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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cotto Is Being Severely Underestimated

Despite all of the dismissive analysis of his shockingly one-sided defeat of Oscar de la Hoya in December in his only fight at welterweight, despite the second-thinking of forecasts of the fight that arose in the immediate aftermath of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s outclassing of Juan Manuel Marquez last month, Manny Pacquiao remains the huge favorite heading into his Nov. 14th bout with Miguel Cotto at 145 pounds. This proves two things to me: 1) that people really do have a lot less regard for Cotto than they did only 18 months ago, and 2) that people really do think that Manny is Superman. For further proof of these two things, just look at Large’s post from yesterday, about the blueprint Cotto must follow in order to survive the early goings of the fight against the flame-throwing southpaw.

And basically, that last sentence sums up the consensus prognosis of the fight, which is that Manny Pacquiao is going to just blaze right through Miguel Cotto, an assertion that I personally find maddening. But that’s how people think of Miguel these days. Since he struggled so mightily against Joshua Clottey in June, Cotto’s stock has dropped greatly. “He’s not the same since before the Margarito fight,” they say. “It took a lot out of him.” Never mind the fact that Clottey doesn’t make it easy for anybody in there, or that Cotto was labored by a terrible cut over his left eye (bad enough that the HBO announcing team proposed that the fight should probably be stopped) and managed to squeak out the decision anyway. Those variables are ignored. I feel like people are making a huge mistake with this whole assessment, that there is not enough evidence to prove the theory that Miguel is not what he was. People are grossly underestimating him.

The other side of the equation, of course, is the Manny side, and the inherent obviousness that most people have bought into the Pacman hype. Everyone is caught up in it. He’s considered unbeatable, it seems. I remember Bernard Hopkins talking to Brian Kenny on ESPN before the Hatton fight, when B-Hop compared the “aura” that Manny possesses right now to that of a hey-day Mike Tyson. And that was before the devastating knockout of poor Ricky that left the Hitman laid flat on his back, unconcious and in a seemingly dire predicament for a few frightening minutes. I think Pac’s status as mini-Mike is a product of this three-fight run he’s on, but I think the Hatton fight provided the exclamation and carries by far the most weight.

For this fight, though, I think it’s fool’s good. I was borderline appalled by Large’s piece from yesterday – I didn’t agree with it at all (Large, please don’t fire me). Of course, the sentiment that it captures (that Cotto is a huge underdog who could get taken out at the very start if he’s not careful) is shared by the majority of Boxing America, except that they don’t even offer a gameplan Migeul can use to avoid getting run over by the Pacman Steam Engine. I do not agree with this notion, though I do understand its origins.

Source: http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Rumble/entry/view/40038/cotto_is_being_severely_underestimated

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