-year-old Cotto into the meanest form ever come fight night at the MGM Grand.

Cotto admitted that Pacquiao’s quickness is his main concern and that Landman and Santiago will join hands in the coming weeks to come up with a plan to offset the Filipino’s strength.

Landman said by the time Cotto goes on a four-city press tour with Pacquiao beginning September 10 in New York, he would have already been in an advanced stage of training although the most crucial phase will happen in Tampa, Florida.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao continues to spend most of the day – actually night – putting the finishing touches on his TV shows and movie that will be due for release in December.

“We are like vampires,” said Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal, who often accompanies the fighter in the nocturnal shooting sessions in and around the metropolis.

Still, Gacal said Pacquiao is right on track since he usually begins training camp eight weeks before a fight.

“Once Manny shows up for training, it’s impossible to stop him,” said Gacal.

Under the plan, Pacquiao will kick off his preparation for Cotto following the promotional tour that will bring him not only to New York but to Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Los Angeles next month.

Baguio is being eyed to host the initial phase of Pacquiao’s training camp.

Source: mb.com.ph