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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cotto-Pacquiao: The Difference Between the Great and the Brave

I have read so many articles recently slating the proclaimed pound for pound king of boxing Manny Pacquiao. The bottom line to this is that Pacquiao has moved up and down various weight divisions fighting the champions of each division, excluding De La Hoya and Cotto.

I exclude Cotto from this because in my opinion there is no way the welterweight belt should be on the line if the limit is set under the welterweight limit. Back to Pacquiao.
He has held belts at 6 weight divisions, which in itself is a career achievement. Is there any real merit in bad mouthing Pacquiao? Besides the Cotto fight, Pacquiao is the one who is given up the advantage. With the De La Hoya, fight most people thought he would be too small and too weak to even hurt De La Hoya, but as it turned out on the night De La Hoya had struggled to make the weight and paid the price, which is not Pacquiao’s fault. But the game plan for Pacquiao only changed once Freddie Roach had noticed the tracks on De La Hoya’s arms. Roach took a chance with Pacquaio and it paid off because Pacquiao had the ability to adapt and attack De Lay Hoya. In terms of the Hatton fight, Pacquiao was taking on the best in the light-welterweight division. Hatton had just dominated and stopped his number one contender Malignaggi. This was off the back of a bounce fight with Juan Lazcano and a knock-out defeat to Floyd Mayweather. There is no reason to discount this fight in Pacquiao’s record as Mayweather was the current pound for pound champion in boxing and Malignaggi was the immediate challenger to Hattons light-welterweight crown.

The only thing to dispute with Pacquiao’s record is his second victory against Juan Manuel Marquez, a fight which should have been given to Marquez. But as recently seen with Cotto against Clottey it sometimes just comes down to who is the judges personal favourite,

The bottom line is that the Pacquiao has been brave in the past but in picking Cotto he has taken on his biggest risk in his career. No doubt Freddie Roach has a plan for Pacquiao but it comes down to whether Pacquiao can take the shots that Cotto will land. There is no doubt that Pacquiao is among the best fighters of this generation but this fight will show whether Pacquiao has been brave, and failed or has taken on the biggest challenge of his boxing career and proved he is the best pound for pound boxer currently fighting.

On the other side of the ring Pacquiao will be staring at a man determined that he worthy of being remembered as great rather than just being remembered as being a brave fighter who gave his all but ultimately fell short. There is no doubt the Clottey fight was a gift but off the back of the Margarito fight, where hand wraps might have been in play, its not a great surprise that he was awarded the decision.

In two out of his last three fights Cotto has been taking a lot of punishment so I can see why Roach has decided to take this fight. However, I still think Cotto has enough in the tank to use Pacquiao’s confidence in his speed against him and land punches to the body which will ultimately slow Pacquiao down.

Whichever way it goes it is a fight between the great and the brave, both fighters qualify in each category but whoever comes out on top will be moving closer towards being remembered as great. My personal tip is that Cotto will stop Pacquiao, after which he should search out a rematch with Margarito and eventually fight the winner of the Mayweather v Marquez fight.

Source: boxingnews24.com

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