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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Manny Pacquiao must fight fire with fire

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Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, has expressed concern over possible low blows from Miguel Cotto on November 14, saying he wants automatic disqualification for any deliberate shots below the belt (click here to read the story).

Of course, it can be difficult to distinguish between deliberate and accidental shots – especially if the offending boxer knows how to disguise an intentional low blow.

Let’s face it, some master boxers have learnt the art of delivering illegal shots without the referee noticing. Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield was quite a craftsman who used his head in more than just the cerebral way!

It could be difficult to convince a referee to DQ a boxer, especially when they’re participating in the biggest fight of the year! Do you remember when Mike Tyson was thrown out the ring after biting Holyfield’s ear? The fact is that Tyson bit Holyfield’s ears twice that night, and was disqualified only after the second bite.

Pacquiao should ensure he’s wearing a decent protector cup. But seriously, he should take a leaf from the book of Marco Antonio Barrera, who showed the importance of fighting fire with fire when he handed Naseem Hamed his first (and only) defeat in 2001.

Hamed came into the fight with a reputation for wrestling opponents to the canvas – so in the first clinch of their bout, Barrera threw Hamed to the floor! In one of the later rounds – the 12th, if I remember correctly – Barrera ran him into a ring post. He was warned for the first offence and docked a point for the second, but he was not disqualified. Barrera’s tactics – which included a brilliant display of counter-punching – took the heart out of Hamed. That effectively ended the Englishman’s career.

A boxer friend of mine, the late Mzukisi Sikali, once told me how in a WBU title bout he was hit low by an opponent, and he immediately replied with a low blow of his own. The referee stepped in straight away and warned them both to stop. The fight was clean after that, and Sikali went on to win by stoppage.

If Cotto lands a low blow, Pacquiao should – if at all humanly possible – retaliate with his own shot to the orchestra stalls.

Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

Source: http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/longdrop/2009/10/22/manny-pacquiao-must-fight-fire-with-fire/

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