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Friday, November 13, 2009

Manny Pacquiao – Miguel Cotto: The Ultimate Guide

by Tim Starks on November 13, 2009

So concludes our marathon pre-fight coverage of one of the biggest fights of 2009, Manny Pacquiao against Miguel Cotto. Don’t forget to join us for a live blog of the bout Saturday! We’ll do round-by-round coverage of all the evening’s fights, and the more people join in with their thoughts, the better it gets.

Here it is: Your links to everything you need for Saturday’s mega-fight, whether you’re a hardcore or casual boxing fan.

I want to highlight, in particular, this link to a piece from The Wall Street Journal, because it’s a major statement for a mainstream news outlet to be making, and one I think is absolutely correct — the kind of thing I keep saying over and over again: “Saturday’s bout between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas should dispel the notion that boxing’s great days are over.” FINALLY: SOMEBODY GETS IT.

Yes, yes, I always start with my own writing. Did you know, by the way, I was “indispensable,” according to the aforementioned Wall Street Journal? Shucks. I explained why Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto was so important to boxing. I asked, and kinda answered, the two top questions for each boxer going into this fight. After that, I gave you a two-part breakdown of each fighter’s physical and mental/tactical capabilities. I reluctantly broke down the crappy undercard. I offered my final preview and prediction.

The fight will cost you $54.95 via one of your pay-per-view channels, but there’s a way to get a $25 discount: Buy some Tecate beer, which, I have to say, isn’t a bad beer. It’s like the Mexican Budweiser, but better. Here’s how to cash in.

As always, the best way to get introduced to what kind of fighters Pacquiao and Cotto are is to watch the eight-minute highlight clips HBO has put together for each of them. If you’re anything like me, it’ll also make you pretty eager to watch this fight.

On the other hand, there are plenty of other ways to get to know the fighters, too. HBO’s YouTube page has a bunch of short clips, and HBO’s home page for the fight has biographies, segments from the acclaimed “Pacquiao/Cotto 24/7″ television series and more. You can watch the weigh-in at 6 p.m. here. It’ll be interesting to see if Cotto is drained trying to make the 145-pound limit — there are some questions whether he can — and whether Pacquiao is all the way up to 145 or comes in a tad less.

If you want to go beyond the career highlights, here is the complete record of Cotto, and here is the complete record of Pacquiao. Wikipedia also offers plenty of information about each man.

The odds started off closer, but a lot of money had come in on Pacquiao to make him a 3-1 favorite, and now things seem to have tightened up a bit more, with Pacquiao at -275. A ton of boxers have made predictions about who they think will win.

ESPN’s Fight Credential, as usual, is a real font of information about the fight, with a running “blog” and tons of features, like the video game Fight Night Round 4’s simulation of Pacquiao-Cotto. Also, Paclanders are a little goofy sometimes (like the one who called me biased against Pacquiao in the same entry I picked him to win), but Pacland itself is a truly tremendous aggregator of news about all things Pacquiao-related, which means tons and tons of articles about this fight in particular.

The MSM is loving this fight. I mentioned The New York Times’ rare coverage of boxing for this fight (and undercard, even). Numerous people have sent me the articles, which shows how much influence the Times has, plus they’re very good articles, which shows that the Times can bring something to the table nobody else can, opposite one of the Times’ explanations of why they don’t cover boxing. Now if only The Washington Post would cover boxing every now and then. USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times, the other three biggest papers in the country, are always good about covering boxing, and there’s no exception this time around. The Journal’s piece really hits the freaking spot; the quote above is how it’s described in the summary linked through Google, rather than an actual statement from the article, but the rest of the piece is really good and makes that point, too. (Of course, the Journal has been digging on boxing for a long time compared to its MSM peers, so they’ve “got” it for a while now.)

The guessing game about how many pay-per-view buys a mega-fight will do is always fun. There’s talk that this fight is tracking in the 1.4 million range, which would make it good for the second-biggest selling fight ever. I’m typically conservative about such estimates, but boxing this year has persistently exceeded my expectations, and if Pacquiao-Cotto does 1 million buys, it’ll be the first year two fights (the other was Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez in September) have crossed that mark since 1999. Boxing is so dead! Anyway, my original thinking was the fight would do about 1 million, but if early estimates of how it’s doing put it at 1.4, I’m going to upgrade to 1.2.

Leave your guess for the PPV buys in the comments section, and I’ll leave you with this clip of Pacquiao singing “Sometimes When We Touch” on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” which is always good for amusement. (After the fight, Pacquiao’s booked for his traditional singing performance.)

Source: http://queensberry-rules.com/2009/11/13/manny-pacquiao-miguel-cotto-the-ultimate-guide.html/comment-page-1

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Fighters' Statistics

Manny Pacquiao Profiles, Statistics and Records
Miguel Cotto Profiles, Statistics and Records