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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mismatch in corners boosts Manny Pacquiao, harms Miguel Cotto

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No one else wants to say it so I will. This Nov. 14 Super Bout in Las Vegas is a mismatch.

You’ve got the industry’s gold standard matching wits with a novice who might be a household name but only in his own household.

No, I don’t mean Manny Pacquiao and Miguel I’m No Angel Cotto. I’m discussing Pacman head trainer Coach Freddie Roach and relative newcomer to high level boxing and Cotto chief second Jose Santiago.

This is Angelo Dunee is one corner, Joe Blow or Jose Blow, if you prefer, in the opposite corner.

Let me give you a couple of analogies, one sporting and one from entertainment.

Let’s say you’re considered the top karaoke singer in your little town. Bully for you but would you want to take the stage and try to match vocal chords and phrasing with Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand or Willie Nelson?

I didn’t think so. If you did, you would be as high strung and nervous as the cat confiened to a room full of rocking chairs.

Or, how about you’re a successful jockey at some dumpy racetrack. You ride broken down horses just a step ahead of going to the glue factory. Are you going to prepared to ride in the Kentucky Derby and see Eddie Arcaro or Willie Shoemaker riding the thoroughbred in the post position next to you?

I didn’t think so. You know you would be out of your league and it wouldn’t be fair to the owner or to your mount trying to compete against such all time greats.

Miguel Cotto said "uncle," fired head trainer Evangelista Cotto as chief trainer (ESPN Photo)

Which gets me back to Senor Santiago in one corner and Professor Roach in the other. It’s a mismatch any way you slice it.

Usually, when you ask promoter Bob Arum what time it is, he goes into a discourse on how to make a watch. Since he handles both Cotto and Pacman, I mentioned this head trainer inequality.

Arum brushed me off like I was piece of lint on his suit jacket.

“It’s not a problem,” Arum said when he was here in New York for a Madison Square Garden show last weekend.

“Miguel Cotto trains himself. That was true when the uncle was his trainer and it’s true now.”

This may come as a surprise to Santiago who, by all accounts, is working hard on a daily basis in the Tampa camp of Cotto.

Let’s look on the bright side, always a Marley trait. Somebody told me Santiago trained Victor Bisbal to which I said, quien es?

Somebody else told me that Santiago used to be Cotto’s nutritionist and he got a huge promotion after the infamous outside the gym fistfight between Miguel and uncle Evangelista Cotto led to their breakup.

Uncle E, of course, hurled a brick through the window of Miguel’s fancy car, adding a bit of punctuation to his anger.

You may think I’m throwing a brick at Santiago for no reason. At least I’m not hiding my hand.

He doesn’t have the track record. He’s an unproven commodity.

And he’s Cotto’s low cost jockey because you may be sure he’s not getting a million dollar fee like Roach is but will be paid a flat fee by the parsimonious Puerto Rican fighter.

Hall Of Fame trainer Manny Steward wanted this gig, so much so that he mistakenly lobbied for it publicly.

The Kronk Goldfather never got a callback from Team Cotto.

On Nov. 15, I will ask this question of Cotto, were you pennywise but pound foolish?

Permit me one more question.

It’s my column after all.

Will the mismatch in the corners affect what happens in the ring?

That’s what you call a rhetorical question.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m10d15-Mismatch-in-corners-boosts-Manny-Pacquiao-harms-Miguel-Cotto

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