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Friday, November 13, 2009

The case for Pacquiao over Cotto

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Pittsburgh Fight Sports Examiner | Scott Heritage

Manny Pacquiao comes into the fight on Saturday with the odds stacked in his favor, and most people picking him to win.

Make no mistake though, Cotto is the most difficult fight he could have picked in the welterweight division, with the possible exception of Floyd Mayweather, although the latter is never likely to want the fight anyway. If Pacquiao can get past Cotto, then he will transcend the ranks of merely great fighters and assure his place in the history books.


Pacquiao has both the fastest hands and feet in boxing today, and he needs to make it count against Cotto. Quickly the pattern of the fight will tell everyone whether Cotto can neutralize the speed of Pacquiao or whether Manny is just too fast for him to catch.

Pacquiao needs to remember his constant movement and not let himself get caught by Cotto's body punching. Keeping Cotto guessing with his lighting hand speed and movement, Pacquiao can pick off the champ and eventually get the stoppage. Cotto isn't easy to put away by any means, but taking Manny's power punches all night is enough to put anyone away eventually, even if it's late on.


Pacquiao is one of the best conditioned athletes in the world, and can set a blistering pace for the entire fight. Cotto tends to get tired as his fights wear on, and sooner or later Pacquiao can tire him out if he pushes the pace. A tired Cotto is a clumsy Cotto, and Pacquiao just needs to wait it out until he begins to slow down in the later rounds.

Without much energy left Cotto will find it increasingly difficult to chase Pacquiao down and to cut off the ring, and the decision will be Pacquiao's. Not necessarily the way he would want to win it, but a win never the less.

The tactician

The other big advantage that Pacquiao has over Cotto is the fact that he has Freddie Roach behind him, and Roach is the master of strategies. Roach and his team made can make the difference between a potentially dangerous opponent in Ricky Hatton and a two round knockout. Similarly they will have come up with the best game plan for Pacquiao to overcome Cotto as well. The difficult part is generally sticking to the plan once inside the ring, but Manny a consumate srudent of the game in that respect, and has executed prefect game plans in his last few fights.

Miguel Cotto by contrast fired his long time trainer during the preperations for his last fight, and instead now has Joe Santiago as his trainer. This gives me the impression that Miguel himsefl is probably running things inside his training camp, rather than having his trainers working on the details for him. Often when a boxer takes command themselves they tend to either cut corners, which Cotto doesn't seem to have, or to make mistakes in their preperation and game planning. Whether Cotto has a sound game plan will have to remain to be seen on Saturday, but while he may or may not, Pacquiao is sure to have a sound one.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-20066-Pittsburgh-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m11d12-The-case-for-Pacquiao-over-Cotto

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