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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Puerto Rico not blinded by Cotto

I dare you to visit any region of the Philippines and ask 100 random individuals, "who will win between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto?" An overwhelming majority will respond Manny and I would be hard pressed to even imagine anyone picking his November 14 rival.

Why? Pacquiao is their idol, one of the few dominate global sport legends they have in their pantheon and he has aroused their souls through boxing exploits.

As for Miguel Cotto, while a legitimate top ten pound for pound fighter with a solid career, he has never truly captured the hearts and minds of his nation's fight fans. Cotto's ultra-cool personality has not drawn in Puerto Ricans, unlike many of the island's past greats such as Felix "Tito" Trinidad and Wilfredo Gomez - who are national heroes till this day. Something about Miguel has kept his people at a healthy distance.

Before today, if I had to predict the reaction of 100 Puerto Ricans to the question, "who will win Manny or Miguel," my guess would be a solid segment would pick Manny. Why? Because Puerto Ricans are some of the most knowledgeable fans and they are not hero-worshipping Cotto; he has not won them over like Manny owns the Philippines.

Puerto Rican fight scribe Carlos Gonzalez of Primera Hora did what I just proposed, video camera in hand, and hit the streets of San Juan to ask Puerto Ricans thoughts on the fight. The result? A split bag.

A handful selected Cotto, siting reasons such as, "Cotto has the speed to neutralize Pacquiao," or "Cotto has the experience and power." Yet many did give Pacquiao the nod with responses such as, "Pacquiao is much too fast," "Cotto has become soft," and "Cotto gets cut to easy."

There you have it fight fans, Puerto Rican boxing fans - among the best informed in the world and far from myopic regarding their own fighters.

Mummy Marley Does Not Get It

Michael Marley, New York Boxing Examiner, wrote about how important belts are to fighters and mentioned some silliness about Shannon Briggs keeping his heavyweight belts at home for photo opportunities. Typical babble from boxing's old boys network.

If belts are so important, which they are not in the current watered down landscape, why is Miguel Cotto good to go without his WBO welterweight belt on the line and thus bypassing the three percent sanctioning fee to be taken out of his purse to defend the strap. Come on, I never understood why guys should pay to defend or win a belt. Shouldn't these organizations be paying the fighters?

Looks as if Cotto, and others, are getting hip to the sanctioning bodies archaic ways.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-2850-LA-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m7d22-Puerto-Rico-not-blinded-by-Cotto

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