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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

V8: Pacquiao/Cotto, Roach, Mayweather, Kirkland, and more!!!

Cotto/Pacquiao: Who Holds The X-Factor?

In Manny Pacquiao you have a fast, intense, and deadly accurate fighter whose vocabulary has never included the word quit. In Miguel Cotto, you have a strong warrior whose commitment to the body alone makes him one of the most feared men in the sport. Pacquiao comes in on a high note - soundly defeating Ricky Hatton; While Cotto comes into the fight with an ego that was badly bruised against Margarito, and subsequently jarred by Joshua Clottey. The momentum appears to be in favor of the Filipino, but the one thing that isn't, and perhaps the biggest detriment to him overall in this affair is power. The power of Marquez, Barrera, and Morales (all featherweights at the time - and perhaps the biggest punchers Pacquiao has ever faced) strongly pale in comparison to that of the man who now stands across from him. Power thrills and speed kills, but what gives? With so many attributes to consider and compare, perhaps the main intangible will come down to the influence and strategy of the men in the corners. We know Roach is a chess-master, but if the services of Emmanuel Steward does come into the fold for Cotto, will that wide gap narrow quickly? In the alphabet, the letter "W" comes before X, but in this case, Cotto will need this "X" (factor) before he can truly have a chance to get the "W". Think about it...

Freddie Roach: Could He Be The Best?

Freddie Roach has been the lead-man in the corner of some very prominent fighters. A list which includes the likes of "Iron" Mike Tyson, Oscar De la Hoya, James Toney, and a countless amount of others. Despite having a direct hand in the ring affairs of such greats, it's two men currently on his roster that have best demonstrated his true worth. Both came into the professional landscape of the sport with a certain amount of talent, but many would argue that neither could have reached this level without his 'finishing touch'. Pacquiao's intensity, paired with his ring knowledge and style have been brilliant, but in the case of Amir Khan, he was able to take a vastly unproven fighter with a broken ego and tap into potential that most new of, yet had never seen in top form. To call him the greatest ever is debatable, but to deny his worth as potentially the best in the sport today...some would say far from.

Arum/Cotto: The 'Ultimate' or The 'Ultimate Ultimatum'?

As part of the Pacquiao/Cotto negotiations, it was reported that Cotto had to agree to sign an extension with Bob Arum's Top Rank banner through the end of 2011. Getting Cotto to accept the extension was a lot easier as a result of Arum throwing the Puerto Rican prowler a bone - one that was apparently made of gold. While the purses for the fight haven't been publicized, it has been noted that Cotto will make more in this fight than he ever has. That's awesome for Cotto, but was it worth resigning with Arum, not knowing what the future may hold? That brings me to my question. Was this the 'ultimate' (deal), or was Arum's insistence that he sign an extension to get it the 'ultimate ultimatum'?

Mayweather: Say My Name, Say My Name

They say any press is good press, and whether that's true or not can be debated, but in the case of Floyd Mayweather jr., the statement seems to hold quite a bit of weight. Whether we like what he says or not, the man who calls himself 'Money' has found another way to make us speak his name....again. This time, the chatter about Mayweather stems from comments recently made in an interview that appeared to stretch across racial lines. Although it wasn't nearly as brash as Bernard Hopkins' "I'll never lose to a white boy" statement, but for anyone with common sense, you probably know that those ignorant remarks were made for the same reason. Ticket sales. Why such antics are even taken seriously on the heels of speculation that the previously scheduled Marquez/Mayweather fight was canceled due to low ticket selling volume is beyond me. Floyd was a much nicer guy in the first promotional effort, and there was no buzz and no one saying his name. Now, whether we like the comments or not, who are we talking about? You guessed it. Apparently we're the ignorant ones, because that 'make-them-hate-me-so-they-can-tune-in-to-watch-me' okie doke went off without a hitch. And on the night they square off there will be two categories. Those that paid to see him, or those who had friends who were dumb enough to not only pay for it, but let them watch it at their home for free.

Mayweather/Pacquiao: Why It'll Never Gonna Happen...

Win, lose, or draw, Pacquiao will NEVER face Mayweather after the way negotiations went with Cotto. Few have stopped to realize this, but the fight will only move forward as a result of Cotto taking a very low percentage split, which rumor has it to be as low as a 35%-65% according to some sources. Although that may represent the largest purse Cotto has ever made, for Mayweather, anywhere near that split is a laughing stock. With Pacquiao getting away with this Dela Hoya-esque move, this could set what he feels should be the standard. Mosley conceded to Pacquiao's request for the larger purse split, but even he wouldn't have gone as low as Cotto is rumored to. If Pacquiao gets used to this way of doing business and other fighters of equal or greater stature won't follow suit, that can make future negotiations impossible. The only way to break this cycle is a Pacquiao loss. But who's dumb enough to bet on that?

Kobe Pics Pacquiao

Kobe Bryant of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers recently endorsed Manny Pacquiao in his bid to defeat Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. Despite the smaller Filipino fighting a bruiser with power unlike any he's ever seen before, Bryant went on record in telling those in attendance that it would happen "without a question"! Apparently it's the [shared] "passion" for their crafts that Bryant feels connects he and Pacquiao. Bryant received similar endorsements from others in the NBA and other sectors of the sports world which he said propelled him to where he is in the sport. Being an avid basketball player and fan of the sport, could his endorsement of Pacquiao be the watershed moment to one day serve the launching pad to propel Pacquiao to 'greatest-of-all-time' contention? If you want a cool storyline, yep! But truth is, in the minds of some, he's already there.

Kirkland: Facing His Toughest Opponent Yet

Undefeated Jr. Middleweight contender James Kirkland recently plead guilty in the court of law for a crime that has him currently doing time. Known as a bruising fighter with determination and power to overcome most obstacles, this time around, Kirkland's opponent comes equipped with more power than he could have ever imagined. A power that could place him on the shelf for upwards of 10 years. Texas (of all places) is the wrong place to commit a crime, and some around the industry feel that Kirkland could end up playing the role of "Michael Vick". And I don't mean the one that recently walked out a free man. Kirkland may very well be the 'example' the state needed to show athletes or those aspiring to be that regardless of who you want to be, it is what you are currently that can often hurt you the most. Many hope that Kirkland's legal team is able to save his career. If not, it'll be another tragic case of a man that could have been, yet never was. He was undefeated when he was apprehended by the authorities. I hope for his sake he remains this way by beating this charge and never relapsing again.

Naseem Hamed on Amir Khan: Naz....I Don't Think So!

Naseem Hameed recently chimed in on Amir Khan after witnessing his victory this past weekend over Andreas Kotelnik. Despite being the underdog, Khan put on a brilliant show and proved to many why he remains a star on the rise, despite his temporary fall against Bredis Prescott. In the words of Naz, "he's got crazy hand speed and other attributes, but can I see a bit of me in him? I don't know. I was special. Amir Khan is Amir Khan". He went on to praise Khan for the fact that he was able to rebound from such a deflating KO loss, but other than that, he was very reserved in his applause of Khan. Naz was a beast back in his day, but you have to wonder if his moderate support had something to do with the fact that Khan's resume now contains a "W" against the only guy to give him (Naz) an "L"?

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/138/ARTICLE/1766/2009-07-22.html

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