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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Manny Pacquiao/Miguel Cotto: Cotto team underestimating Pacquiao

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Deep, deep down, in the psyche of the Miguel Cotto training camp, they are underestimating Manny Pacquiao. Fatal. It is a mistake other opponents/rivals have made. It is because Pacquiao has come up so many weight divisions. And so quickly. It is almost as if they cannot stop themselves. But it is there in their language. You can almost hear it in the undercurrent… “De La Hoya was shot…Hatton was shot…but we will have the power to walk Pacquiao down and stop him…”

It may be so on the night, because boxing is always about imponderables, yet on speed alone, Pacquiao will make Cotto look slow if he is on his game. Footwork may be the key in this fight.

Listening to Joe Santiago this week, however, there is no question in my mind that as he said more and more, they believe in the camp in Tampa that their man will be too physically strong, too powerful for Pacquiao. And in that sense they are underestimating him. They threw out sparring partners, which also appeared strange.

For me, these were the key messages from head trainer Joe Santiago, on Cotto:

“The Margarito fight is over and done with. We are preparing for a new challenge and I see him just as hungry.”

Fine. Good point. No issue.

“We always go into win. The confidence when he goes up into the ring – I don’t see that changing.”

Fine. No question.

“147 is Miguel’s natural weight so he has no trouble getting to that weight (145 for the fight)”

Agreed again. Cotto will be near 157-160 when he steps into the ring, probably 8 lbs heavier than Pacquiao.

“A lot of people are picking Pacquiao to beat him and he is motivated by that.”


“I think he will come out with a little more fire.”


“He is going to show you his speed and his strength and how good he can be.”


“All he has to do is beat Manny Pacquiao to prove he is the best in the world. If he does that I don’t see how they can deny him that No. 1 spot.”

Really ? Pacquiao is admired by many. He is a patient championship fighter. A clever counter-puncher, but he is a long way from Floyd Mayweather, or Manny Pacquiao, in pound for pound terms. If the natural weight of Cotto and Pacquiao were in reversal, few would back Cotto to win this contest.

“I know we have seen him at his best against some other fighters but I truly believe that this is going to be one of his best performances.”

“I think that Miguel has shown everybody that he can deal with speed, with Mosley and with Zab Judah. I don’t think it is a problem with speed. I think the rhythm that Manny brings to the fight, I don’t think people think Miguel can stay with that speed. But I think he will. I not only think he can stay with the rhythm but I think he will enjoy fighting that kind of fight.”

I just don’t see this.

“I think it will be a very interesting fight and I think Miguel will come out victorious in the fight by just doing what he always does, coming forward, throwing punches and being strong.”

I really don’t see this. Not unless Cotto is aggressive, lands early effectively and hurts Pacquiao. Santiago may be proved completely right. But I don’t see it. But that is why this is a brilliant, and intriguing contest.

Source: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/garethadavies/100002658/manny-pacquiaomiguel-cotto-cotto-team-underestimating-pacquiao-2/

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