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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cotto/Pacquiao: Who's the (better) man?

Despite the fact that no ink has touched the paper, according to Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum, the fight is a "done deal". Now that weight, money, and all other key issues have been put to bed, the focus shifts to the two men who could deliver a "fight of the year" candidate if the past is any indication.

In an effort to gauge the true value of both men, today we take a look at the 5 make or break attributes that will undoubtedly decide this showdown.

Power: Power can vary in fighters. You have the Mike Tyson type power, that can seal the deal on the spot; and you have power like that of a Kelly Pavlik, which is brute, yet doesn't kick in until the residual effects tally up over the course of a few rounds. Joshua Clottey said in an interview I conducted after his fight with Miguel Cotto that Cotto's power is "definitely" stronger than that of Antonio Margarito and any other welter in the game today. Has Pacquiao ever faced this level of power? Never. But Pacquiao will bring his own as well. Perhaps the only difference here is the delivery, as Pacquiao distributes his powershots, while Cotto tends to haunt the body, and seldom focuses up top at any great length - unless an opponents' defense is suspect.

Speed: Another admission of Joshua Clottey's in our interview about Miguel Cotto was that Cotto's power is very deceptive. When you consider the fact that he was able to hang in the speed category for 12 rounds with both Mosley and Judah, clearly, this isn't an area that he lacks in too badly. That being said, while some still question Cotto's speed, NO ONE can question Pacquiao's. This is one attribute that leaves very little to debate between the two. Pacman's speed is far superior, and as we all know, power thrills, but speed kills.

Heart: Pacquiao has shown us time and time again that there are few (if any) hearts in the game today that parallel his. He takes a lickin' and keeps tickin'! As a matter of fact, when he does taste an opponents power, he steps up even more. Clearly, Pacquiao's heart is unquestionable. For Cotto, the same could be said, although the *Margarito* (asterisk) was an indicator that Cotto does have some level of quit in him.

Strength: What is strength? Some people confuse strength with power, but the fundamental difference between the two are worlds apart. Strength plays a role when there's a lot of grappling and holding, or when a fighter is able to use his physical capacity to wear another down. Both of these men come to fight, and neither have a reputation for holding, but few would disagree that Cotto is arguably the "stronger" of the two, and if the fight gets physical, he (Cotto) gets the edge in this department.

Chin: When fighting as a jr. welterweight, Cotto was viewed by many as very 'chinny'. As he developed and went up in weight to accomodate his growing body, those questions were answered. He took powershots from arguably the three most powerful welterweights in the world (Margarito, Clottey, and Mosley), and the one time he was stopped is now in question due to the Margarito glove-padding scandal. For Pacquiao, a few over his career were able to hurt him, but similarly, Manny has gotten more durable at a higher weight. Both men seem very durable in this area, although it should be noted that Pacquiao has never faced a fighter with Cotto's power.

Between now and approximately 8pm PST on November 14th when the two men jump into the ring, there will be a ton of breakdowns of the fight, but none more pivotal than this, as these 5 categories will decide once and for all "WHO IS THE (BETTER) MAN"?

Stay tuned...

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-845-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d21-CottoPacquiao-Whos-the-better-man

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