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Monday, November 9, 2009

National Treasures Collide When Cotto Meets Pacquiao

Boxing fans all over the world will be fixated on their television screens when Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto meet in the ring on November 14. No place will be watching with as much intent as the home countries of the fighters involved.

Puerto Rico is a boxing hotbed and Miguel Cotto is the current king of the island. Cotto follows in the footsteps of such Puerto Rican legends of the ring as Carlos Ortiz, Wilfredo Gomez, Hector Camacho, and Felix Trinidad. A win over Pacquiao would cement Cotto’s place next to these boxing luminaries.

While Miguel Cotto has inherited the torch from past greats, Manny Pacquiao has transcended the sport of boxing in the Philippines. He’s starred in movies and released a CD. Pacquiao’s celebrity is so great in the Philippines that he can’t go to the mall or out to eat without inciting a mob of fans.

The Philippines and Puerto Rico have matched up in four world title fights this year, but none are bigger than number five on November 14 when Manny Pacquiao faces Miguel Cotto for Cotto’s welterweight title. Not only is this the biggest fight of the year, it’s the biggest fight in the budding rivalry between two proud nations.

The 2009 rivalry between Puerto Rico and the Philippines began innocently enough when Juan Manuel Lopez successfully defended his super bantamweight title against Gerry Penalosa in April. Lopez made his Puerto Rican fans proud with a thorough drubbing of the game Filipino.

Puerto Rico scored another victory when Ivan Calderon got a technical decision over Rodel Mayol in September. Calderon’s light flyweight title was on the line. The fight went to the scorecards after seven rounds when Calderon was unable to continue due to an accidental headbutt. Coincidentally, a previous fight between these two in June was ruled a technical draw. That contest also saw an early ending due to an accidental headbutt.

The Philippines got on the board in September when Marvin Sonsona took a super flyweight title from Jose Lopez. The 19-year-old Sonsona outlasted the veteran Lopez on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

All of these fights pale in comparison to the magnitude of this Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight.

The most prolific matchup of a Puerto Rican and Filipino fighter came in 1964. Puerto Rican legend Carlos Ortiz defended his lightweight title against Flash Elorde, a Filipino that was holding the super featherweight title. Ortiz would win this bout by TKO in the 14th round of a hotly contested bout. The two had a rematch in 1966 and it was met with the same result; a 14th round knockout for Carlos Ortiz. Both men would later be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

It took 45 years, but Ortiz-Elorde will no longer sit atop the list. Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, both future Hall of Famers in their own right, will replace them on November 14.

Manny Pacquiao has continuously found new ways to shock boxing fans. From thrilling fights with Juan Manuel Marquez to an indescribable upset of Oscar De La Hoya, Pacquiao has become a must-see phenomenon inside the boxing ring.

Pacquiao will attempt to raise the bar yet again when he faces Miguel Cotto. A win would give Pacman a world title in his seventh weight class. Pacquiao’s loyal fan base would love nothing more than to see their man make history. Miguel Cotto’s proud Puerto Rican following would love nothing more than to prevent it.

One man carries a torch passed on from national heroes. The other adds to his increasing legend with each fight. Both have the support of a nation behind them. Yet when Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao square off against each other, the entire boxing world will be watching.

Source: insidefights.com

1 comment:

  1. yeah! 4 all the doubter 4 manny pacquiao u all deserved to loss a bet haha! proud 2 b pinoy small but terrible.....beat the sh----t out of cotto run cotto run!!!! most every round he keeps running but he has no weher to run haha! gud for manny he proves his one of da best p4p ghter in the whole wrld