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Monday, August 31, 2009

If Miguel Cotto's shot, Manny Pacquiao will let us know

For all the talk we've done here about the November 14 encounter between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, I've done my absolute best to stay way away from the "Miguel Cotto is a changed fighter" talk, and certainly haven't touched the "Miguel Cotto is shot" talk. The former may be true in some respects, and I personally feel that the latter is foolish. I've said repeatedly that those underestimating Cotto are way too quick to count out the Puerto Rican warrior, who won a good, hard and close fight against Joshua Clottey in June.

But I will say this, as I've certainly been wrong before and undoubtedly will be again: If Miguel Cotto is a reeling fighter, then Manny Pacquiao is exactly the guy to cement that idea.

After all, Pacquiao has a pretty strong record of putting the finishing touches, so to speak, on great careers. No less than four superstar fighters have essentially been put out to pasture by the Filipino icon this decade.

The first of the four was Mexico's Erik Morales, Pacquiao's second-greatest rival and one of the most gutsy, courageous fighters of his generation. When we say someone "fights like a Mexican," Morales is exactly the type of guy who employed the style we're talking about. He had boxing skills, but he was easily drawn into firefights. In their first bout back in 2005, Morales beat Pacquiao (115-113 across the board) with a phenomenal performance. It was also the last "real" Erik Morales performance we'd ever see.

In his next fight, Morales was stunned by Zahir Raheem, losing a 12-round decision, and then he rematched Pacquiao. This time, it was the younger, stronger Pacquiao that really gut-checked Morales, eventually stopping him in the 10th round. It was a hell of a fight, just as their first bout had been, but it was clear who the better man was, too. They fought once more in November 2006, with Pacquiao completely dominating and overwhelming Morales, winning by third round TKO.

The second man was Morales' greatest rival, Marco Antonio Barrera. Pacquiao fought Barrera in 2003, coming in as a pretty heavy underdog for most, a fairly one-dimensional slugger with good speed and an awkward southpaw style. He was a one-handed fighter at the time. And that night, he tore Barrera to pieces before the Mexican's corner mercifully stopped the bout in the 11th round.

Morales fought once more, moving up to lightweight and losing a competitive scrap to David Diaz. He now intends to come back, but his relevant career is almost certainly finished.

In 2007, Pacquiao and Barrera fought again, and this time Barrera was the heavy underdog. He was coming off of a loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, a fight that was far closer than it was scored, but Pacquiao-Barrera II just never sizzled. It failed to truly captivate the interest of the fans, as the obvious true desire was for Pacquiao-Marquez II. Barrera also announced prior to the fight that it would be his last, and come fight night, he fought like a man simply there to earn one more good paycheck and not get himself embarrassed or knocked out. He lost a wide decision, fighting tentatively until swiping Pacquiao with a blatant cheap shot late in the fight.

Barrera, of course, also came back from retirement, making an ill-advised move to 135 pounds. It has not gone well, and his career, too, is now simply active instead of relevant.


Number three: Oscar de la Hoya. No question Oscar was weight-drained, out of shape, and far past his prime. But Pacquiao did what no one else had ever been able to do: He completely dominated de la Hoya to the point where Oscar had no choice but to swallow his pride, get off his stool, and quit. Even when Bernard Hopkins knocked Oscar out with a wicked body punch years ago, Oscar tried with all he had to get up off the mat and keep going. In that case, he physically couldn't do it. In this case, Pacquiao destroyed him physically and mentally.

Oscar retired from the ring after his loss to Pacquiao.

And then the fourth, obviously, is Ricky Hatton. Hatton is hinting that he's going to fight again, but he's never going to be the same guy. I do think in my gut that Ricky can still compete at a high level against most guys at 140 pounds, but would it shock me if he went out and wound up getting beaten by a much lesser-regarded fighter? No, it wouldn't. Pacquiao definitely took something from Hatton in May.

I'm not saying that Manny Pacquiao is the sole reason these guys retired. Oscar was aged and had done everything he was ever going to do in boxing as an active competitor. Morales and Hatton were both in their prime athletic years, but Morales in particular had already taken a lot of punishment over his legendary career, and Hatton had taken his fair share of lumps, too. Barrera simply seemed to lack any desire.

But in every case, there were two commons: Manny Pacquiao and whispers (sometimes much more) that Manny's opponent simply wasn't the fighter he used to be. Pacquiao's last two fights with Morales, the rematch with Barrera, the mega fights with Oscar and Ricky; every single one of them involved a guy that a good portion of folks thought was toast, or close to it.

Miguel Cotto has heard the same talk since his July 2008 loss to Antonio Margarito. Yes, there's a ton of controversy surrounding that fight now, but it doesn't change the physical effects it may well have had on Cotto, which could still be taking a toll on him. There are also the mental problems it may have introduced. He didn't look trigger-shy at all against a clearly overmatched Michael Jennings, but there are two ways to look at the Clottey fight. The first is he fought smart and with a bad cut that came from a headbutt, winning in a fine performance. That's how I prefer to see it.

But there are also those that really feel Miguel didn't look very good against Clottey and lacked that killer instinct he used to have.

If it's not there for Miguel Cotto the way it used to be, we're going to find out. Clottey may be a bigger, physically stronger guy than Manny, but one thing he doesn't have that Pacquiao does is that killer instinct, that finishing ability. Manny comes to finish fights, and a Cotto that isn't ready for that type of fighter anymore would be a Cotto in very big trouble on November 14.

Source: http://www.badlefthook.com/2009/8/31/1008697/if-miguel-cottos-shot-manny

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Coach Freddie Roach, family reeling from heavy blow

CLEVELAND--Coach Freddie Roach, beloved trainer of Manny Pacquiao, has just taken one of the hardest blows.

Roach’s chief assistant trainer at the thriving Wild Card Gym Jesse Reid informed me late Saturday night just before he worked the corner of Pito Cardona in a decision loss to Hector Camacho Jr.., that the youngest of the five Roach brothers, Joey, suffered a heart attack and died sometime Saturday in Las Vegas.

Joey Roach was just age 47.

Freddie and Joey were extremely close. I want to record my condolences to Freddie, to mother Barbara, brother Dominic (better known as Pepper) and to the entire family.

The Roach boys father, ex-New England featherweight champion Paul Roach, died in 1992 at the age of 62.

I can’t say that I knew Joey because it’s Pepper who has been involved in working with fighters associated with the multiple time Trainer of the Year Award Freddie.

But I do know that when Freddie retired as a pro boxer, he worked with Joey in a telemarketing business in Vegas. Joey grew that business and became a wealthy man in his own right.

There is also an older brother named Al, who quit boxing at age 16 because of the relentless pushing and discipline of their father.

I tried to reach Freddie by phone Sunday morning and got his voice mail.

I would assume he is Las Vegas where he bought his mother a house.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d30-Coach-Freddie-Roach-family-reeling-from-heavy-blow

Trouble in Pacland: Is Pacquiao poised for an upset?

To say Manny Pacquiao is spread too thin right now is an understatement. As much as I commend the Pac Man for being a modern day Renaissance Man, one has to wonder if this is a relapse of the old Pacquiao pre-Marco Antonio Barrera rematch.

Don't take it from me, recently, Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach has also spoken out about his dismay over Pacquiao's recent activities as he has allegedly been tossed around by Pacquiao's advisers and team members. Roach was quoted by The Manila Bulletin's website saying,

“Nope,” Roach answered when asked whether there’s been contact with Team Pacquiao the past 24 hours. “I am pissed and I am tired of these guys. They treat me like shit.”

Roach was referring to Pacquiao’s advisers Mike Koncz and lawyer Franklin Gacal, whom the multi-awarded trainer says have benefited financially from the fighter’s meteoric rise.

“I know what’s best for my fighter,”

Pretty strong words indeed. The frustration was caused by the issue regarding Pacquiao's training camp. Due to IRS tax provisions, Pacquiao will have to train elsewhere for majority of his preparations on his upcoming November fight against Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao has recently expressed his desire to train in Baguio City in the Philippines, something Roach is vocally against because of all the distractions Pacquiao will have in his home country. Pacquiao will be easily accessible to local media and his fans as opposed to training elsewhere like Mexico which Roach strongly advises.

Pacquiao has been very busy with his acting and show business career in the Philippines as of the moment and even wrote an article proclaiming his recent TV Show on Philboxing.com. On top of his acting and music career, Pacquiao also jumped in the chaotic world of Philippine politics all the while his opponent Cotto has been busy making preliminary preparations for his bout against Pacquiao.

The bout may be still be a bit more than two months away and Pacquiao does still have time to prepare and train but with the looks of it, Pacquiao may be setting himself up for disaster.

Pacquiao's recent successes in the ring were all attributed to his renewed focus and training after his ho-hum performance against Barrera in October of 2007. It was said that Bob Arum and Roach sat Pacquiao down after that fight and convinced him to dedicate his efforts more on boxing. What followed was a 2008 Fighter of the Year performance and a sensational victory over Ricky Hatton last May.

Truth be told, Cotto will be the toughest opponent Pacquiao will ever have to face. In my opinion, and I have said this many times before, Cotto is far stronger and better than anybody Pacquiao has fought before. He will need to train for Cotto the way he did for De la Hoya and Hatton if not harder. Cotto would easily beat De la Hoya and Hatton had he faced them when Pacquiao did.

Cotto may have not looked spectacular in his last three fights but this is the type of mega-fight that can motivate anyone and definitely get Cotto's career back on the fast track. What I've been hearing and seen from Cotto's camp thus far is similar to the hunger and dedication Pacquiao had when he was going up against De la Hoya last year. Rightfully so, Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now and in the eyes of Cotto, he may very well be "The Golden Boy" who holds the key to future riches and prestige.

I'm not trying to jump the gun or judge Team Pacquiao but I will however reiterate the words Roach told Nick Sanchez as published by my buddies at FightHype.com and say,

"I hope Manny and his crew wake up."

Or risk Cotto putting Manny to sleep.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m8d29-Trouble-in-Pacland-Is-Pacquiao-poised-for-an-upset

Manny Pacquiao must defer to Coach Roach on Mexico

Now I must say to Manny Pacquiao what Mike Tyson should have said to Evander Holyfield.

Hey brother, lend me an ear.

Your awesome trainer Coach Freddie Roach should not be ignored by your of any of your assorted go-fers right now. Well, the go-fers aren’t important but it’s time for you to put your boxing affairs in order.

Movies, sitcoms and other distractions need to be put aside, Megamanny, as August quickly turns into September.

You need to heed Professor Roach’s guidance on the location of your pre-Wild Card Gym and go to Mexico if Roach tells you that conditions are ideal there for a distraction free training camp.

You’ve got the big dog and pony show pressers coming up with your Nov. 14 foe, Miguel Cotto. The schedule has you and the Boricua Bomber preening and posing for the media in New York, in Puerto Rico and then in San Francisco.

That gets you to the middle of September and gives you a 60-day window to fully prepare for this rugged fight.

It’s a bit alarming, I must say, that Baguio in the Philippines, the Bahamas and other locales are being bandied about.

Where you launch your training is a boxing matter, Pacman, and as such you should heed the guidance of Roach. Your devoted trainer, the guy who has helped you improve your overall ring skills so greatly the past few years, is the boss with the hot sauce.

They say The Pope is infallible on matters of religion. Ditto for Roach on boxing training topics.

I think Manny, although your Coach won’t say it, that while he loves being with you in your homeland, that Mexico is preferable because it will be possible to set up a reasonable barrier around your training center.

I’m sure that it is scenic as all get out in the leafy mountains of Baguio but can you get the same isolation there you can at Toluca in the mountains of Mexico?

I think not.

Another consideration is that Roach will be more comfortable in Mexico and that it will far easier to haul a parade of sparring partners in and out of your camp South of the Border.

Having you train in Mexico is historically appropriate given your “Mexicutioner” history and the fan support so many Mexicans give you now except when, of course, you’re fighting a countryman of theirs.

Forget about that phony baloney “Mayweather Loves Mexico” propaganda.

How about Pacman showing some love for Mexico and its rich boxing tradition?

Roach is a benevolent trainer. He is no despot, no dictator. He only wants what’s best for you, Manny.

You know that and I have to feel your inattention to this important detail has merely been because you’re swamped with your various sidelines.

It’s time to get back to your real job.

It’s time to remember who walks up those four steps into the ring with you and who knows more about boxing than anyone else in your personal orbit.

It’s time to defer slightly to Coach Roach.

It’s time to commit to Mexico and, from there, you can go back to the Wild Card.

It’s time for Priority 1 to get some attention, Manny.

Senor Cotto is no joke.

Only by failing to prepare will you prepare to fail.

Put the distractions to the side and get down to brass tacks.

The view as King of the Hill is dazzling.

But don’t let it blind you to important detail.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d29-Manny-Pacquiao-must-defer-to-Coach-Roach-on-Mexico

D Source's Mailbox: What Manny Pacquiao means to non-Filipinos (part 2 + video)

Good day fight fans! This is a follow-up piece to my mailbox article last week where one of my readers professed her admiration through an essay for Boxing's pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and shared her thoughts on what Pacquiao meant to boxing fans outside his Filipino fan base.

In this edition of my reader mail, I posted the Youtube video done by Kayla L. from New Jersey as promised in the article last week.

Also, Kayla's heartfelt piece regarding Pacquiao inspired a lot more readers to share their version of what Pacquiao means to them. I apologize if I can't post all of your e-mails. Thanks to all who wrote me and keep sending those feedbacks and comments.The interview I did with Paulie Malignaggi was actually a request from a reader. I will do my best to try to respond to all of you e-mails and interview fighters you want to hear from most.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

On the subject of Pacquiao's fan base outside his Filipino fans, I really think it's phenomenal how Pacquiao has been embraced by so many people here in the US and around the globe as well.

Obviously, everybody loves a winner, but what sets Pacquiao apart is his humble and kind nature.

Whether it's signing hundreds of autographs for his fans, to giving money to charity and down to taking care of his friends and entourage, Pacquiao is as generous and classy as they come.

It shouldn't come as a surprise really that he has crossed over to mainstream consciousness as evidenced by the Hollywood celebrities and other sports celebrities that have acknowledged him like Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Kevin Garnett and even former US president Bill Clinton.

As I mentioned in my article "Why is the Philippines so Captivated by Pacquiao", to the outside world, the admiration Pacquiao is receiving from his countrymen may somewhat be extreme for their liking but it's just nice to hear that there are fans out there like Kayla who may not have lived a day in the Philippines or in a Filipino's shoes, but she gets the significance of Pacquiao's overall contribution to his community and the whole sport in general.

Pacquiao is unique. His accomplishments and hard work united a country and lifted the spirits of millions of people. Sports may be nothing more than entertainment to a lot of people, but Pacquiao stands for so much more. Whether you buy into it or not is your choice. But as an observer and examiner of fight sports, there is simply nobody else in the game right now like Manny Pacquiao.

In parting, I just want to really thank all of you who have been behind me since day one and to all the readers. I appreciate it! And to the handful of haters, "You can hate all you want, but you're just wasting your time. I will NOT stop because what I'm doing is a service to fight fans." God bless.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m8d29-D-Sources-mailbox-More-Pacquiao-love-from-nonFilipinos-and-Kaylas-video

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roach sounds alarm - Pacman busy in showbiz

MANILA, Philippines - Freddie Roach is sounding the alarm over in Los Angeles and Manny Pacquiao is busy shooting a commercial somewhere in Metro Manila.

The three-time Trainer of the Year yesterday told fighthype.com he’s “pissed off” about Pacquiao’s failure to make it clear where he wants to train for the Nov. 14 fight with WBO champion Miguel Cotto.

Roach said he talked to Mike Koncz over the telephone the other day, asking Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser if they’ve made a decision on where or when the training for the fight would start.

“I talked to Mike Koncz yesterday, and I said, ‘Where are we going to train?’ He said, ‘I haven’t asked Manny yet.’ I said ‘you haven’t asked Manny yet? What do you mean you haven’t’ asked Manny yet.’”

All Koncz could say was that Pacquiao was busy making a movie, and Roach, as suggested by the report, must have blown his top when he said, “What the hell? You’re scared to ask Manny?”

Roach, normally cool, added, “I’m pissed off about it.”

Yesterday, The STAR failed to get in touch with Koncz but got through on the phone with Pacquiao’s lawyer Franklin Gacal, who said there’s only so much Koncz or anyone else around Pacquiao could do.

“It’s not only Freddie who’s trying to get it (training) started but us, too. But Manny’s too busy finishing his movie. We, including Mike, never fail to remind him of his commitments on and off the ring,” said Gacal.

“But he’s the boss. He makes the decisions. You know Manny. Freddie knows Manny,” said the lawyer, who said Pacquiao was busy shooting a commercial for a deodorant as of presstime yesterday.

“I’ve asked everybody concerned that all these should be over by Sept. 5. That’s pack-up time,” said Gacal.

Pacquiao said he wants to train in Baguio upon his return from the five-day press tour that starts on Sept. 10 and would take the Filipino pound-for-pound champion and Cotto to New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and LA.

Roach said Baguio is not the ideal place to train because of all the distractions. He said he fears the same thing would happen as when Pacquiao trained for some time in Cebu City for his last fight with Marco Antonio Barrera.

Roach said there’s Toluca or Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, or Cancun and even the Bahamas as the other places to train. But not in Baguio because “we don’t need vacation areas with tourists watching us and so forth.’

“Right now we really don’t know yet where training would start. But Manny still likes Baguio. ‘Yun pa din ang gusto niya (He still likes it),” said Gacal.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=500713&publicationSubCategoryId=69

Manny Pacquiao: boxing's destructive EF5 tornado

The tornado, it is one of nature's most destructive forces. It is that force that you can't take your eyes off of when you see it on video, but it is also something you pray you never have to live through.

Here in the southeastern part of the country it is something all too familiar to us. I still have a late 1930's copy of an eastern North Carolina newspaper. On the front is a picture of some little boys laying in hospital beds. Those little boys are my uncles. Inside the pages of the paper is a photo of a chimney surrounded by what appear to be dead chickens. That was my grandparent's house, or what was left of it. They said that they found family pictures miles away in the river. The storm had carried them that far.

My family survived that storm. But it still broke my granddad's shoulder, my grandma's back and I heard my aunt was found way down the road in a ditch. They have all passed over the years, but that tornado couldn't beat them. But they did have to rebuild their lives and home.

I was looking through my trunk of old newspaper and magazine clippings when it began to drawn on me. By next spring, Manny Pacquiao may well be compared to an EF5 tornado. That is if he beats Miguel Cotto, which will be no easy task, and beats the Mayweather-Marquez winner. Then the 140 to 147 pound divisions may have to start rebuilding. Especially, if he also were to beat Mosley and then retire. If that happens then the landscape will definitely be barren.

We would be left trying to figure out how to rebuild. Where would we pick up the pieces? Would we take the two people that were able to withstand Manny's powerful force and say they are now our best. Knowing the whole time that the best they had could not beat Manny's best. The kind of a scenario where they are the best by default.

I, for one, want to see Pacquiao keep fighting. There have been rumors of Manny retiring to pursue political office. He is still a young man. There will be plenty of time for that down the road. And if Manny were to lose then this would all be a moot point anyway.

Sometimes we need a little fear to learn how much we appreciate life. I would never wish the things my family went through on anybody. But I'm afraid that the day is coming soon when we look back at this violent storm named Pacquiao and wish he were still around.

As for now, enjoy the destruction because like life, it will pass quickly and we will long for what use to be .

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-8557-Norfolk-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d29-Manny-Pacquiao-boxings-destructive-EF5-tornado

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pacquiao and a 154 lb. Junior Middleweight Challenge?

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao currently faces a very tough challenge this November against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Angel Cotto of Puerto Rico; a fight that takes place at 145 lbs. If Pacquiao secures his seventh title in a seventh different weight class, he would be the first fighter in the history of boxing to accomplish such a feat.

The Filipino southpaw and Oscar de la Hoya, who has since retired, are currently the only six-time division champions. Floyd Mayweather, Jr., an active fighter, could also join the two in becoming a champion in six different weight classes should he pursue a belt at the junior middle weight division. This weight class has a limit of 154 lbs., directly above the crowded welterweight division, which has a limit of 147 lbs.

sOURE: http://www.examiner.com/x-4514-Houston-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d28-Majority-wants-Pacquiao-to-get-154-lb-title

Super Zab Jubah: I'd beat Manny Pacquiao senseless

CLEVELAND--While he is a marvelously skilled boxer, Floyd Mayweather's real talent away from the ring is the playground game of dodgeball.

The alacrity with which "Money May" ducks aggressive interviewers (I'm blushing) and hard questions (Brian Kenny, take a bow) is even more impressive than his hand and foot speed within the squared circle.

That can't be said for the Bigmouth from the BK, Brooklyn's own Super Zab Judah.

Ask Zabby Dabby a hard question and you will get a snappy answer. You might be offended by the reply but you will get it raw, BK style.

Judah knows no other way.

So I was chatting with Judah after the Hector Camacho-Pito Cardona PPV TV weigh in Friday after Zab and his Pops, Yoel Judah, informed that "friend" Mayweather was "Money Too Low" in his purse offer and that thus Judah will not fight veteran Antonio Diaz on the Marquez-Mayweather show ept. 19.

"Floyd is my friend and he was getting me on the card out of friendship," Zab said, "but the money they offered is just too low."

We got to chatting about possible opponents moving forward and Judah mentioned Andre Berto and Juan Diaz, who Zab said have similar styles and would be "easy work" for him.

So, being a troublemaker (as the Mayweather camp or Golden Goys), I mentioned Manny Pacquiao.

Judah sneered.

Judah snorted.

Judah breathed fire on a hot late August day in downtown Cleveland.

"His brother, Bobby, is a straight up bum and you know the saying about how the apple doesn't fall from the tree," Judah said.

Does that mean you want to fight Megamanny, I said, wanting no misunderstanding.

"Tell him yeah," Judah said. "Go tell Bob Arum to gas him up. I won't just beat Pacquiao. I will beat him senseless!"

Judah also said that he's sure Arum will lose no sleep if Miguel Cotto beats Pacman on Nov. 14 since he has both under his Top Rank promotional tent.

"Arum wants Cotto to win and he will. My father and I disagree because he says Pacquiao will win. But Arum has Cotto in New York, in Madison Square Garden every June in connection with the Puerto Rican Day Parade and they draw 19,000 people. Why would Arum want to give that up? Pacquaio can't draw people like that."

(All dialogue guaranteed verbatim or double your money back!)

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d28-Super-Zab-Jubah-Id-beat-Manny-Pacquiao-senseless


Boxing, also known as the Sweet Science, has produced some of the best showmen with unrivaled fighting skills in the sport over the years: From Muhammad Ali's crazy shuffle, Naseem Hamed's flying acrobats, Floyd Mayweather's amazing shoulder roll defense, to Manny Pacquiao's confusing kamikaze style of attack, boxing is never short of gifted pugilists. Although boxers who display showmanship in the ring are exciting to watch, still nothing beats the frightening spectacle of victories won by pure knockout artists like Manny Pacquiao and Edwin Valero. Unlike many showboating, feather-fisted fighters, these two warriors destroy every opponent that they come across in the square circle.

Showmanship has its advantages and disadvantages in boxing. A boxer can have all the great moves and techniques in fighting but if he does not possess knockout power, the X-factor, that can put people on their backs, he is just that-a showman. It will be difficult for such fighter to attain a following of magnitude proportion due to his lack of power: Majority of boxing fans prefer a dangerous puncher over a boring runner. As the maxim goes, a fighter with incredible knockout percentage always has a "puncher's chance." When did you hear such foresight on a showboating clown with insignificant power?

There are special fighters who require no extraordinary stagecraft to be recognized as among the elites in boxing: Manny Pacquiao and Edwin Valero. The current pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao, has taken the boxing world by storm. He started at 106 lbs. (light-flyweight) and now fighting at 140 lbs. (junior-welterweight), gathering six belts in six different divisions along the way. His next fight will be against the current WBO welterweight champion Miguel Angel Cotto of Puerto Rico at a catchweight of 145 lbs. If Pacquiao beats Cotto for his welterweight title, that will make the Pacman the only fighter in the entire boxing history to hold seven titles in seven different divisions. What is even more marvelous is that he has done all these things without splendid showmanship.

Edwin Valero holds a record of 25 wins, all coming by way of knockout, and no defeat. He is the current WBC lightweight champion of the world. Like Pacquiao, Valero's southpaw stance is a difficult puzzle to solve for his opponents. His rugged style of fighting is far less enticing compared to the stylistic craft of former pound for pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Valero is no showman and yet, he is an undefeated world champion.

Boxing will thrive for generations to come whether fighters exhibit showmanship or not. Styles make fights so many more boxers will emerge to showcase their honed skills and innate power, but not necessarily their stagecraft. Long live the Sweet Science of sports!

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/story-26807.html


"I now hear that Manny wants to train in the Philippines. I think it's a mistake. I think it's too many distractions for him. This is the toughest fight of his life. Cotto's a big 147-pounder, strong guy, beat Shane Mosley, a speed guy like Manny; he nullified Shane's speed with his own speed. People tell me he's slow, but I disagree. He's a tough, tough fight for us. I hope that Manny and his crew wake up and smell the coffee and get to work on picking a place so we can go to camp as soon as possible," stated world-class trainer Freddie Roach as he shared his frustration with Team Pacquiao regarding their talks about possibly training in the Philippines.

World-class trainer Freddie Roach is fully aware of the task at hand when Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring to face Miguel Cotto on November 14th. While Cotto has already begun preparations for the highly-anticipated clash, Pacquiao is busy fulfilling other duties, including the filming of a movie, and has yet to decide on a location for training camp. "I talked to Mike Koncz yesterday. I said, 'Where are we going to train?' He said, 'I haven't asked Manny yet.' I said, 'You haven't asked Manny yet? What do you mean you haven't asked Manny?' He says, 'He's busy making a movie.' I said, 'What the Hell? You're scared to ask Manny?' These guys are petrified of Manny because they're just there for a payday and I'm pissed off about it," Roach stated in frustration.

Eager to get to camp to start preparing Manny for perhaps his toughest challenge to date, Roach is not excited about the possibility of training in the Philippines and prefers to setup camp in Mexico. "I have a camp setup in the mountains in Toluca, Mexico. I have an offer to go to Puerto Viallarta and I have an offer to go to Cancun and I have an offer to go to the Bahamas since we can't train in America for the first five weeks of training camp. I now hear that Manny wants to train in the Philippines. I think it's a mistake. I think it's too many distractions for him," he revealed. "This is the toughest fight of his life. Cotto's a big 147-pounder, strong guy, beat Shane Mosley, a speed guy like Manny; he nullified Shane's speed with his own speed. People tell me he's slow, but I disagree. He's a tough, tough fight for us. I hope that Manny and his crew wake up and smell the coffee and get to work on picking a place so we can go to camp as soon as possible," Roach added as he stressed the importance of making a decision soon in order to properly prepare for Cotto.

Normally, the training camp location wouldn't be an issue for Pacquiao, who does the majority of his training at Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym, but a new IRS provision states that non-resident aliens, like Pacquiao, must limit the amount of time they spend in the United Stated during a three-year period. Pacquiao, who's already spent a great deal of time in the United States training for past fights, is already close to that limit so he's forced to do the majority of his training elsewhere. Although Roach is unfazed with the fact that he'll have to train his star pupil in unfamiliar surroundings, his main concern is choosing the right place for Manny to be able to focus.

"It's a training camp. It's a business. That's why you're there. We don't need vacation areas with tourists watching us and so forth...it's a beautiful gym. They have a beautiful facility up there owned by the government. It's well-protected and a 5-star hotel is 20 minutes away from the gym. Everything is right there. They have unbelievable hills; they go from 10,000 to 14,000 feet above sea level. I'm not a big altitude guy on altitude training, but I'm used to seclusion and getting your mind on the fight is what I want and I don't think he can do that in the Philippines," said Roach.

Source: http://fighthype.com/pages/content5569.html

Manny Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now’- Paulie Malignaggi

When I asked “The Magic Man” Pauli Malignaggi yesterday, who was a victim of some “hocus-pocus” himself in Houston last weekend, why people are favoring Manny Pacquiao so much against Miguel Cotto, Malignaggi replied,

“People jump on bandwagons. Manny Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now. He’s popular. He got nice wins over Hatton and De la Hoya. Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon,”

Whether you love him or hate him, agree with what he says or not, Malignaggi speaks the truth- his truth. You don’t have to believe him but one thing’s for sure, he believes in what he says. Boxing has been deluded with so much lies and promotions that often times you really can’t believe anybody in the sport anymore. Malignaggi however is an exception to the rule. You may not like or agree with what he says, but he will give you his honest opinions on matters he has knowledge in.

That’s why in part two of my interview with Malignaggi, I asked for his opinions regarding two of the biggest bouts in boxing before the year closes.

Malignaggi feels that Cotto and Mayweather’s size and strength advantage will be keys to victories over their smaller opponents. He also thinks Joshua Clottey was a tougher fight for Cotto than Pacquiao would be and believe he has a chance to be proven right in November. I do agree that he will have a chance to be proven right and that Cotto is far tougher than a lot of people give him credit for as reflected by the 2-1 betting odds Pacquiao is getting in betting lines but I disagree that Pacquiao will be an easier fight for Cotto than Clottey. If anything it’s a toss-up for me. With that said though, Malignaggi has far more ring experience and credibility than a lot of us combined and has faced Cotto in the ring so I wouldn’t dare argue with him either. I will however respectfully disagree.

Check out the video below and read the transcribed highlights of my interview with Malignaggi.


D Source – What do you think about Miguel Cotto vs. Manny Pacquiao in November?

Paulie Malignaggi – I got Cotto for that fight. I had picked Pacquiao to beat Hatton in May. I just didn’t think it was Hatton that beat me but the lack of correct training in my end that really won the fight for Hatton. But I think Miguel Cotto is a different class of fighter (compared to) that Pacquiao has faced. I don’ think Pacquiao has faced really good fighters but he’s going to find out that Miguel Cotto is not only a bigger guy but a stronger guy. He’s a stronger fighter than people make him out to be. And Cotto’s fought fast guys in the past. He’s fought Judah, he’s fought Mosley. He fought some strong guys. He fought Judah, Mosley, Margarito. I don’t think Pacquiao is going to hit harder than those guys hit him. Pacquiao’s coming up in weight. He’s a strong guy for his weight but I think at a certain point he’s going to have to deal with a lot of strength. Miguel Cotto was dismantling 140-pounders when he was a junior welterweight because he’s a bigger man and harder puncher than most of these guys. Manny Pacquiao is a smaller man even at 140 pounds or so. Getting him in the ring with Miguel Cotto, I just don’t see how it’s going to work out for him. And it’s not that I’m taking away anything from Manny Pacquiao. He’s a really good fighter. He’s a really good fighter for a guy his size. Maybe some of the bigger guys weren’t that good like Oscar was past his prime and Hatton wasn’t really as good that they give him credit for. I got Cotto stopping Pacquiao.

D Source - Why do you think people are favoring to win this fight though?

Paulie Malignaggi – People are (inaudible) right now. People jump on band wagons and Manny Pacquiao is the hottest thing in boxing right now. He’s popular. He got nice wins over Hatton and De la Hoya. Everybody is jumping on the bandwagon. Miguel Cotto hasn’t looked so spectacular but in my opinion he hasn’t looked so spectacular because he has fought very, very good opposition. And when you have two good oppositions against each other, then you’ll have an evenly matched fight. I think in the end will see that Joshua Clottey will have given Cotto a tougher fight than Manny Pacquiao. I said the before he fought Clottey that Clottey will give Cotto a tougher fight and not Manny Pacquiao. And now I will have a chance to be proven right. I believe he will have much easier time with Manny Pacquiao than Joshua Clottey.

D Source – And how about the Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez fight?

Paulie Malignaggi – I think it going to come down to, two good fighters, but one’s a bigger man, one gets hit the other doesn’t get hit. And the one that doesn’t get hit is also the bigger man. I just don’t see Marquez giving Floyd too many problems, you know. So I see Floyd taking that one rather easily if not a late stoppage a unanimous decision.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m8d28-Manny-Pacquiao-is-the-hottest-thing-in-boxing-right-now-Paulie-Malignaggi

Cotto, Pacquiao word war intensifies ahead of bout

The rivalry between Miguel Cotto and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao is heating up as Cotto promised “war” even as Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said his prized fighter “will expose” Cotto during their November 14 clash in Las Vegas.

Cotto, who will defend his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown, said he is not intimidated by Pacquiao despite the Filipino being installed a 2-1 favorite by oddsmakers.

Cotto said he knows Pacquiao’s “weaknesses” and how to exploit them to beat the reigning best boxer in the world pound-for-pound.

“His weaknesses are obvious to me,” said Cotto, who has started training in Puerto Rico for what he called the biggest fight in his career.

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican champion said he saw the flaws in Pacquiao’s game in the Filipino’s previous fights, especially those against Mexican lightweight stars Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Cotto downplayed Pacquiao’s victories against “a very tired and aged” Oscar De la Hoya and an “overrated” Ricky Hatton, which the Filipino icon both won by stoppage.

“Against me the story will be different. It will be a war,” Cotto said.

Some Pacquiao fans have expressed anxiety in Internet boxing forums over their idol’s seemingly limited preparation compared to Cotto.

Roach still confident

But Roach assured they have enough time for the eight-week training camp needed to prepare Pacquiao, despite the fact that they have yet to decide on a venue for the camp.

“I’m expecting Cotto to be at his best,” Roach told T.K. Stewart of BoxingScene.com. “But Pacquiao is at the top of his game right now. I’m expecting Cotto to be more resilient than Oscar and Hatton were, so he’ll give us a better fight than those two guys did.”

Roach acknowledged that Cotto, being a natural welterweight, has the physical size advantage.

“The biggest thing with Cotto is that he’s a strong guy, but Manny’s not going to stand in front of him and trade. I feel that we’ll be able to expose Cotto. His skills aren’t quite where they used to be and we’re going to expose him,” Roach said.

Pacquiao, 30, said in his newspaper column that he will start training in the second week of September, after finishing pressing commitments in the Philippines that include shooting television shows and a movie targeted for release in December.

Roach said Team Pacquiao will decide soon whether to conduct the first half of training camp in the Philippines, Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada or the Otomi Mountains of Mexico.

Roach had requested Baguio City because of its California-like weather and mountainous terrain that are conducive for training, should they choose to hold camp in the Philippines.

Source: http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2009/aug/29/yehey/sports/20090829spo1.html

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cotto vs. Pacquiao: The One True Superfight Of The Year

By Matthew Hurley: The upcoming bout between Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao on November 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas holds so many intangibles that boxing fans are champing at the bit for the opening bell to ring.

Every year there is one fight that defines the sport whether or not the match-up itself warrants such scrutiny. Cotto – Pacquiao is this year’s high water mark. (Don’t let Floyd Mayweather’s diarrhea of the mouth concerning his comeback against Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19th fool you.) Whether Cotto – Pacquiao lives up to expectations remains to be seen but most insiders speculate that for however long it lasts this bout, because of the respective styles and temperaments of the fighters, will be fan friendly from first punch to last.

And then there are the questions surrounding both fighters.

Is Miguel Cotto damaged goods?

After his brutal loss to Antonio Margarito in 2008, in a fight of the year candidate, many wondered if the beating Cotto took over the second half of the bout robbed him of his prime. Fighters are so vulnerable, no matter how skilled and how courageous, that even one vicious encounter can take away bits and pieces of his physicality and his will. For Cotto, the Margarito fight was his foray into hell. We don’t quite know if he’s come all the way back.

Cotto fought masterfully for six rounds but Margarito’s imperviousness to pain or fatigue overwhelmed him in the bout’s final rounds. Cotto, his face battered and his will depleted, took a knee in the eleventh round and suddenly his future as an elite fighter was in question.

Can he come back from such a wicked beating, many wondered.

Cotto rebounded with an easy victory over the limited Michael Jennings in February to take the WBO welterweight title and then he took on the rugged Joshua Clottey in June. The razor thin victory over Clottey seemed to split opinion on Cotto right down the middle.

He suffered a hideous gash over his left eye early in the bout but his resolve remained firm and he battled through it. Some saw the close victory as an indicator of wear and tear on a body subjected to several taxing fights over the years. (To his great credit Cotto has sought out and taken on tough competition over his last several fights.) Others applauded his courage, fighting through injury and closing the show strongly. It seems with Cotto everything is open for debate.

Everything, including his loss to Margarito, which came into question when the Mexican fighter’s hand wraps were discovered to have been padded with hardened bits of a plaster-like substance before he entered the ring to take on Sugar Shane Mosley. Had Margarito and his team done the same thing prior to his dismantling of Cotto and simply gotten away with it? It’s a legitimate question, but the damage done in that fight is done. It can’t be wiped away from Cotto’s mind and body.

All questions regarding the past are actually moot now that the biggest fight of Cotto’s career is on the horizon. His future, and perhaps his legacy, will be determined on the outcome of this one big fight.

As for Pacquiao, his legacy is already secure. Few, if any, will question the legitimacy of his greatness as a fighter. He is already a lock for the Hall of Fame. But a win over Cotto, particularly if it comes in dramatic fashion, will elevate him into the pantheon of the all time great fighters.

Pacquiao’s star quality began to change when he broke apart David Diaz in June of 2008 for the WBC lightweight title. That perfect performance, against the perfect opponent, led him to a showdown with Oscar De La Hoya.

Going in, many assumed Oscar’s size and strength would be too much for Pacquiao. But the Filipino used speed and angles to dominate a weight drained De La Hoya who, on that night, was more tin than gold.

With that signature win under his belt Pacquiao’s popularity exploded. Even marginal fans of the sport, and non-fans as well, took notice of the diminutive fistic titan.

He then solidified his standing as boxing’s most popular figure with his most emphatic performance yet – a second round stoppage of junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton. The knockout of Hatton was so conclusive that it could actually serve as the only highlight reel necessary in years to come to define Pacquiao’s career.

However, skeptics – and they are out there – point out that in these three key victories Diaz was a marginal foe at best, De La Hoya came in too light and was probably shot and the popular Hatton was a wide open target and arguably overrated to begin with.

There’s a bit of truth in all of that, but hindsight justifies the brilliance in us all. Going into the fights with Hatton and particularly De La Hoya, many people picked Pacquiao to lose. Well, not only did he not lose he embraced his moment on center stage like all great performers do and simply killed. In fact Pacquiao hasn’t lost a round since his 2008 rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Cotto is a different animal altogether. He is either at or a little past his prime. And though not a one-punch knockout artist he has very heavy hands, good boxing skills and a tremendous will to win.

He’s also a natural 147-pound fighter and at some point in Pacquiao’s rise in weight classes size will make a difference. Will this be that fight?

Should Pacquiao win in impressive fashion his status as an all time great fighter will be fully realized. It will also mark the closing act of a brilliant career, as Manny has stated that he only intends to fight two or three more times.

Should Cotto win all the questions surrounding him since the loss to Margarito will be brushed aside and he will have also reestablished his lofty standing in the pound-for-pound rankings. He can then look forward to further big time match ups down the line. A rematch with Sugar Shane Mosley, whom he defeated by a close decision in 2007, to decide preeminence in the welterweight division is a natural.

Whatever the outcome, because these two fighters always come to do damage and never fail to entertain, Miguel Cotto vs. Manny Pacquiao is the most anticipated fight of 2009 and should the fight exceed expectations and the surrounding hype boxing fans are in for a treat on November 14th.

Source: http://www.secondsout.com/columns?ccs=788&cs=102372

2010 pound for pound landscape

We explore how the pound for pound rankings and landscape might be reconfigured in the next few months and into 2010. There are several big fights that are sure to have implications on boxing's increasingly competitive landscape. Top 7 remaining fights of 2009 and decade.

Here are possible ranking scenarios in 2010 based on the fights left this year.

Favored Scenario

2010 Rankings:

#1. Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2)

A Pacquiao win over Miguel Cotto solidifies the Filipino's grip on the top spot and places him in unchartered territory in boxing. Should he go for an eigth title in an eight different weight class? That would mean challenging a fighter like IBF champ Cory Spinks in the 154 lb. junior middleweight division. WBA titlist Daniel Santos and WBC champ Sergio Martinez also serve as other possibilities. Sergio Martinez should be tailored made for the impossibly speedy Pacman. However, the frontiers of the sport could also pose significant health risks for the 5'6" international superstar.

#2. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (39-0)

Floyd's victory over the tough Juan Manuel Marquez re-introduces him to the boxing community as one of the best fighters back in top form. The speculation surrounding his next opponent should create a firestorm of intrigue as well as passionate calls for a bout with the Pacman or Shane Mosley. Many boxing purists prefer him to clean out the welterweight division, but mainstream sports and high dollars require an all-time face-off with the much less brash demeanor of the Filipino southpaw.

#3. Shane Mosley (46-5)

Shane Mosley's frustrations appear valid and reasonable. He is unable to secure a coveted, high dollar fight that affords him the opportunity to showcase his speed and power. Mosley could be the #1 fighter pound-for-pound; all he needs now are two or three great fights that display the same forepower that knocked out the then-regarded Antonio Margarito. Welterweight champion Andre Berto could be next. However, Mosley might think about applying the "Pacquiao Standard" and face bigger guys in the junior middleweight division if he is to secure the glory he is seeking. It's a weak division except for that guy named Paul "The Punishier" Williams.

#4. Paul Williams (37-1)

November 21st is the fight of Paul Williams' life against middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik. A victory for him unquestionably places him in boxing's elite. However, he will likely continue to have a hard time finding worthy challengers to his throne. As the saying goes, "bloom where you're planted." That gives him the chance to be one of the only boxers in history to unify the title belts, and he can do it at the 154 lb. division. Williams has enough talent to beat all the fighters in this division to a bloody pulp. In 2011, we may find "The Punisher" to be the #1 pound for pound fighter in the sport.

#5. Juan Manuel Marquez (50-4-1)

Many are writing off Marquez's chances against the speedy and bigger Mayweather, Jr. In my view, Marquez has an excellent opportunity to outpoint Floyd and go for a decision victory, which would require a much higher punch output. A Marquez loss should still place him in the top 5 pound-for-pound rankings. The Mexican, who gave Pacquiao all he could handle twice, should not be penalized for facing the toughest opponents possible. A blemish on his record however comes from his lackluster performance and loss against Chris John in Indonesia in 2006.

#6. Bernard Hopkins (49-5-1)

There are calls for Hopkins to accept a challenge from Roy Jones, Jr. for a second meeting. Hopkins appears very disinterested in such a fight. Bernard, why not? Give the fans this historic "old school" brawl, and 2009 or 2010 will be a memorable closure for both of your careers. What if Ali never fought Foreman?

Best of the rest:

#7. Israel Vazquez (43-4)

#8. Nonito Donaire (22-1)

#9. Chad Dawson (28-0)

#10. Miguel Cotto (34-1)

Cotto should not be too heavily penalized should he lose to Manny Pacquiao in November. The Puerto Rican has faced the toughest opponents of his division or in boxing in general. These opponents include Ricardo Torres, Carlos Quintana, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Antonio Margarito, and Manny Pacquiao.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-4514-Houston-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d27-2010-pound-for-pound-rankings

Pacquiao wants Edinburgh boxer

As Manny Pacquiao begins preparations for his next fight against Miguel Cotto, the Filipino has requested Edinburgh southpaw Gary McMillan as a sparring partner.

Pacquiao, a five-weight world champion, thinks highly of McMillan after sparring with him in the run up to his lightweight clash with David Diaz last year and has requested that McMillan return to aid him against Cotto.

McMillan will soon travel out to Freddie Roach’s Wildcard gym in Los Angeles where Pacquiao refines his trade.

The Lochend boxer’s coach Terry McCormack has a strong relationship with Roach.

“This invitation doesn’t surprise,” McCormack told Scotsman.com.

“Freddie rates Gary very highly. Besides, Manny wants McMillan because his next opponent, Miguel Cotto, is famous for being a switch hitter who moves from orthodox to southpaw.”

It has been reported that Pacquiao may only be able to train in the US for a limited period before his fight with Cotto due to a tax revenue law for non-nationals.

It is believed that the Filipino only has a month remaining before he will have to pay tax on his earnings which could cost the boxing superstar millions of dollars.

As a result, Pacquiao and his team may begin preparations outside the US, with Canada, Mexico and the Philippines being suggested.

Source: http://sport.stv.tv/boxing/118911-pacquiao-wants-edinburgh-boxer/

Arum trying to sign Tim Bradley for Manny Pacquiao?

Tim Bradley, the World Boxing Organization's 140 Junior Welterweight Champion, is certainly on a short list to be a future opponent for Manny Pacquiao.

Bradley, 24-0, (11 KO's), has reportedly signed a managerial deal with Cameron Dunkin, a manager with lengthy client ties to Arum's Top Rank company. The next move would be a release from promoter Gary Shaw.

Shaw isn't going to go away easily. He will want to be paid handsomely for developing Bradley. At press time I couldn't determine if Bradley owes any fights to Showtime Network.

Just in case Floyd Mayweather, Jr isn't around down the road, The light - hitting Bradley would at least be an acceptable opponent.

Arum certainly knows to think ahead. He always had opponents lined up to challenge Oscar De La Hoya back in the day.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d27-Arum-trying-to-sign-Tim-Bradley-for-Manny-Pacquiao

The Fight Game 08.27.09: Pacquiao and the Art of Matchmaking

411’s Jeff Stoyanoff looks at the career of Manny Pacquiao, including his rise to the top, the fact that he is reaching his stride as a fighter and also looks at some of the brilliant matchmaking that has aided in his dominance.

Manny Pacquiao certainly seems to have raised his profile in the last year. Not that he was an unknown before, but he has soared to a new height in terms of notoriety. It is true that Pacquiao seems to be improving upon his already formidable skill set with each successive outing in his career. However, this recent rise is also the result of an equally impressive performance, in matchmaking.

In order to understand the meteoric rise in the public fascination with Pac, one must begin three fights ago when Manny moved up to fight David Diaz. After beating Marquez, it was clearly time for Pac to move up in weight. What team Pacquiao needed was an opponent that would not be too dangerous as to derail the venture before it even started. And there was David Diaz, mission accomplished. Diaz is a more than capable fighter. He only had one loss on his record, to Kendall Holt a tremendously gifted fighter in his own right. But, the resume of Diaz isn't exactly loaded with impressive wins either. In fact, Diaz won the title over an Erik Morales who was clearly at the end of an impressive career. For Morales, the Diaz fight was only his second north of 130 pounds. On top of that, the loss to Diaz was his fourth loss in a row. Still worse for Diaz was that he didn't even look especially impressive in the fight as Morales was able to take him the distance. There can be little wonder why Morales announced his retirement after the fight. Finally, Diaz cemented his place as the perfect opponent for Pacquiao with a lackluster performance in his next fight winning a majority decision over Ramon Montano. Montano came into the fight with a record of 15-4-2. The title was not on the line. There can be no doubt that Pac didn't want to lose Diaz as an opponent so Diaz couldn't afford to lose the title. Predictably, Pacquiao looked sensational in his victory over Diaz. The speed difference was telling from the opening bell as Pac battered Diaz for nine one sided rounds.

Watching a great fighter move up in weight has always captivated fight fans. The dynamic is the same at any weight. Inevitably, a fighter will move up and meet the challenge of bigger and presumably tougher opponents. The lure to test the limits of one's abilities is deeply woven into the human condition. Testing those limits is the third act in the storyline of pretty much any great career in the history of boxing. Just as fighters are inevitably compelled to test their limits by finding bigger, stronger opponents, we are similarly compelled to watch. As we watch a great fighter move up, we are captivated by success and mesmerized by failure, either way we are fascinated by the last steps the fighter takes into history. One way or another, more people would be watching Manny now than ever. Pacquiao had begun his journey, and his spectacular win had us all anticipating what would happen next.

Moving North Again

The next move was the stuff of legend. It was another brilliant performance by Pacquiao and another equally brilliant performance in matchmaking. To say that De La Hoya was a huge name is an understatement of ridiculous proportion, De La Hoya was the (read THE) name in boxing. The matchup had fans buzzing with anticipation, but as it turned out the fight was over before the two entered the ring. The fight took place at 145 pounds. The last time that DLH was that light was 1997. De La Hoya had even looked flat at 150 in his fight with Steve Forbes. It is true, that DLH won that fight going away, but Freddie Roach saw something that left him supremely confident that his man would easily beat Oscar. At that weight, De La Hoya couldn't pull the trigger anymore, and Team Pac knew it. It's easy to see now, that Forbes was the DLH equivalent of Montano for Diaz. Forbes was a durable guy who couldn't win. Pacquiao needed DLH so DLH had to win his tune up fight. Nothing new in boxing, but there can be little doubt that Team Pacquiao was carefully choreographing this final act of his career.

The fight itself was a brutal mismatch. It was readily apparent that biology would preempt any miracles. At 35 and after cutting weight to make 145, De La Hoya was flat. Pacquiao punished him severely for eight rounds. Pacquiao was brilliant and his speed was nothing short of incredible. We will always be left to wonder what would have happened had a younger DLH fought Pac without cutting weight in his mid 30's. Perhaps, the result would have been similar. Maybe DLH would have been too much. But, none of that mattered. Pacquiao looked like a vicious force in the ring that night in front of a huge audience. Often times, the quality of the win is secondary to the memory of the performance in boxing. Weight issues aside, people wanted to see Pac fight again, mission accomplished.

At this point, everything was working for Pacquiao. He was fighting spectacularly and making more money than ever. And, just when it didn't seem like it could get any better, Ricky Hatton entered the picture. Hatton's popularity nearly rivaled that of De La Hoya. Even better, he was a terrific fighter who was on the downside of an impressive career. Once again, the dynamics were similar. Where Roach saw an old man who could no longer react quickly enough to get his punches off in DLH, he now saw an aging brawler who walked straight in and cocked before he punched. On top of that, Hatton himself had bounced between 147 and 140 (190 and 140 if you count between fights). Once again, a man in his 30's would have to move down to fight Pacquiao. In short, Hatton was the ideal opponent.

Due South

Once again, the public clamored wondering if this opponent was simply too big and too physical for a fighter who began his career at 112 pounds. They were good questions, but Hatton was not able to ask them. Hatton had once been able to overcome some minor flaws with an explosive quickness that perfectly complimented his hyper aggressive style. Hatton was not the fighter he once was. The hard years on his body had taken a severe toll. Hatton had lost just the slightest bit of that quickness and it left him unable to compete with a devastating offensive fighter like Pacquiao. Once again, Roach was right as Pacquiao devastated Hatton finishing him with a savage left hand in the second round. The knockout punch was a key moment. That punch, watched by millions, capped of a superb performance. People had to be wondering, how good is this guy? Are we watching one of the best fighters ever? With so many watching it was a huge night and the magnitude of that moment exponentially strengthened the magnitude of that punch. Pacquiao was becoming an almost mythic figure.

Interestingly, very few people were asking these kinds of questions when Pacquiao went 5-1-1 against Marquez, Morales, and Barrera. But, for an error in scoring, Pacquiao would have been 6-1 against three surefire Hall of Famers. Those wins are the best of Pac's career. He beat them at their best, and in the case of Morales and Barrera, he beat them convincingly. This is not to say, that this most recent string of wins isn't impressive. Pacquiao has looked sensational and he does seem to be getting better every time out. With each win he seems to be moving further away from that one punch wonder that burst on the scene eight years ago. But, Pacquiao is also getting better outside the ring. The surest way to the money in boxing is to cultivate fascination among the boxing public. Fascination arises from indelible moments, not cold analysis. Making DLH surrender, that beautiful left hook that finished Hatton, those were moments that stay in one's mind. Watching Pacquiao beat Marquez, MAB, and Morales is one thing, but watching him dismantle giants is another. Pacquiao is wrecking these big guys, how good is this guy? And the fascination builds.

November to Remember

The next chapter is Miguel Cotto. Cotto is big and aggressive. He is a bigger man who will doubtless try to pressure the smaller man and impose his will. Conversely, he is coming off a rough stretch in his career. Cotto looked vulnerable against Clottey. He was hurt several times in the win and he seemed to have little in the way of defense as Clottey landed consistently with both hands all night long. So, Cotto has the public asking all the usual questions. Is Cotto simply too big? Will the combination of his size and skill prove too much for the little man? However, other questions are out there. How much did the Margarito fight really take out of Cotto? Has he logged too many tough rounds to handle a force like Pacquiao? Anything can happen in boxing but one thing is for sure, Cotto is the kind of opponent who could open the door for another sensational performance by Pac, mission accomplished.

Source: http://www.411mania.com/boxing/columns/114388/The-Fight-Game-08.27.09:-Pacquiao-and-the-Art-of-Matchmaking.htm

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Miguel Cotto: The Damage Threshold

So it is that Miguel Cotto will face Manny Pacquiao on November 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The die has been cast, and it has landed irrefutably in Cotto’s favor. Not surprising the choice, one that put to an end the surge of ruminations regarding who the pound for pound king would take on next. At this point, Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, are seemingly incapable of selecting an opponent who does not attract some kind of negative and questioning focus. The outcomes of Pacquiao’s last two fights have left him to be cast in an extreme and contrasting light. He is either touted for being considered thoroughly unbeatable, or he is derided for being an inflated talent. His skeptics accuse him of choosing his opponents based on perceived weaknesses, and then exploiting those weaknesses to validate his position as the best fighter in the world.

Hindsight is a dangerous weapon; when Pacquiao’s efforts in the ring have been met with almost superhuman success, it has become habitual to try and decipher the elemental shortcomings of his opponent that enabled that success. De La Hoya was old and weight drained; Hatton was primitively skilled and damaged by Mayweather. Rarely afforded the consideration of being a balanced and supremely gifted fighter, Pacquiao is forced to vacillate between two poles; one of near blind admiration, and the other of unfounded disdain. The legitimacy of his claim to the throne is being constantly challenged.

Miguel Cotto is the next man called to stand opposite Manny Pacquiao in the ring. He is a fighter whose recent past has plagued him. Shadows of doubt and the stresses of failure have been constant haunts. Cotto’s linear progression has been dramatically altered from what was anticipated a couple of years back. At that time, he was considered a fighter with near limitless potential; he was a prized commodity in the welterweight division, a gleaming gem in the crown of Bob Arum. Cotto was an integral part of Top Rank’s collection, and one of a small handful of fighters who siphoned power from the ever expanding might of Golden Boy Promotions. He garnered the bittersweet reputation of being the man to beat. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was incessantly hounded for dodging Cotto at every turn. Prior to his arguable downslide, Cotto appeared every bit the well- rounded boxer; he was strong, a solid puncher, and had the intelligence necessary to effectively intersperse offense and defense. He was the complete package.

Cotto’s last three bouts changed the landscape for him; they have thrown into doubt the current status of his one-time heralded abilities, as well as his tenacity, and the microscope of public observation is stifling. Cotto would have had to withstand the unwanted suspicions regardless of his upcoming bout, because his recent showings have not been as dynamic and dominating as previous ones. Undoubtedly though, part of the fascination with Cotto’s possible deterioration has as much to do with Pacquiao as it does with him. The rationale is that if Cotto loses, critics of Pacquiao will be fully prepared to point to Cotto’s obvious deficiencies entering into the fight. Depending on the manner of Cotto’s loss, Pacquiao will again be esteemed as the unquestionable king, or insulted for battering a fighter in obvious decline. This is the nature of the focus being granted to Cotto, and opinions of his position as a still viable contender vary widely. Is it possible to assess ahead of the fact what his condition will be when he enters the ring in November? Look closely at the purported damage that Cotto suffered, and what kind of toll it may or may not have taken.

The microscope’s sight is adjusted more closely in July of 2008, the time of Cotto’s bout with Antonio Margarito. The fight promised to be a barn burner, and it didn’t disappoint. The action never lulled; it was an instant candidate for fight of the year honors. Prior to the fight, most had Cotto favored with the edge over Margarito. Margarito had frequently voiced complaints that he was avoided by the top welterweights, citing nonexistent contests with Mayweather and Mosley, to name a couple. Margarito was thought of as a dangerous undertaking, one where the reward of a win did not outweigh the risk of a loss. Margarito had lost to Paul Williams before the Cotto fight, but it was at a time when the threat of Williams was not fully understood, and the loss was attributed more to Margarito’s slow start than it was to Williams’ prowess. As such, the loss did little to diminish the threat of Margarito. It remained the case that few fighters were willing to engage with him, and his opponents were comprised of those trying to make an impression in the division, those just outside of the established order, such as Williams and Joshua Clottey.

The night of July 26th, 2008, began very much in the way that it was expected to begin. When Cotto met Margarito in the ring, both fighters looked determined to win. They came armed with their individual strengths, along with the pride of the countries they represented. In the build up to the fight, much was made of the classic Mexican – Puerto Rican rivalry. The styles of the fighters promised to make for an interesting clash; Cotto with his estimable boxing skills taking on the resilient and powerful Margarito. In the early rounds, Cotto was winning handily. He was out boxing Margarito, exposing his slower pace and forcing him to miss with his punches. Cotto’s tactics enabled him to land his own shots, which freakishly, but unsurprisingly, seemed to have little effect on Margarito. There was undoubtedly confidence among Margarito’s camp that he would not be able to win on points. His chance, then, would come from patience and persistence, which might gradually wear Cotto down. It was the right plan. In the later rounds, Cotto began to diminish, his punch output declined, his face was bloodied, and he was visibly becoming fatigued. In the 11th round of the fight, Cotto’s suffering came to an end, at least as far as the punishment in the ring was concerned. The punishment outside the ring was just beginning.

The manner of Cotto’s loss reflected poorly on him. Literally overnight, he was burdened by the weight of having to live a shameful act down. Echoes of Roberto Duran and "no mas" would have been raging in his mind. He had taken a knee. This is something a fighter does not do. Those who are perceived to have given up are not quickly forgiven. It changed the way many viewed Cotto, prompting them not just to question his integrity as a fighter, but also his heart. It became a personal assault. Cotto needed to take time; he needed to assimilate what had happened, to try to recover from it, and to fight off his own personal demons that materialized with the loss. Cotto had an unenviable challenge laid out before him, because his demons were joined by the demons of others, those set on him by the court of public opinion.

Months after the bout, Cotto experienced a mild form of vindication, though uncertain terms prevented his loss from being completely negated. On January 24th, 2009, Antonio Margarito was set to fight Shane Mosley. Before the fight took place, Mosley’s trainer, Nazim Richardson, noticed that something was wrong with Margarito’s hand wraps. The wraps were confiscated and later tested to reveal traces of a substance similar to plaster of Paris. It cannot be known how long Margarito’s camp had been engaging in this unscrupulous practice, and whether or not it might have been a direct contributor to the Mexican fighter’s notorious punching power. Is it possible that the hand wraps were tainted during the Cotto fight? Might that explain Cotto’s conduct in the ring that night? It is one thing to lose heart and cave beneath the punishment that is brought on by a severe beating; it is quite another to feel instinctively that something is wrong, to know self- limits, and to respond to them.

When Cotto was ready to fight again, it was in February against England native, Michael Jennings. For all intensive purposes, it was designed to be a confidence builder for Cotto. It was a fight that would serve to lessen the bitter taste left behind by the Margarito bout. Cotto won the fight by TKO in the fifth round.

Following his defeat of Jennings, Cotto was next slated to take on a challenger who would serve as a more accurate barometer of his perseverance. Ghanaian contender Joshua Clottey has been intensely hungry to show himself in the elite ranks. In a division as swollen with talent as the welterweight is, being considered one of the elite is not a singular designation. It is a broader acknowledgment, one that stretches across the division spectrum. An elite welterweight is an elite fighter, period. Clottey himself is certainly familiar with the policy of avoidance frequently implemented in the fight game. He was avoided for the same reason Margarito was. Their shared predicament of being uncommercial threats left them to meet each other in the ring. Clottey fought hard, and reputedly with a broken hand, standing toe to toe with Margarito for twelve rounds, finally losing a unanimous decision.

In the fight between Cotto and Clottey, the Ghanaian fighter began with the intention to destroy the man in front of him. It was as though he had ingested all of Cotto’s demons, and was primed to regurgitate the combined malevolent force into his face. There is a distortion created by desperation, a clouding of the ability to calculate, that will make fighters conduct themselves in a way that contradicts their game plan. Clottey’s eagerness to grasp at the golden mantle caused him to attack Cotto in an often unfocused and overly aggressive manner. Cotto had his hands full, trying to temper the wild and awkward assailant coming toward him. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise; the manic tempo of the fight left no chance to lapse into drawn out reflection, or to become consumed with self-doubt.

In the third round, a head butt opened a gash over Cotto’s left eye. Blood obstructed his vision. He must have been momentarily shaken by an almost ghostly reminder of his falling to Margarito, as if the grim reaper himself had clipped Cotto’s brow with his scythe. How he would conduct himself from the point of the cut on would determine his heart.

Clottey presented a challenge that was frenetic, pressurizing, and often frustrating. The result of the fight was an unfulfilling split decision; one that did little to resolve in the eyes of some, the enigma of Cotto’s condition. There were those who believed that Clottey had won the fight. There were those who conceded that Cotto had won, but that he looked terrible in the performance. The fight wasn’t enough to prove that Cotto was, in fact, still the embodiment of his former glory. As it was, Clottey’s deportment during and after the fight did nothing to esteem him, either. Cotto would need to turn another stone for his chance at redemption.

Manny Pacquiao provides him with the chance.

What happens in the end? Pacquiao may be pound for pound king, but that illustrious title was never one that was far from the hands of his most recent challenger. There’s no doubt that there is a version of Cotto who possesses the ability to conquer Pacquiao. The question, though, is whether the older version, the one before all the southward turning, is also the current version. Ideally, the events of November 14th will finally reveal the truth, and Cotto may finally rid himself of the burden he’s carried, whether it end in his victory or defeat.

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/1858/2009-08-26.html

Roach: "Manny Pacquiao Will Expose Miguel Cotto"

While Manny Pacquiao plays the lead role in a movie currently being filmed in the Philippines, his opponent on Nov. 14th, WBO welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto, has already begun light training in his native Puerto Rico for the fight that is still over 11 weeks away.

Pacquiao won't begin his fight preparations for another few weeks, but exactly where he will do so is still a question that has yet to be answered. Pacquiao typically trains within the friendly confines of Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California.

However, a complicated Internal Revenue Service rule known as the “substantial presence test” mandates that non-resident aliens can only spend a certain number of days in the United States. If a person exceeds that number of days in a three-year period, they are considered a resident for tax purposes and their income is taxed accordingly. Pacquiao is dangerously close to exceeding the number of days allowed and he can only spend another month in the United States this year – before it would cost him millions in additional income tax.

“The IRS rule says that Manny can only be here in America for another three weeks or so,” said his trainer Freddie Roach, speaking to BoxingScene.com from the Wild Card Gym. “I thought Bob [Arum] might find a way around it. But they tell me they can't, so we're going to have to go someplace else.”

For the past several weeks, where that “someplace else” will be has been the topic of great speculation. In total, Pacquiao is going to have an eight-week long training camp for the Cotto fight.

“The three weeks he's allowed here will be two weeks here at the Wild Card and another week in Las Vegas,” explained Roach. “I'm hearing the Philippines, maybe Vancouver [British Columbia, Canada] maybe Mexico. We'll find someplace, so be it.”

According to Roach, “Manny will have the final say” on the training location. Various reports emanating from the Pacquiao inner circle suggest he may head back to the Philippines after the American press tour for the fight concludes on Sept. 14th. Two cities in the Philippines being mentioned are Baguio and Cebu.

The vagabond nature of the training camp doesn't seem to be bothering Roach much. As usual he is supremely confident that Pacquiao will again be the winner when the dust settles.

“I'm expecting Cotto to be at his best,” said Roach. “But Pacquiao is at the top of his game right now. I'm expecting Cotto to be more resilient than Oscar and Hatton were, so he'll give us a better fight than those two guys did. The biggest thing with Cotto is that he's a strong guy, but Manny's not going to stand in front of him and trade. I feel that we'll be able to expose Cotto. His skills aren't quite where they used to be and we're going to expose him.”

Notes from the Housecat: Manny Pacquiao, Bernard Hopkins and more

I can't wait for Nov.14 because of Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto!
* Like my Uncle Ed says, "A good cheesecake doesn't need a fruit topping.". So let's do this fight without the belts! I'm thinking Cotto makes it look close early, but Pacquiao overwhelms him and blows him out eventually.
* I have turned against the September 19 Mayweather - Marquez promotion because promoters have add the often - disgraced Zab Judah to the televised card. See my column on this very subject dated Monday.
* I don't pay attention on TV or on line when those punch stats starts rolling. If you tell me they draw in new viewers, fine. However ratings continue to fall the last two decades and their accuracy and how they are interpreted just can't be accurate. It's a gimmick!

Boxing is not a statistical sport. You have fighters that can rattle off four and five punch combinations in one second and be countered by the same and if you miss just one punch, well, it's 20%. Probing punches count as much a a serious offensive jab. There is just two much of a human element involved that accuracy of these statistics are impossible.

* Nobody should be holding their head high after Saturday nights Diaz - Malignaggi fight in Houston. Even Malignaggi has to admit he took the big payday and knew what he thought was going to happen. If he can show me in writing all the promises he said he recieved from the Texas commission in advance, well, I would send them to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, NY.

Others are saying Paulie didn't speak to Texas but to Golden Boy, who said they would pass it along.

* DirecTV, citing poor ratings, may give the boot to the Versus Channel, Ratings continue to be poor but Versus is requesting even more money in latest negotiations. Could happen by mid September. This would not affect Versus being on cable channels though.

* Is anybody else getting tired of all the exposure Bernard Hopkins is getting? He's overexposed and doesn't have much of interest to say anyway. I don't get the appeal. Less is more, Bernard.
* Former two-time world champion Paulie Ayala of Fort Worth, Texas is about ready to throw his hat in the ring as a promoter. I'm expecting an official announcement very soon. I don't know what his plans are, but if character and integrity have anything to do with it, Paulie and wife Leti have a fighter's chance at succeeding in this brutal business. Unfortuneately, they don't.
* Why do we need vacant and / or interim titles to be filled if there is a current champion?

Only a severe injury that ties a champion up for more than six months is an acceptable reason for either a vacant or interim title. Under six months, you have to put the title on ice and respect the champions injury.

If the answer is that the current champion has said he is either going to retire or vacate and move up or down in weight to challenge for another title, we should just mandate the top two available challengers to fight and wait it out until the champion steps down. The above steps eliminate more than half of these bogus titles.

* Too many Mickey Mouse titles out there confuses the public and leads to lots of
trickeration. And, to add insult to injury, these contenders sometime time can't
make the weight anyway and they fight at a catch weight. Now there is a universal
title for catchweight fights.
* Only if a champion is severely hurt or announces he's moving up in weight and voluntarily vacates the title should an interim title fight of the top available contenders be sanctioned. Otherwise it's just for the money. The claim that the top contenders will bolt for other titles if their opportunity is delayed is possible but a crock as a reason.
* Vacant and interim titles, along with catch weight fights, emeritus titles, too many sanctioning groups and lousy writers and media coverage might ruin this sport one day.
* An injured shoulder has failed to heal sufficiently and the December heavyweight bout between champion Wladimir Klitschko and American challenger Eddie Chambers has been pushed to spring 2010. Chambers weighing options of a tune up fight.
* Dr. Elias Cordoba, Jr, 92, passed away at his home in Panama City Panama. Dr. Cordoba was a two -time WBA President and was named Honorary President for Life.

# 154 lbs. Danny Jacobs had a few rough patches but overall was impressive over useful Ishe Smith Saturday night. Jacobs has a little Donald Curry / Late Vernon Forrest thing going on which I like.
# I have an exclusive two - part interview with controversial international boxing agent / matchmaker Don Majeski coming up later in the week. Majeski gives thorough, in-depth answers to questions that affect boxing fans.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d26-Notes-from-the-Housecat-Manny-Pacquiao-Bernard-Hopkins-and-more

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cotto ready for long grind Cotto ready for long grind

MANILA, Philippines - Fitness expert Phil Landman, tasked to make sure that Miguel Cotto will be in the best shape possible for his Nov. 14 clash with Manny Pacquiao, is now with the WBO welterweight champion in his training quarters in Puerto Rico.

The 37-year-old Landman, a South African now based in Los Angeles, liked what he saw.

“Miguel looks strong, happy and very motivated,” said Landman, whose arrival in Puerto Rico marked the start of Cotto’s heavy 11-week training for what many ring experts consider as the biggest fight of the year.

“It’s not like Miguel has lacked any motivation in the past. It’s just that I see something different (in him). You know it’s an important fight and he’s taking things seriously,” Landman told Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora.

“Mentally, Miguel looks ready for the long work that awaits him. This time the training camp will last around 11 weeks and it helps to ensure that Miguel reaches a certain condition before having to do the promotional tour,” said the fitness expert.

The promotional tour begins on Sept. 10 and will take Cotto and Pacquiao to Puerto Rico, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cotto’s training then shifts to Florida where he’ll stay until the fight draws closer.

“There are a few things we can improve (on) and there we will be concentrating on a combination of things,” added Landman of some of their plans for the fight to be held at a catchweight of 145 lb, two short of the welterweight limit.

Cotto has been at the gym for almost two weeks now, saying he needed three months to prepare for Pacquiao. But it’s the next 11 weeks that will really count in his training for the biggest fight of his career.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, is busy with some other things, like the filming of his new movie, the shooting of new commercials, and taping of his regular television shows.

Pacquiao said there’s no reason to hurry as far as training is concerned, since it’s been proven effectively in the past that seven, eight or nine weeks of training will do it for him.

Pacquiao, however, said he plans to start getting in shape soon by playing basketball. He said he weighs around 152 to 153 pounds, just about the right weight before he starts training to get down to 140.

Pacquiao said right after the press tour, he’d fly back to the Philippines to start training in Baguio City, the chilly summer capital of the country. Then he goes to Mexico for the long grind, and then either in LA or Las Vegas 10 days before the fight.

He said it doesn’t matter if Cotto had gone way ahead in training.

“Maganda ‘yan para pagdating sa laban hindi na siya maka-suntok (That’s good so when the fight comes he can barely throw a punch),” Pacquiao told scribes during a break in his movie shooting.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=499461&publicationSubCategoryId=69

Nothing left to chance for Cotto

Miguel Cotto’s eyes are now burning with desire, the Puerto Rican’s conditioning coach Phil Landman disclosed on Tuesday.

Landman told the newspaper Primera Hora that Cotto “is strong, happy and very motivated” heading into the final 12 weeks of preparation for an all-important showdown with Manny Pacquiao on November 14 in Las Vegas.

“(Miguel) knows that this is a very important fight and he is taking it very seriously,” said Landman, who is originally from South Africa but is now based in Los Angeles. “There is something different in the way he looks. Mentally, Miguel is prepared for the long preparation.”

Cotto actually started training early in anticipation of a tough grind under Landman, who is expected to work alongside lead trainer Joe Santiago in whipping the 28-year-old Cotto into the meanest form ever come fight night at the MGM Grand.

Cotto admitted that Pacquiao’s quickness is his main concern and that Landman and Santiago will join hands in the coming weeks to come up with a plan to offset the Filipino’s strength.

Landman said by the time Cotto goes on a four-city press tour with Pacquiao beginning September 10 in New York, he would have already been in an advanced stage of training although the most crucial phase will happen in Tampa, Florida.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao continues to spend most of the day – actually night – putting the finishing touches on his TV shows and movie that will be due for release in December.

“We are like vampires,” said Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal, who often accompanies the fighter in the nocturnal shooting sessions in and around the metropolis.

Still, Gacal said Pacquiao is right on track since he usually begins training camp eight weeks before a fight.

“Once Manny shows up for training, it’s impossible to stop him,” said Gacal.

Under the plan, Pacquiao will kick off his preparation for Cotto following the promotional tour that will bring him not only to New York but to Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Los Angeles next month.

Baguio is being eyed to host the initial phase of Pacquiao’s training camp.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/217638/nothing-left-chance-cotto

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who wins between Manny Pacquiao and the UFC?

We wont have to wait long to answer the question of who wins between the UFC and Manny Pacquiao.

UFC has decided to air UFC 105, on November 14th from the UK, for free via tape-delay on Spike TV. This is the same night Manny Pacquiao fights Miguel Cotto.

Fight Card
Early indications have UFC loading up the fight card knowing that they face strong competition in Manny Pacquiao. BJ Penn is “penciled” in to headline the event. Penn is one of UFC’s most popular fighters. Michael Bisping, arguably the UK’s biggest MMA draw, is also rumored to be on the card.

Recent Numbers

Pacquiao is without a doubt boxing’s best fighter and arguably its top PPV draw. His last fight drew about 850,000 PPV buys, depending on the source. But, UFC 100 doubled those numbers bringing in round 1.7 million, also depending on the source. In fact, UFC’s last PPV (UFC 101) had over 900,000 PPV buys.


So, this fight comes down to Pacuiao’s popularity vs. UFC’s popularity, Free TV vs. PPV, and boxing fans vs. MMA fans.

I pose this question to all of you – “Who wins between Manny Pacquiao and the UFC?

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-21442-Sacramento-MMA-Examiner~y2009m8d24-Who-wins-between-Manny-Pacquiao-and-the-UFC

How will the Pacquiao-Cotto match will end?

Fighters' Statistics

Manny Pacquiao Profiles, Statistics and Records
Miguel Cotto Profiles, Statistics and Records