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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Roach Wants Immediate DQ for Low Blows in Pac vs. Cotto

Freddie Roach told the Philippine Daily Inquirer today that he wants to make sure that the referee is very strict about low blows in the Pacquiao/Cotto fight on November 14th, to the point where he will seek an automatic disqualification for the first low blow deemed intentional.

“Cotto tends to get dirty when the going gets tough in most of his fights and I don’t want that to happen,” Roach said. He added that he was concerned about the choice of referee in the bout, mentioning that Puerto Rican ref Joe Cortez was in the running for the job and he didn't want Cortez to let Cotto get away with any roughhouse tactics. I guess Freddie thinks that all Puerto Ricans are good pals and okay with the low-blow thing.

Dubious Puerto Rican connection or not, there is a precedent to cite concerning Cotto and low blows, most notably the Zab Judah fight, which Freddie mentions in this piece. In the video below, you can see the first low blow Cotto laid on Judah, which takes place at around 3:55 of the vid. Cotto recently had eaten a counter-left-uppercut from Zab that had stunned him, and the argument went (from Cotto bashers) that he landed this low shot to get some breathing room.

Me, I've always thought the intentional low-blow accusations at Cotto based on this fight were a little weak, because Zab is the consummate drama queen, and he hams it up on this one to excess. Only thing is... he waited just this split second of overlong reaction time, just enough to make me believe, then as now, that it was all an act of gamesmanship. It did not look like a man who had been seriously hurt by a low blow. It looked like a man who got hit low, took a second to realize where the punch had landed, and then reacted in cartoonish fashion to draw attention to the fact that he'd been egregiously fouled.

For that reason, it doesn't stand to me as an example of why Cotto is a dirty fighter so much as it does an example of why Zab is a loser. He had his man hurt, he was winning the round and in control, and then he gets hit a little south of the border, admittedly low and in the groin area but not right on the cojones by any means, and rather than shake it off and stay on the hunt, he throws a ridiculous hissyfit to get a little edge with the ref (the ref, being Arthur Mercante Jr., having none of it). As so often with Zab, it felt like a guy who was looking for a way out, and this even when it seemed like he was winning.

Source: http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/The_Rumble/entry/view/38673/roach_wants_immediate_dq_for_low_blows_in_pac_vs._cotto

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