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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cotto out to break Pacquiao

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Miguel Cotto is confident he will prove his doubters wrong when he defends his WBO welterweight title against pound-for-pound champion Manny Pacquiao and is determined not become another scalp on the Filipino’s rise to boxing superstardom.

Puerto Rican Cotto, 34-1 (27 KOs), will have more than his title on the line when he faces Pacquiao, 49-3-2 (37 KOs), at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. Cotto faces the man widely considered the greatest fighter on the planet after such high profile demolitions of Oscar De la Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

Cotto insists he won’t be a bit player in the Manny Pacquiao success story, but this is exactly how Pac-Man’s coach Freddie Roach sees it.

"I don't know if it is his biggest challenge," Roach said of the Cotto threat. "We have fought some great fighters like [Erik] Morales, [Juan Manuel] Marquez and Oscar De La Hoya.

"He's a very good fighter and he is champion of the world. Manny is moving up a weight class but we fought Oscar at this weight.

"I am very confident in my guy and we are 100 per cent ready for the fight. Manny, with the power he is punching with right now at this weight, I feel that he is going to knock Cotto out.

"I look forward to the win," added Roach, who has bet $1000 each on Pacquiao to win by KO in the first, ninth and tenth rounds.

Despite holding the title and facing a challenger who is coming up in weight Cotto is the underdog going into the bout. Not only is this a result of the impeccable form Pacquiao is on at the moment, but also due in part to the debilitating defeat Cotto suffered at the hands of Antonio Margarito – the only defeat of his career. However, Margarito’s victory was thrown into disrepute after the Mexican was caught and banned following the discovery of a form of plaster on his wraps in his following bout with “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

Many believe Cotto has been left damaged goods after the beating and he has failed to shake the opinion with a routine victory over Michael Jennings and a bloody war and split decision victory over Joshua Clottey. Even the 29-year-old’s promoter failed to give him credit.

"Psychologically, in this fight, he is not the star,” said Bob Arum, the president of Top Rank , who promotes both fighters.

"He knows it and I know it but Miguel Cotto, as Miguel will attest, is the biggest obstacle in Manny's path."

The scepticism has failed to have an effect on a focussed and confident Cotto: “"What they say and what they do does not concern me.

"They know what they have in front of [Pacquiao]. He better be focused on what they will have in front of him in Miguel Cotto.

"Forget about Freddie Roach. He can only train Manny the best he can. He may say and think Manny will knock me out, but at the end of the day, it is just Manny and Miguel Cotto in the ring. It's really not important to me what the boxing world wants to see.

"Once I beat Manny Pacquiao they can continue their plans and do what they want but I am not going home without winning this fight."

Last updated: 14 November 2009, 00:09

Source: http://sport.stv.tv/boxing/137196-cotto-out-to-break-pacquiao/

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