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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto fight fever going viral, epidemic

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Is it time for the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto weigh in yet?

I am really ready, right now. But tomorrow would be okay.

There comes a point where all the prelminaries are like kissing Cristine Reyes through a screen door, merely frustrating.

The boys down at the bodega, the quite excellent Americana (try their version of the Philly cheesesteak) at the corner of 101 Street and Broadway aren’t feeling the Big Fight Fever, at least not yet.

They’re all proud Mexicanos so I can understand why they’re not worked up about a bout between Pinoy Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel I’m No Angel Cotto especially given Pacman’s total destruction of their countrymen.

But the Boricua crew a few blocks away, the guys who gather at the corner of West 100 Street and Manhattan Avenue, they’re all pumped up with PR Pride and they made that clear to me on my afternoon bicycle ride to nearby Central Park Tuesday.

One guy named "Tito Leche" who recalls me from The New York Post era (he must be very old) always kibitzes with me about upcoming boxing matches. In the past he’s expressed admiration for Pacman’s aggressive, take no prisoners ring style. (In daylight hours, these fans of boxeo hang out in front of Zhou Huanf Chinese and the 100 Street Candy Store.)

But now he’s taking sides and is totally backing the Caguas Kid, Cotto. Good for him because I can’t expect a Yankee fan to ever cheer for my beloved Red Sox.

If it was Manny fighting Floyd Mayweather, I think my casual buddy would line up under the Pacman banner.
But on Tuesday, my Puerto Rican pal said he would wager his house on the island that Cotto beats Pacman and he did not mean Long Island.

My point is this is my favorite time period in the Big Fight runup.

It’s time to put aside the minor players—the cutmen, the assistant to the assistant trainer, the machinations of Agent 008 Michael Koncz and the endless blather of promoter Bob Arum—and to focus in on the two guys who will decide it in the ring.

I love this pre Fight Week period because it’s the last time most of us can think clearly. By the time Cotto and Pacman get into Vegas, the media and fan noise level gets so high that it’s difficult to cogitate without emotion.

What am I cogitating right now?

That Cotto is more than capable of winning this bout.

That Pacman may be mentally distracted with all his sideline interests and activities.

That a Pacquiao defeat followed by a triumph comeback in a Cotto rematch might just make him a larger legend than he is now.

That Coach Freddie Roach against little known Cotto strategist Jose Santiago is not such a big deal considering that Cotto knows Manny and vice versa. I mean, what secrets does either fighter have about how they fight at this point in their glorious careers?

That the Koncz Chaos Factor may not be a factor at all since Megamanny seems to shut off all the backstabbing, frontstabbing and sidestabbing among his many minions.

(I do appreciate all the stories and sub stories, the Pacman plots, that Koncz and those reacting to him have provided.)

Finally, I am thinking that this is going to be one of the most thrilling fights I’ve seen in my 45 years at ringside.

I think we may get thrills akin to other brilliant battles I personally witnessed in Vegas.

Like the George Foreman-Ron Lyle Pier Six brawl with all the knockdowns.

Like Ken Norton-Larry Holmes being decided in the 15th and final round.

Like the awesome war of attrition between Thomas Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

Like Ray Leonard matching skills through 15 rounds against masterful Wilfred Benitez.

Like Sugra Ray getting outboxed by Hearns but then outpunching the puncher.

Thrills, chills, spills…coming soon.

Think clearly now because Big Fight Fever will soon be epidemic.

The only inoculation will be seeing Pacquiao-Cotto live on the scene or the screen.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-5699-NY-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m10d21-PacquiaoCotto-fight-fever-going-viral-epidemic

1 comment:

  1. I'm selling tickets for the live screening in manila of the pacquiao cotto fight. Php350 pesos. University of the Philippines Theater (in Diliman). 8am. Text me at 09173221956, tickets are running out!


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