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Friday, November 20, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto tops Mayweather in PPV

pacquiao vs cotto
Manny Pacquiao's historic 12th-round TKO of Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas on Saturday night did big business.

The Top Rank-promoted fight generated 1.25 million buys and $70 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue, HBO announced Friday. If historical trends hold, the numbers will increase when all of the buys are officially audited.

The 1.25 million buys, the most for a boxing pay-per-view this year, came from 650,000 from cable homes and 600,000 from satellite services.

Cotto, who is from Puerto Rico, helped drive the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to an all-time record for buys on the island with 110,000 units sold.

Combined with the approximately 1.05 million buys generated by Floyd Mayweather's dominant decision victory against Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19, it was the first time since 1999 -- when Felix Trinidad claimed a decision against Oscar De La Hoya in a welterweight unification fight and Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield fought to a highly controversial draw for the undisputed heavyweight championship -- that two pay-per-view fights have generated at least 1 million buys in the same calendar year.

It was also the first time that back-to-back pay-per-views have reached seven figures.

With the victory, Pacquiao, who won his first world title in the 112-pound flyweight division, became the first fighter in history to win titles in seven divisions when he claimed Cotto's 147-pound welterweight title. HBO will replay the bout Saturday night (10 ET/PT).

The victories by Pacquiao and Mayweather set the stage for what likely will be the biggest money fight ever.

"They have to deliver," HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg told The Associated Press. "The American public wants that fight."

Their representatives are planning to open negotiations in the coming days for a showdown that would likely take place in the spring.

"The two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world in the same weight class in the prime of their careers," Greenburg said. "It just doesn't get any better than that."

Promoter Bob Arum agreed.

"The way I look at it now, boxing is really on a roll," Arum said. "We would be idiots now to slow the momentum and the only way we can keep the momentum is to make this fight."

Arum, who represents Pacquiao, was expected to begin talks as early as next week with Richard Schaefer, who heads Golden Boy Promotions and will represent Mayweather in the negotiations.

Though each fighter believes he should get a bigger percentage of the purse, the total revenues will be so high that a 50-50 split may not be all that difficult to achieve.

Arum said Pacquiao will end up making some $22 million for his 12th-round stoppage of Cotto, while Cotto will end up with around $12 million. That is far higher than either fighter was guaranteed because, as is the case with most big fights, they worked for a percentage of the total sales.

It was the third consecutive blockbuster pay-per-view fight for Pacquiao, who also drew 1.25 million buys for his eighth-round destruction of De La Hoya in December 2008 and approximately 830,000 buys for his second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton to win the junior welterweight championship in May.

Pacquiao-Cotto also generated a live gate of $8,847,550 from an official crowd of 15,930, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That makes it the 14th-biggest gate in Nevada history.

The potential of a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is so big that Arum said casino magnate Steve Wynn had already spoken to him about constructing a 30,000-seat outdoor arena on what is now a vacant lot across from his two resorts to host the bout, with other casinos joining in as partners.

Outdoor arenas were a staple of the big fights in Las Vegas in the 1980s, beginning with the Muhammad Ali-Larry Holmes fight at Caesars Palace.

"A lot of people are interested," Arum said. "The problem with having it in the East, though, is that the taxes are so big that the fighters would have to give up millions in extra taxes."

Greenburg credited the recent strong sales to a new willingness by promoters to match their best fighters, and to the new -- and younger -- fans drawn to the sport by the success of the network's "24/7" reality shows in the weeks before the fights.

There would be no lack of material for a Pacquiao-Mayweather show, which would match a Filipino hero with a colorful cast surrounding him against a fighter with a dysfunctional family who has played the role of villain in his biggest fights.

"There's just so much drama and subplots for this," Greenburg said.

Source: espn.go.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I’m not Impressed with Pacquiao’s win

pacquiao vs cotto
By Manuel Perez: First of all, I’m not quitting. I don’t care if Miguel Cotto lost, Manny Pacquiao looked like crap to me. And while Pacquiao won Cotto’s World Boxing Organization welterweight title, I personally don’t consider Pacquiao to be the WBO champion because the fight was held at an energy draining 145 instead of the full welterweight limit of 147. The win is tainted as far as I’m concerned. I think Juan Manuel Marquez would have beaten Pacquiao the way he fought on Saturday night and so would have Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Paul Williams.

It’ interesting how Cotto was selected for Pacquiao instead of Mosley, Marquez and Williams. I wonder why that is? Could it be that Cotton was chosen because he had problems in his last fight and was beaten nearly senseless by Antonio Margarito last year? I think Cotto is a great fighter, but it looks like the combination of having to strip off weight to make the 145 pound catch weight and his beating by Margarito took too much out of him, making him vulnerable against the Filipino.
I don’t give Pacquiao credit for this win, because he picked an opponent that was going through big problems in two out of his last three fights and then made it necessary for him to lose weight to come in at a 145 catch weight. When I saw the emaciated looking Cotto at the weigh-in, I knew he was going to have problems because he looked like a human skeleton. Cotto was all bones and didn’t look the least bit healthy.

I thought maybe he might have enough energy to fight hard for a round or three, but after that he looked too weak to put up much of a fight. That’s why I hate catch weights. It’s easy for the fighter coming up in weight, but pure hell for the fighter having to come down in weight to meet the limit. Okay, so Cotto looked not well for this fight because of the catch weight limit, and I think that was the major cause for his loss.

So what we have here is a fighter that was took weak to fight well and who just never seemed to get into the fight because of his lethargic look. Cotto looked like he needed to be resting on a couch rather than fighting in championship bout. He still fought pretty well, barring the flash knock down in the 3rd and the other knock down in the 4th.

Cotto wasn’t hurt by either punch and was merely off balance when he got hit. You notice how Pacquiao didn’t go after him? Pacquiao knew better. If he had gone after Cotto, Cotto would have caught him with something big and probably taken him out.

Maybe Cotto got beat, but he held up well in the first half of the fight. In the second part, Cotto just looked tired and didn’t seem to have anything left to answer Pacquiao. It was still far from being a one-sided fight, because Cotto was still landing well even into the 12th round. I don’t know why the referee stopped the fight. Cotto was fighting fine and would have made it out of the round if the referee hadn’t jumped in between them after Pacquiao landed a hard left hand in the 12th. They would have had to kill me. I wouldn’t have stopped fighting for anything.

Okay, so people are starting to think that Pacquiao is some great hot shot fighter now that he beat De La Hoya and Cotto, both in catch weight fights. Well, I’m not impressed at all with Pacquiao and like I said, I’m not impressed with his sloppy performance against Cotto. Pacquiao used his face to stop punches all night long and didn’t look good at all in my book. Pacquiao is lucky he wasn’t in there with Marquez, Mayweather, Williams or Mosley last Saturday night because that would have been curtains for him.

Everyone is talking about Pacquiao fighting Mayweather next, so I guess that’s the fight Pacquiao will be taking next. But if anyone thinks that Pacquiao can honestly beat Mayweather, they must be deceiving himself. Pacquiao will be destroyed badly in that fight and it won’t be even slightly close. It takes talent to beat Mayweather.

Source: boxingnews24.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pacquiao vs Cotto Full Fight






Pacquiao vs Cotto Fight Pictures

Source: CNNSI & YahooSports

Pacquiao dominates Cotto

by Paoee Natanawan: Saturday November 14, 2009 marked an event in history where Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao solidified his claim as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in world and the first boxer ever to win seven titles in seven different weight divisions. The last record was held by Manny and Oscar De La Hoya with both six title in six different weight class. First of all, congratulations to Manny for a very well earned victory.

In spite of what critics and other boxing analyst and even fans all around the world says, Manny still came and proved them all wrong. Now after the fight excuses are piling up and still everyone has something to say. Some claiming that Miguel Cotto was weight drained for the fight and Manny just fought a shadow of Cotto (Some of you readers might have an idea who said that and like you I am laughing my heart out at that guy who have no word and now I can’t even classify as man.), or Cotto never got over the Margarito fight, or some might say he’s overrated, or even Pacquiao has illegal wraps.
Here’s what I have to say about it and I don’t think everyone will agree with me on some of what I have to say.


Both camp did very well on their camp. But, for me it’s really clear what the difference is between the two and I already saw weaknesses on both sides.

First on Cotto’s camp, Cotto started his training earlier than Pacquiao. Might be good or can also be bad. Bad meaning he reached his top condition earlier and you can’t actually hold it with still a week remaining before the fight. Given the fact that he is on a diet. As some of you have seen on the episodes of HBO 24/7, Cotto was really moody in the last week before the fight. That shows a lot and Pacquiao is right. The catch weight is affecting him and he is on a diet. But still Cotto was able to make the catch weight and still for me look pretty good on the weigh-in(Liam said he looks like a lollipop).

On the other hand, we have Manny’s very crazy camp. Started in Baguio, a high altitude place which I would prefer than Manila and all the distractions it brings. Went down the mountains to Manila due to typhoon bound to hit Baguio. Then distracted with all politicians and people trying to get close to Manny which pissed Freddie a lot. Then flew to LA’s Wild Card gym which for me is the best gym to train in. With the place’s effect on the boxer’s body which should be proven scientifically I guess. Then I believe Pacquiao reached his top condition just in time and he doesn’t have to worry about his weight.

Now if you look into both camps you can see the difference. Cotto has a green camp. Joe Santiago for me is just not yet ready to handle Cotto and he’s a yes-man kind of trainer which is really bad. The boxer should have someone who can discipline him and don’t spoil him or does whatever he said. The Cotto camp is literally Cotto’s camp. He calls the shot and decide for himself and they just agrees with him. On Pacquiao you have a master. Freddie is without a doubt one of the best trainer. Doesn’t give in to what Manny wants. Freddie wants to pack up and leave and that’s what happened. They left Manila earlier than expected. Manny apologizes to Freddie for what happened in Manila and they’re back on track. And no matter what they say, Freddie really got into everyone’s head in Cotto’s camp.

For sparring partners, Cotto has Kenny Abril(9-3-1) and Fred Turkes(southpaw 7-1-1) while Pacquiao has Jose Luis Castillo (60-9-1) and Shawn Porter (10-0) and reserves Escobar and Antillon. A clear edge on Manny in this aspect. You can argue with me about it.

The Fight:

The first round I give to Cotto. He’s really showing his game. He even tagged Pacquiao with jabs and body shots. Round two Cotto is still showing some good signs. Though Pacquiao started to connect and get his rhythm. I have it even. Then the start of Cotto’s downfall, round three. Pacquiao scored a knockdown but Cotto was able to recover from it and still connects with his punches. Then forth round a clear uppercut to the right chin of Cotto rocked the Puerto Rican sending him to the canvass for the second time that night. With that I believed Cotto’s strength was reduced to half or even more. Starting to doubt himself, his power and his game plan Cotto switch stances and began to backpedal which receives boos from the crowd. Cotto’s game plan change from attack to defense to just survive and ended with referee Bayles stopping the fight on the 12th round.


First the boxers, Cotto was without a doubt strong. It’s just that Manny is stronger. Don’t say things like he’s drained or what. He may be bigger but when they faced each other that night can you honestly say that there is a difference? But as other analyst said, the speed of Manny gives him an edge. Sure Cotto was fast too. He was able to tag Pacquiao with his jabs. But Pacquiao is faster. If you watch the replays you would see Cotto doesn’t have an idea on where the punches where coming from and what part of his body is he going to defend. Pacquiao’s punches were hitting him even before he could close on his gloves. As for Pacquiao’s part, he was able to execute his game plan better than Cotto and he showed he can fight a real welter and has the power to rock even someone like Cotto. From that you can easily assume that the punching power of Pacquiao is either at par with Margarito’s LOADED gloves or even better with blinding speed to be able to knockdown Cotto. The speed multiplied that power. But Pacquiao for me was careless on that fight. He often times, Stands in front of Cotto with his defenses up and literally asking him to hit him with his famous body shots and even allowed Cotto to caught him on the ropes which he could easily rolled out off but he didn’t. For me he is showing to Cotto that he can take his shots and that made Cotto doubt his ability. But Pacquiao didn’t have to do that. He just risked having unwanted injuries. He was already winning. He could avoid Cotto’s punches but he didn’t. He walked through them. He showed toughness.

For the corner, Joe Santiago was of no help at all to Cotto. All he could say is “Are you OK?”, or “one more, one more” as if asking him(Cotto) to just survive. He could at least give the guy a third-man’s point view. On how he sees the fight is going. That shows just how inexperienced he is. Nothing can be said on the other corner. Everything is going according to plan.

In the end, Freddie was right with one of his pre-fight comments. I would like to quote this one “We’re gonna make him quit.” That is what they did. Freddie was really unsure if they could knockout Cotto (in spite all the talks about first round KO or whatever round he predicted, its just to get into the heads of the other camp.) but he is sure though that they will make him quit.

Kudos for both fighters. I hope Cotto can bounce back after this loss. I would suggest a more solid staff next time and fight on the odds in favor to you. For Pacquiao, stay humble and don’t get overconfident because that could lead to your downfall.

Source: boxingnews24.com


* Astonishing to watch how the tables turned during Saturday night's big showdown. Miguel Cotto started as the bigger man, the stronger man and the puncher. He looked good taking the opening session, but as soon as Pacquiao started to unload those blazing combinations in round two, things changed in a hurry. And that second knockdown in the fourth effectively ended the fight as a contest. From then on it was a systematic beating with only Cotto's bravery keeping him upright.

* Seemed a little unfair that Cotto got so close to the final bell, but didn't hear it. The safety of the fighters must be paramount of course, but with that in mind why wasn't it stopped after round nine? Miguel was finished then and had nothing left to give. All that followed was more punishment.

* Pacquiao's body of work in the last 18 months has been just about perfect. In crushing David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto, he lost just a round on my cards - the opener on Saturday night.

* Pacquiao truly is a freak of nature - if you didn't believe it before Saturday night, believe it now. Normally when smaller fighters go up in weight their speed and power tends to diminish. Not so in Manny's case. He's actually improved the higher he's gone. And there's an argument that says he looked better than ever in Las Vegas last week, both on the scales at 144lbs and in the ring on Saturday night.

* Floyd Mayweather Jr said on Monday that Pacquiao is "one-dimensional" with no versatility. If he believes that he could be in for a lot of trouble if they do meet. As Cotto said afterwards, it's the amount of punches and the angles they come from that is so difficult to deal with. The first knockdown came not from the first punch in a Pacman flurry, but the third or fourth. The speed, allied to the power, is the real killer.

* Love how Manny has started to refer to Freddie Roach as "Master Freddie Roach". Clearly a sense of humour as well as a fearsome work ethic and ability to learn.

* After watching HBO's excellent 24/7, you have to marvel at how Pacquiao can succeed with so many things going on around him, starting with the terrible typhoons that hit his homeland during training camp. Clearly the laid-back persona he displays outside the ring is a massive asset.

* According to several reports coming out of Vegas last week, Manny spent a couple of hours every day practising his singing for a post-fight concert at Mandalay Bay. Though having watched him warbling "Sometimes When We Touch" on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, I'd advise him not to give up his day job.

* It's been a long time since the P4P king was not only the best fighter in the sport, but also the most exciting and the classiest. The man amazes in so many ways - a gentleman outside the ropes, a chilling destroyer inside them.

* Pacquiao/Mayweather has to happen, and it has to happen now. The sport's history is littered with marquee match-ups that happened too late, or never happened at all. Lennox Lewis fought Mike Tyson when the latter was shot, and he never fought Riddick Bowe in the pros. Joe Calzaghe fought Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins when they were past their primes. And Jones and Hopkins are set to finally rematch in 2010 - eight years after they were haggling over the purse when they were mega attractions. If it doesn't happen it's also another occasion when boxing shoots itself in the foot. We're all set for back-to-back million-buy pay-per-view bouts, and if the big two meet boxing might well be on the front pages as well as the back.

* There appears to be two things getting in the way of Pacquiao/Mayweather happening in 2010 - Floyd's ego and the fact he'd have to negotiate with Bob Arum. If 'Money' really still believes he deserves the lion's share of the purse after Saturday night, he's delusional.

* Floyd has used a ton of reasons for avoiding certain bouts in the past, and one of them is cash. If the Mayweather mantra is: "if it makes money, it makes sense", then he can't duck this one. There's plenty to go round.

Source: sportinglife.com

What we learned: Pacquiao-Cotto

1. Manny Pacquiao cemented his legacy as one of history's greatest fighters.
With the 50th and perhaps most difficult victory of his career, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao has chiseled his name alongside all-time pound-for-pound greats like Willie Pep, Henry Armstrong and Sugar Ray Robinson. With Saturday's 12th-round TKO of Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao captured the WBO welterweight title and became the first fighter to collect world championships in seven different weight classes between 112 to 147 pounds -- an incredible and unprecedented feat for a one-time flyweight who turned pro at a wraith-like 106 pounds.

2. The record books will read TKO 12, but Pacquiao ended this one back in the fourth.
Cotto was game early, controlling distance with the left jab and keeping Pacquiao from getting inside. It was clear the Filipino respected Cotto's punching power. Pacquiao looked more comfortable in the second round, circling the ring and penetrating Cotto's defense with straight lefts and rights. Midway through the second, Cotto lost the plot and starting trading. Pacquiao dropped Cotto in the third with a left to the body and a right hook upstairs -- and again in the fourth with a right hook and a vicious left to the jaw. Cotto was never the same again. He spent the next seven-and-a-half rounds just trying to get to the finish line -- ostensibly trying to counter-punch and box but, in reality, hovering like a fly waiting for the windshield on the freeway.

3. Pacquiao can absorb the punch of a true welterweight.
The stage for Saturday's history-making showdown was set over the past year-and-a-half with Pacquiao's three-pack of victories over David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Each fight taught us something about the Filipino southpaw. The ninth-round knockout of Diaz revealed that Pacquiao could pick apart a larger fighter of limited ability. The ninth-round stoppage of De La Hoya taught us Pacquiao could dismantle a fighter at 147 pounds, albeit one way past his prime. The second-round starching of Hatton demonstrated what Pacquiao could do against opponents of anything but the highest caliber. Saturday's stoppage of Cotto provided an emphatic answer to the biggest question looming over Pacquiao's camp in the months leading up to it: could the Filipino stand in and exchange against a true welterweight. He could. Pacquiao took more punches than we'd seen him take against Diaz, De La Hoya or Hatton -- but was never hurt. Once self-doubt crept in and Cotto got tentative, moving backwards and releasing the pressure from Pacquiao, it was over. The Filipino's ring generalship never wavered. He was too fast, too sharp, too busy for Cotto and the result was deserved.

4. No one can doubt Cotto's courage.
You've got to give Cotto credit. A modern-day Boricua folk hero in the mold of Carlos Ortiz, Wilfred Benitez and Felix Trinidad, Cotto would sooner leave the ring on his shield than quit. His face resembled tomato pie for the second half of the fight, with blood flowing from his nose and wounds, yet he persevered. Cotto's corner man Joe Santiago, a 30-year-old greenhorn, never considered stopping it; you wonder if a more experienced trainer might have thrown in the towel several rounds earlier, once it became obvious Cotto had no chance to win. When referee Kenny Bayless stopped the action 55 seconds into the final round, it was clear this was a career-defining fight for both men. Many wondered if Antonio Margarito took something from Cotto in that dubious July 2008 stoppage that Cotto would never be able to get back. That question may have been answered Saturday in Las Vegas.

5. The countdown for Pacquiao-Mayweather is under way.
Now Pacquiao can turn his attention to his personal Everest: Floyd Mayweather Jr. The specter of a megafight between Pacquiao and Mayweather hung over the Cotto fight from the day it was announced. The millions who followed live blogs and watched on pirated Internet streams, unwilling to drop $54.95 on Saturday's fight in a recession, would happily pay that sum to see the sport's finest two pound-for-pound fighters meet in a superfight that would set the bar high for the decade soon to be known as the 2010s. Yes, they'll squabble over the money split and Pacquiao was non-committal in the post-fight interview -- but trainer Freddie Roach considers it an inevitability. "I honestly think it has to happen because boxing needs that fight," Roach told SI.com. "The best need to fight the best."

Source: cnn.com

Pacquiao earns 7th title in 7th class

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao's speed and power were way too much for Miguel Cotto's heart.

Pacquiao put on yet another dominating performance Saturday night, knocking down Cotto twice and turning his face into a bloody mess before finally stopping him at 55 seconds of the 12th round.

The Filipino star used his blazing speed and power from both hands to win his seventh title in seven weight classes and cement his stature as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Cotto took such a beating that his face was a river of red from the fury of Pacquiao's punches, but he refused to quit even as his corner tried to throw in the towel after the 11th round.

I didn't know from where the punches were coming," Cotto said.

The fight was billed as a 145-pound classic, and in the early rounds it didn't disappoint. The two went after each other with a vengeance and Cotto more than held his own as they traded punches in the center of the ring before a roaring sellout crowd at the MGM Grand arena.

Pacquiao dropped Cotto with a right hand early in the third round, but he wasn't badly hurt and came back to finish the round strong. But after Pacquiao put Cotto on the canvas with a big left hand late in the fourth round, the Puerto Rican was never the same again.

Cotto won two rounds on the scorecards of two ringside judges and just one round on the card of the third. The Associated Press gave Cotto just the first round.

"Our plan was not to hurry, but to take our time," Pacquiao said. "It was a hard fight tonight and I needed time to test his power."

Cotto's face was marked early and he was bleeding midway through the fight as Pacquiao kept bouncing around and throwing punches in his unorthodox southpaw style. Cotto tried to keep taking the fight to Pacquiao, but by then his punches had lost their sting and his only real chance was to land a big punch from nowhere.

"He hit harder than we expected and he was a lot stronger than we expected," Cotto's trainer, Joe Santiago, said.

Cotto fought gamely, but in the later rounds he was just trying to survive as blood flowed down his face and Pacquiao came after him relentlessly. Santiago tried to stop the fight after the 11th round, but Cotto went back out to take even more punishment before a final flurry along the ropes prompted referee Kenny Bayless to end it.

Cotto's wife and child, who were at ringside, left after the ninth round, unable to watch the beating any longer. They later accompanied him to a local hospital for a post-fight examination.

"My health comes first. I just want to make sure I'm fine, but I feel great. I'm swollen but that's all," Cotto said.

His face swollen, Cotto was bleeding from his nose and his cuts, and he simply couldn't stop Pacquiao from bouncing inside and throwing both hands at will.

"Manny Pacquiao is one of the best boxers I ever fought," Cotto said.

Pacquiao, coming off of spectacular wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, added another one against Cotto, who had lost only once and held the WBO version of the welterweight title.

Pacquiao did it in his trademark way, throwing punches in flurries and from all angles until Cotto began to slow down. Then he pursued him nonstop until the end.

The fight likely will set up an even bigger one against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and many in crowd were already chanting, "We want Floyd! We want Floyd."

"I want to see him fight Mayweather," trainer Freddie Roach said.

Mayweather may have second thoughts after Pacquiao did what no fighter has done before -- win a belt in a seventh weight class. More impressive, though, is how he has fought, dismantling opponents despite moving up consistently from 106 pounds to the 144 he weighed for the fight.

The welterweight ranks will be the last ones Pacquiao conquers, though.

"This is the last weight division for me," Pacquiao said. "It's history for me and more importantly a Filipino did it."

He was so dominant in the later rounds that Cotto was fighting backward most of the way, simply trying to survive. Pacquiao was credited with landing almost twice as many punches -- 336-172 -- as Cotto.

"I knew when Cotto started backing up, the fight was over," Roach said.

Pacquiao earned a minimum $13 million, while Cotto got $7 million.

Pacquiao was favored, largely off his last two performances in which he forced De La Hoya to quit on his stool and then knocked out Hatton with a huge left hook in the second round. Some in boxing, including Roach, thought Cotto had been slowed by his devastating loss last year to Antonio Margarito and would be further slowed by having to come in 2 pounds lower than his normal weight.

That wasn't the case early in the fight, with Cotto winning the first round and fighting well. Once he was knocked down by a big left hand late in the fourth round, though, he slowed noticeably.

Source: espn.go.com

The Generation's Best

There are many times when you can accuse promoter Bob Arum of hyperbole or exaggeration. But you cant really blame him, after all, that’s his job. But what was once considered another brash statement by the Harvard educated pitchman, must now be considered seriously. Last Wednesday night on a certain internet radio show( where he hung up when some smart-ass host asked him about his ’spectacular’ undercard’) he stated that Manny Pacquiao was the greatest fighter he had ever seen. This from a man who has promoted the likes of Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard.

It seemed like boxing blasphemy at the time. But after Pacquiao’s systematic and brutal dispatching of Miguel Cotto over 12 rounds this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, you can no longer roll your eyes or snicker when such utterances are made.

"The best fighter I have ever seen," Arum, said once again, at the post-fight press conference.

Some of you will still believe that Arum is exorbitant in his praise. But this much is clear, as that famous saying goes: the class he’s in, it doesn’t take too long to conduct roll call. I don’t know where he ranks all-time( I’m still waaaay to young to make those observations) but you can certainly make the case that he’s the best fighter of this generation. And perhaps that’s the only fair comparison to make. The bottom line is that the sport and the business of boxing has changed. Fighters simply don’t perform nearly as often as they used to. And it’s difficult to compare boxers with well over 100 fights, to those who now perform twice a year. Then there is the proliferation of weight classes and title belts, which many believe have diluted the sport.

Nobody has accomplished what Pacquiao has in the past couple of decades. Winning titles in seven weight classes, from flyweight to welterweight. And in between engaging in a heated round-robin with the ’Three Mexican Musketeers’( Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez) and then moving up in weight to physically dominate the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and now, Cotto. Against those aforementioned names- several of whom are locks to have their fists encased in Canastota, one day- his record is 8-1-1 with six stoppages to his credit and at least a dozen knockdowns.

He’s the most mesmerizing combination of speed and power the game has. As he started to let his hands go in the second round versus Cotto, he reminded you of Bruce Lee with his hard, striking, accurate combinations that bruised and battered the body and head of Cotto, who skipped the post-fight presser to get a full body scan at a local hospital. It wasn’t that Pacquiao just hit hard, he hit often. To a point where Cotto was getting deluged by a torrent of leather that he was unable to fend off. After Pacquiao’s second knockdown in the fourth round( after scoring one in a back-and-forth third frame), Cotto was visibly stunned and from that juncture unable to hold off this Filipino storm. Just as typhoons had ravaged his country, Pacquiao would do so to Cotto, with almost the same devastating effect.

But what was perhaps the most stunning aspect of this conquest was that in the early rounds Cotto seemingly had Pacquiao where he wanted him- retreating and with his back to the ropes. And Cotto, a noted body-puncher, banged away downstairs with violent force. It’s one thing to allow sparring partners to beat on your sides as if you’re a heavy-bag, it’s an entirely different to let Cotto do it. His trainer, Freddie Roach didn’t like this tactic." I yelled at him every time.’Why are you fighting his fight?’"

But Pacquiao, perhaps on his own instinct, was doing his own version of the rope-a-dope. "I heard that he’s a stronger man than me. I wanted to test his power," he explained. Psychologically, he showed he could absorb whatever the supposedly bigger man could dish out without flinching. As he was hit to the body, he did his best to mask any pain. He stated that he was fighting this battle,"In my mind." But make no doubt about it, this was as physical a fight as Pacquiao has ever been involved in. There was a price to pay for this strategy. His right ear was bandaged up afterwords and there was noticeable swelling and bruising all over his face. We knew a lot about Pacquiao before, on this night we found out he also has a world-class set of whiskers. He’s tough as he is talented.

From a tactical standpoint, Pacquiao began to find counter-punching opportunities on Cotto, who Roach believed gave away his punches, specifically his left-hook, as he shifted most of his weight to his front foot. Also, with his elbows so flared out, he gives up what they call in hockey, ’the five hole’- in other words, an opening right up the middle. The ’boxing master’, as he was called by his pupil, studied Cotto’s life-and-death struggle with DeMarcus Corley, at great length. The right-hook and uppercuts would be vital to their game plan. And while the hand-speed of Pacquiao gave Cotto fits, there was also a great disparity in foot-speed. While Pacquiao could dart in and out with ease, and change directions, Cotto simply could not deal with the angles provided by Pacquiao.

As the on-slaught continued, the fight had a familiar quality to it for Cotto. As the damage mounted and he began to retreat, this looked more and more like his loss to Antonio Margarito last summer. The body language said it all from ringside. This was no longer about winning, but surviving. It was a bit stunning to see the supposedly bigger man, in a full-blown back pedal, circling the canvas. When Cotto gets up on his toes, it’s not so much boxing, but an attempt to run out the clock.

The fight was mercifully waved off by referee Kenny Bayless in the 12Th and final round as Pacquiao delivered another hard left that had Cotto buckling on the ropes. A very good, proud fighter, was simply beaten down by an all-time great. Cotto, should be lauded for his courage, and unfortunately, his corner, led by a novice- Joe Santiago- should be chastised for being much too courageous on behalf of their boxer. Because by the late rounds, what was once a great fight in the early rounds had become a landslide.

To see the technical improvements in the last year or so from Pacquiao is startling. There was a time when he was viewed as crowd-pleasing, yet flawed fighter. He was an offensive force with his left-hand but considered predictable and one-dimensional. Now he is a two-fisted wrecking machine with greatly improved defense and balance. And under the tutelage of Roach, his boxing IQ has risen exponentially. There have been some legendary duo’s in this sport, from Chappie Blackburn and Joe Louis, to Angelo Dundee and Muhammad Ali, it’s not a stretch to include this dynamic duo. These two are like Johnny Sakko and his Giant Robot. Whatever Roach tells him to do, the marching orders are executed to frightening efficiency with a wide variety of weapons at his disposal. The only difference is that Roach whispers into Pacquiao’s ears during the fight and not a wristwatch.

Who knows where Pacquiao goes next. You get the sense that despite the chants that were heard from the rafters of the Grand Garden Arena( WE WANT FLOYD!!! WE WANT FLOYD!!!) that a hook-up with Mayweather wont come to fruition immediately. But where he certainly isn’t going is up any more weight classes. He stated unequivocally,"This is my last weight division." Which is too bad, this is the one guy capable of getting either Klitschko into an entertaining fight.( OK, OK, admittedly, THAT is hyperbole.)

The man who had enough hubris to schedule a post-fight concert at the Mandalay Bay, still considers himself, ’ordinary’ as a fighter. Which prompted his trainer to correct him." Manny, you’re not an ordinary fighter," said Roach.

He later added," He’s the greatest of this era, that’s for sure."

I wont argue with that statement.

Source: maxboxing.com

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pacquiao stops Cotto in 12

In an amazing, violent fight, Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs) stopped WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs) in round twelve to win another world title in an unprecedented seventh weight division on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Both fighters were on the attack from the opening bell. Pacman dropped Cotto with a right hook in round three. Cotto dominated round four, but was dropped by a left uppercut at the end of the round. Cotto fought courageously but was rocked again in the sixth by Pacman’s hurtful shots coming in from all angles. Cotto began to box from the outside in the seventh with some success. However, Pacquiao continued to stalk him and break him down. Cotto was in survival mode down the stretch. Referee Kenny Bayless finally waved in off in round twelve. Time was :55.

Source: fightnews.com