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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cotto could bring out the best in Pacquiao

NO QUESTION ABOUT THE RESULT, Manny Pacquiao is sure to beat Miguel Cotto.

That was not Uncle Bob Arum pontificating on the forthcoming Pacquiao-Cotto fight at the MGM Grand.

That was Kobe Bryant making his prediction right here in Manila.

Remember, it was Arum who bravely branded the then a-building big bout a dead-even fight.

Now, it’s hard to determine if Arum had altered his view after Pacquiao agreed to a 145-lb catch weight in favor of Cotto.

* * *

Normally, Kobe’s slam-jam forecast should be rated as a bold prediction, which comes when you pick one fighter to stop a bigger foe.

But Bryant, a great admirer of his Pinoy fans, saw no hope whatsoever for a bigger Cotto upsetting the Pacman come Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

A certified Pacquiao fan, Bryant says there’s no switching of allegiance now that he has also won over the Pacman, previously identified as a Boston Celtics follower, over to the Lakers side.

* * *

Money-wise, there’s no doubting the big winner.

Pacquiao will get a very wholesome slice of the cake.

Unconfirmed reports said the Pacman could pocket as much as 65 percent of the fight profit to Cotto’s 35.

There’s also the prospect of Pacquiao winning a seventh world title in seven separate weight divisions.

That would not only enhance Pacman’s pound-for-pound kingship.

* * *

That sublime possibility, a first double-seven by a world boxing great, should readily cement the Pacquiao legend.

But hold it, please.

What’s harder to determine now is whether or not Cotto can be of any help in pushing Pacquiao to the ultimate in his career.

* * *

Don’t get this wrong please.

By that, Cotto is not being lulled into performing like any of Pacquiao’s last three victims.

Remember the half-bouts, the punching picnics Pacquiao had against David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton?

What Pacquiao needs this time is a supreme challenge, which was nowhere near the ring post in his last three bouts.

* * *

Cotto should in fact be goaded to work extra hard and come at his very best.

The truth is that it would be another sham if Cotto, for example, shows up as shallow as he did in that contested split decision win over a plodder from Ghana.

Anyway, the good news is that Cotto has remained unfazed by Pacquiao’s startling ring achievements.

He seems singularly convinced he can beat Pacquiao.

But whether he would rely wholly on his fabled body punches, or try to outmuscle Pacquiao toe-to-toe, is hard to say.

* * *

The call of the hour is for Cotto to provide a truly classic challenge.

That way, he could also help bring out the all-time best from the Pacman.

Pacquiao, in return, should also be able to provide a gallant stand, an unforgettable classic performance in the niche of the Muhammad Ali conquest of Joe Frazier during the 1975 Thrilla in Manila.

Yes, there’s now the chance of Pacquiao fighting a fight that could be the epitome of his gift, craft and power.

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/columns/columns/view/20090723-216781/Cotto-could-bring-out-the-best-in-Pacquiao

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