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Thursday, October 29, 2009

PACQUIAO WATCH: A battle of hooks

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After all is said and done, the welterweight championship bout between Filipino whirlwind Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican raging bull Miguel Angel Cotto could be set up and decided by the powerful hooks both boxers possess.

Cotto’s left hook is arguably his main weapon in wearing and slowing down his past victims.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, has again fallen in love with that right hook which, lately, has developed into a weapon of second choice other than his thundering left straight.

When a lefty and a righty meet, those hooks could set up for the kill.

Who gets to land those hooks to earn the respect of his opponent will dictate the tempo of the fight. And between two men noted for brawling, that could spell the difference.

Cotto is a slow starter and fights with both his hands raised up high. He would wait for Manny to throw lazy jabs to be able to dig into the body of the Filipino southpaw.
If he goes forward firing his jabs, Manny will employ the same weapon Cotto prefers but from a lefty stance – with right hooks either to the head or to the body.

I see Manny throwing right straights to the body early on to see how fast the Puerto Rican champion could counter with his left hook. Manny will also occasionally unleash his left straights to see if he can penetrate the peek-a-boo defense of Cotto. But Manny will be up and about and all over the ring in the first two rounds if it doesn’t end in the first as coach Freddie Roach predicted.

Cotto knows that the longer the fight takes, his chances of winning by decision or knocking out Manny Pacquiao will take a dive.

He has to pressure Manny into an early brawl and cut the ring. Coaches and trainers will always tell their slugger-wards to go for the body in order slow down a speedy opponent. With Manny, that is exposing your chin to a devastating KO left punch.

Technically and stylistically, Manny is the better boxer of the two. Cotto’s edge is in the power department, but they are not too far apart. Both are even in motivation - Cotto for a shot at redemption, Manny for a tab at immortality.

But as Manny has shown in his last three fights that his hooks are the barbed sticks that wear down the bull before the coup d’ grace - the swift lethal sword stab.

Manny has the qualities of a torero to bring down that bull from Puerto Rico.

But watch for those right hooks, please.

Source: http://asiancorrespondent.com/edwin-espejo/pacquiao-watch:-battle-of-hooks.htm

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