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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The first couple of rounds of Pacquiao vs. Cotto

Dallas Boxing Examiner | Matt Stolow

Don't quote me, but I believe the first round Saturday night will be as wild and frantic as the upcoming Examiner.com Annual Boxing Writers Christmas Party in Denver, Colorado.

Seriously, there will be the nationalism of two proud countries on display and as Larry Merchant once told me, "People get emotional about their money."

So it will be a wild scene Saturday night. I hope for everyone's sake that we get out of the first couple of rounds without any serious cuts, headbutts, low blows and elbows.

But you just know Cotto's going to start bleeding during Puerto Rican National Anthem.

Cotto cutman Joe Chavez is going to get Jim Lampley to call him "Joe Souza" by mistake. Souza, of course, was America's cutman or it seemed at least for about 10 years until retirement. I'm planning on watching the fight with Souza and a few friends Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas.

Souza worked corners for the Main Events' fighters and that included Arturo Gatti, Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield, Vernon Forrest, Fernando Vargas, James Leija, Andrew Golota, Zab Judah and heavyweights Michael Grant , Vitali and Vladimir Klitschko. He never missed working local Golden Gloves or Police Athletic League or other amateur tournaments.

Did you know Chavez not only was the cutman for Pacquiao before joining Cotto, but also that he was Oscar De La Hoya's cutman? This guy is my kind of grizzled veteran.

Cotto seems to deliver everything wide and looping but with power, while Pacquiao jumps straight in with deceptive power, speed and accuracy. I'm obviously over simplifying to make an apples to apples comparison.

So we have an obvious clash of styles which means something will happen early and throw most strategy out the window as these two try to establish their turf.

Pacquiao is currently -$3.00 (a prohibitive favorite) while Cotto a respectable +$2.00. The go and don't go is: under 9 1/2 rounds - $1.45 and over 9 1/2 + $1.15 over the scheduled 12.

So the bookmakers are expecting an explosion in the ring. The +$2.00 on Cotto looks pretty juicy and may attract sucker bets, but upon analysis Cotto is fighting the hottest and pound for pound best fighter in the world and who has made everyone forget the fine performance September 19 by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. over Juan Manuel Marquez.

This has been an excellent promotion and I hope it gets out of the first few rounds without a headbutt or serious cut just to get the two fighters out of the gate and let the fans enjoy their skills and strategy as the fight progresses and that we have a clear-cut winner at the end.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-11372-Dallas-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m11d10-The-first-couple-of-rounds-of-Pacquiao-vs-Cotto

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