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Friday, September 11, 2009

Manny Pacquiao 'to use every drop of blood' in Miguel Cotto fight

Manny Pacquiao looked long-haired, well rested and in good humour yesterday but insisted he is prepared “to use every last drop of blood” when he encounters Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on Nov 14 in Las Vegas.

The two men launched the media tour for their super-fight at the Yankees Stadium in New York. Pacquiao will return to training with Freddie Roach after a four-month lay off in which, latterly, he has been accused of disinterest in the ring.

Come the time to step into the gym, his head will be shorn of hair, his diet will be strict, his training regime rigid. This exceptional athlete may have many burgeoning interests outside the ring, businesses, an acting career and a potentially life-changing political career, and yet there seems to be little change in the man with a record of 49-3-2 (37 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines.

He remains an icon in his own country, having won six world titles in as many different weight divisions ranging from 112 to 140 pounds. He looked in good shape yesterday.

His performance in 2008 was described as historic, and “Henry Armstrongesque,” when he triumphed by winning world titles at 130 and 135 pounds with victories over Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz, respectively, and knocking out and retiring Oscar De La Hoya at 147 pounds to finish the triple-header.

This year, he picked up where he left off - winning another world title in a new weight division - dealing defending junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton a one-punch second-round knockout on May 2. It was the first time Hatton had ever lost at 140lbs.

Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, who has only ever lost one fight – to Antonio Margarito who was found to have illegal hand wraps in their contest - has sold more tickets to Madison Square Garden in this millennium than any other fighter.
Cotto reminded all those listening yesterday: “I’m not De La Hoya; I’m not Hatton. I’m Miguel Cotto. Everybody knows what I am capable of doing, and I will train my hardest to give you the best possible fight on the night.”

Cotto has also held a world title every year since 2004. Puerto Rico’s most exciting fighter, Cotto held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight crown from 2004-2006, successfully defended it six times before vacating it to capture the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title at the end of 2006, a title he held for nearly as long.

He won his second welterweight title in February this year, knocking out Britain’s Michael Jennings in the fifth round at Madison Square Garden to become the WBO welterweight champion. Notable scalps on Cotto’s belt include former world champions Sugar Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Joshua Clottey, Paulie Malignaggi, and Demarcus Corley.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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