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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Examiner's prediction for Pac vs Cotto: the winner is . . .

The moment is arriving, and it is time to make a prediction for the November 14 mega-fight. After countless hours of research, analysis, and pre-fight observations, we reach a conclusion. To quote an ancient Chinese proverb, "the journey is the reward." In the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight, I predicted a wide unanimous decision for Floyd. This one has a far different outcome.

The Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto will be an extravagant event - but the night will end in an anti-climactic conclusion to the war. And the army of an archipelago will march victorious under the Arc de Triumph.

Cotto, he is one of the most courageous welterweights of this generation - a brave warrior who never backs down. He insists on meeting a challenge. Unfortunately, that ring adversity comes in its maximum form straight from the sport's summit. Pacquiao is not just the pound-for-pound lion king, he is also an all-time great. One who is gunning for a historical seventh title in an incredible seventh weight class. HBO's 24 / 7, the marketing gurus, will cast its magic dust and successfully convince millions of viewers that this is not an overrated fighter (Cotto) whose best days are in the past. The series will effect a mass delusion, resulting in greater pay-per-view dollars. On Saturday's fight night, Cotto will undergo a nightmare, a humiliating and embarassing defeat at the hands of a humble monster.

Pictures from Pacquiao's and Cotto's last 10 wars

This conclusion is arrived after spending years studying the art of warfare. Secondly, this bout is misleading - it actually comprises of Pacquiao AND Freddie Roach vs Cotto. Two masters fighting one soldier. By the early 5th round, millions of viewers around the world will witness the unfolding of an uncompetitive fight. And by that 5th round, it will be increasingly apparent that the brave warrior's spirit (Cotto) is being crushed and demoralized. For boxing fans such as myself, who sympathize greatly with these tremendous competitors and gladiators, it will be gut-wrenching to watch a demoralized warrior. We explore the critical reasons why the destruction takes place.

General MacArthur instituted a series of amphibious thrusts with such lightning speed that the bewildered enemy, completely surprised, was successively overwhelmed. The islands . . . were in rapid succession reconquered, liberated and restored to civil rule.

- General George C. Marshall in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of War during World War II and describing the Philippine theater ("Reminiscences," General Douglas MacArthur, p. 254)

Significant Advantages for the Philippine Typhoon

Manny Pacquiao - my friends - holds significant advantages over his Puerto Rican foe. Make no mistake.

Cotto's lead left hand allows Manny to attack with his own left on Cotto's inferior (and slower) side

First, Manny's lead right, and power (back) left, combined with superior footwork, allows him to circle to Miguel's (weaker) right (side). Thus, Pacquiao will almost certainly land left jabs, left hooks, left uppercuts, and left crosses at will and all day. This is the critical difference between the two (the stance), and probably the reason why Roach signed off on this very winnable fight for his client. Cotto is naturally left-handed, but stands with his power left hand as the lead (front) hand. Manny, on the other hand, is also left-handed, but has a more natural stance by having his right as his lead (front) hand.

Left-handed fighters (like Cotto) who have an uncommon stance of leading with their left hand typically do not have good footwork. Cotto is an average fighter in the middle of the ring. And he will have sparse chances of cutting it off. Manny, blessed with superior speed, also has tremendous footwork. Under the tutelage of Roach, the General Santos native can employ a variation of the peek-a-boo style of Joe Frazier, this time awkwardly moving side-to-side to Cotto's left and right. This type of movement is very difficult to time - there is a reason why after millions of years of evolution, snakes (and crocodiles) employ this movement. They are one of the oldest creatures in the animal kingdom that survive to this day. The left-to-right and vice versa, side-to-side movement, combined with up-and-down peek a boo movement, distorts a prey's vision and critical thinking skills. The rapidly changing background picture further confuses the eyes and one's judgment on distance and speed.

When a F-16 is in a dog fight, being chased by a Russian MIG, it rapidly and unpredictably moves left and right, and right to left in a confusing manner. It can also swiftly dive down or climb vertically up, and the pursuing Russian pilot is perpetually wondering which way the F-16 will go. At high pressure speeds, it taxes the body to the utmost. In this case, Cotto is like a big plodding tank. Even if he moves forward, Manny emulating a snake, or a F-16, Cotto will have an extremely difficult time guessing where Manny will pop up next. His only big weapon is that strong left, which Roach has trained Manny for. Pacquiao will move away from Cotto's power left, or alternatively get off with his (Manny's) right to Cotto's body to remove some of that power. Surprise (and deception) is most critical in war. Pacquiao will obsessively unleash his power lefts on Cotto's right side. That is Cotto's inferior side (because the Puerto Rican is left-handed) and he will get bludgeoned by Manny's strong side.

Manny's strong side against Miguel's right (and weak) side

Manny's weakness, historically, is facing against a right-hand dominant fighter (i.e., Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.). Because Manny's strong left is met with an equally skilled strong right - Pacquiao can get countered with short distance separating the two. It's a matter of physics and geometry. That right jab from a right-hand dominant fighter has to travel much less distance in order to connect and land on Manny's face. But with Cotto, he will need to counter from his lead left hand, which has greater distance separation when Manny is on his right. That extra distance gives Manny much more time to react with his impressive reflexes. And while Manny is unleashing blinding combinations, Cotto will have to close the offensive shop. Anticipate Miguel's right eye to shut close by the 7th round and fight Manny with only one arm (his right hand will be painfully gone by then).

The new arsenal in this fight will be Pacquiao's upper cut combinations. He has already incorporated "Manila Ice," which are his right hooks. Cotto forms an open triangle by placing both his gloves close to his eyebrows. His nose will be bleeding by the 3rd round - swarming shots will land straight through that open pike, and with brutal accuracy. It is with solemn hope that Miguel Cotto does not get hurt too badly in this fight, or get sent to the hospital for serious injury - which is possible, given Pacquiao's sheer punch output (ala David Diaz fight).

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-4514-Houston-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m10d23-Predictions--Pacquiao-vs-Cotto

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