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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Watch out for Cotto’s power

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The fight between Miguel Angel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas highlights two traits needed by world-class boxers—power and speed.

Cotto is regarded as a power puncher while Pacquiao, although he packs power in his mitts, is better known for his speed. These two qualities would play a huge role come fight night.


THE power of a punch in general is defined by two things: by the weight thrown behind the punch and by the speed by which the punch is thrown.

The reason Cotto is an interesting fighter to watch is because he throws all his punches with a lot of power. He puts his body behind every punch. His conditioning level is so high he can sustain this work rate all throughout a fight.

This same power was evident in his fights against quick fighters—Shane Mosley and Zab Judah, two (stylist) boxers who rely on speed for their victories but have been beaten by Cotto.

Cotto is a natural welterweight. He should have a heavier punch that, if it cleanly connects, may hurt Pacquiao. The Filipino, although expected to be in tip-top shape, could still get hurt.

On the other hand, Pacquiao brings in something alien to Cotto. Pacquiao’s power is generated not only by his weight but also by his speed. A lot of his sparring partners swear he has the power of a middleweight (160 lb) and, if both fighters weigh the same on fight day, Pacquiao will readily multiply his power through the speed he inherently possesses.

There is no doubt about the Filipino’s power in the 140-lb category. He demonstrated he can drop “naturally bigger men” against Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton—the latter with a very quick win.


Cotto may be fast versus other welterweights, but Pacquiao is clearly faster.

Cotto looked perplexed in his last fight against Joshua Clottey (although it can be argued that a cut above the eye that caused blood to cover his eye may have slowed him down). Clottey, evidently more agile, was picking his punches; connecting when he wanted with jabs and straights and left Cotto flat-footed at times, revealing a weakness in the latter’s defense.

Cotto needs speed to get away and react to Pacquiao’s punches and to be able to tag “The Pacman” with his left hooks.

Ability to position for the punch (agility and leg power)

Over the last couple of fights, Pacquiao has proven to have honed the ability to move well and find the openings to throw from various angles. Leg movement and positioning honed by rigorous drills at the gym molded Pacquiao into a well-oiled machine.

Cotto lately has been a stand-up fighter relying on torso movement rather than leg movement to find openings. He relies heavily on his power punches to the body that he does not seem to give emphasis on moving away from his opponent.

If Cotto can find a way to cut the ring and box-in Pacquiao, then throw well-timed body shots, he may be able to slow down the Filipino.

With calculated movements Cotto can conserve enough energy for the long haul and steal the win in the later rounds.

Although the speed factor gives Pacquiao a huge edge, as they say, a power puncher will always have an advantage. A power puncher will always have chance to win a fight even if he is way down on points. Cotto’s power will be something to watch out for.

Source: http://businessmirror.com.ph/home/sports/17903-watch-out-for-cottos-power.html

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