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Sunday, November 1, 2009

HBO's 24/7 Pacquiao-Cotto, episode two

Sorry we're late. Had to watch the World Series. But this was, without a doubt, one of the best 24/7 episodes in the entire series. Good training scenes, a nice dose of tension and complete honesty from all of the participants.

Best Spoken Line, Manny Pacquiao: "I'm enjoying being a celebrity because it's my responsibility to give them a chance to say hi and shake hands or sign autographs for fans." Would be nice if say, just 50 percent of the athletes in major league baseball, adopted the same approach toward fans. They don't live in our world, but Manny does.

Best Spoken Line, Miguel Cotto: "Love between father and son is the most truly love you ever can find." The English wasn't exact, but the message was clear.

Best Spoken Line, Miguel Cotto Sr.: "The problem is that I had to choose between my brother and my son. And you already know which side I chose."

Best Supporting Role: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines. Come on. She's a president. How could we not give it to her. OK. Barack has been on Letterman. Come on 24/7, go out and get him.

Training Days: Sparring scene with Pacquiao and -- we think -- Jose Luis Castillo.

Best Written Line: Peace can at last be found again at elevation, focus rediscovered on the road, desire recalibrated one step at a time.

How cool was the shot of the guy painting Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7 on the side of the school bus? How horrific were the shots of the landslides?

Loved ... Gerry Penalosa Gym. He's a two-division champ and veteran of 63 fights. Actually, he should be thinking retirement. He's the younger brother of Dodie Penalosa, the former light flyweight champ of the mid-1980s.

Loved ... The bridge shot in Tampa, for the second week in a row.

Loved ... The golf scene. Miguel swinging lefty? And wonderful shot of three generations of Cottos on the course.

Didn't love ... Manny singing. Please, please Manny stick to boxng. (He can dance though, see the scene at the Wild Card.)

The pool scenes are priceless. Say what you want, but they are having fun. Here's what's also great. OK, Cotto pulls down his buddy's trunks, we expect that. But then Bryan Perez returns the favor and it's no big deal to Cotto. How many elite athletes would allow that? Could have lived with the butt shot, but it again demonstrates the equality in the friendship. Nice to see.

Maybe Alex Ariza is right and maybe he isn't. But he's coming off as the petty party in this fued with Michael Koncz. It's good TV, but how good is it for the fighter?

Don't understand Cotto's (and Mayweather's) reluctance to have the sparring sessions filmed. At this point, they are who they are. Their styles are not going to change that much come fight night. Strategy? It's not like when the bell rings they'll be doing something that no one has ever seen in the last 100 years. Or that Freddie Roach hasn't seen in the last 30. There are no more surprises like say -- the first time Dick Fosbury did the flop at a high jump competition.

Finally, a Yankees jersey -- and cap -- spotted in camp Cotto. Which reminds me, Yankees in six.

Wish we got to know the Cottos sooner.

Next episode, Saturday, Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. The rematch between Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson follows the episode.

Source: http://www.newsday.com/blogs/sports/the-neutral-corner-1.1276167/hbo-s-24-7-pacquiao-cotto-episode-two-1.1558731

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