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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pacquiao vs. Cotto: Keys to Victory Part 3: The Heart of a Champion!

On November 14th, both Pacquiao and Cotto will square off in a 12th round WBO welterweight title fight. These two fighters will once again show why they are fan favorites and living legends in their respective home countries.

When two opponents match up very evenly on many things like punching power, toughness and skill level. In my opinion, the difference maker in the bout will inevitably be the heart of each fighter. The biggest heart usually last 12 rounds and even wins the fight. No matter how skilled a boxer or no matter his corner come up with an effective fight strategy, but if the boxer is too tentative to execute those strategies it could even spells trouble or even lose a battle. A real fighter ain't scared of showing his intentions in the ring. He lets his heart speak, as it is the voice of the true emotions that will guide him in his battle. A fighter sees each scar, each pain, each injury with pride and courage, as they are fruit of his efforts to go further. And he doesn't mind in getting more scars and bruises every second and minute of each and every round, as they are proof of his victories in the past, even if the victories are over himself.

These are the very reasons why boxing fans were endeared by the likes of Alexis Arguello, Arturo Gatti, and Diego Corrales etc. These boxing legends represent the true heart of warriors, no question about it. They will fight to the end even if it means it is theirs'. This is the same reason why Filipinos loved Erik Morales, the only Mexican who beaten Manny Pacquiao. He went toe-to-toe with Manny Pacquiao, never backed down even if that meant being knocked out by the Pacman twice. And this is the same reason why Filipinos hopes to see Erik gets a come back fight with Marquez.

Manny Pacquiao has proven time and again the kind of warrior spirit he possesses inside the ring. He never ducked any challenges even if the odds were against him and still emerged victorious. During the initial stages of his career, Manny Pacquiao would go charging in, not minding getting some to rain hell on his opponents. He fought for 12 life and death rounds with a broken left fist and blistered feet against Juan Manuel Marquez. He fought Erik Morales, with one eye blinded with his own blood due to an accidental head butt that was called a "punch" by referee Joe Cortez and went 12 rounds with "El Terrible". He knows in that fight any hint of discomfort from that bloody eye would make the ringside doctors stop the fight and will give him a TKO loss, but he fought on till the end. He fought bigger guys while climbing up each weight division and conquered all six of them, and now gunning for his seventh title in seventh weight division.

Miguel Angel Cotto on the other hand, also faced tough opponents in his career. He got rocked really hard by Ricardo Torres, and fought a life and death battle, to win via Knock Out over the hard hitting Torres. He fought a really tough tactical battle against Sugar Shane Mosley. His loss to Antonio Margarito...well, he was never really stunned or went "lights out". He took a knee because his face was severely broken. Just imagine if a pair of concrete were constantly slamming in your body and face, what would you think would happen? And his last fight against Joshua Clottey, proved all the more that he has that warrior spirit in him, to finish that fight with a bloodied eye, against a big and strong welterweight like Joshua Clottey and edge out a controversial split decision.

Though many boxing analyst believe Pacquiao has a good chance to win this fight due to aberation of Cotto's beating in the plaster hands of Margarito. For me, it will have more to do with the type of fighter that will show up in the ring come fight night. A fighter like Cotto need not to look back in his previous fight, no matter if he failed or succeeded, because it is all in the past. A real fighter looks at the future with hope, because the failures of the past have made him what he is today and it is a beautiful thing. Even though Cotto has been in some tough battles with some great and hall of fame fighters, I don't think he is already shot worn boxer. A fighter may turn old overnight but losing a battle doesn't reflect lack of warrior's heart. A warrior's heart normally measures how far they can last inside the ring with blood and guts mentality.

As for the Pacman who currently at his peak of his preparation in Baguio City, will have to once again show his warrior's heart. Despite with all the distractions in his camp lately, he will climb into the ring with the remnants of typhoon Ondoy, Pepeng and Lupit, all three supertyphoons, that still lingers in the land of all Filipino's back home. When Cotto delivers his powerful "bam!" to the liver, he will give him more courage to recover the way his fellow citizens hoping to recover from furious rampage of the three typhoons that hit the country. Every rain punches and force that Cotto will throw, Pacquiao will once again try to overcome the pressure of his opponent the way his kababayan's tried to overcome the heart-breaking tragedy that came to the Philippines. Pacquiao will once again unite all Filipinos and embrace the battle toe-to-toe with concrete courage hoping to lead them all in victory in the midst of these trials.

We should be in for a very exciting and entertaining fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. In my opinion, this is the real dream match. I don't even think there was a need for a sequel no matter who wins the bout because I felt both fighters are in their twilight of their boxing career. It would be interesting to see Pacquiao fight Mayweather should he win the bout or a Cotto-Margarito rematch should Cotto prevail. Without the plaster of Paris in the gloves this time, of course.

This bout poses a few interesting questions: Can Cotto bring his "A" game to get by a fighter of Pacquiao's speed, power and natural talents? Does Pacquiao’s adviser beating and typhoon's will affect his focus come fight night? Does Cotto have enough left in the tank after a beating he took from Margarito? And will either fighter show us something spectacular this time around? At the very least this fight will be an exciting slugfest where anything could happen.

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/1989/2009-10-18.html

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