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Friday, November 13, 2009

Miguel Cotto Ready to Put Out his Fire Power...

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By Francisco Guzman

This Saturday, Nov. 14, Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2 with 37 KOs) will be facing his toughest test to date, WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (43-1 with 27 KOs). Judging from all the talk one would come to the conclusion that Miguel is facing his toughest test to this date, being that he is actually the underdog in this situation. Hard to believe, considering Cotto has passed every single test he has faced, against fighters like Zab Judah, Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey just to name a few.

His only discrepancy was against Antonio Margarito, in a fight where he was dealt a brutal beating causing his uncle Evangelista Cotto to throw in the towel. Margarito looked like Godzilla, beating an undefeated tough warrior in Miguel Cotto, making him quit, something that no one had done previously. In Margarito's next fight he faced Shane Mosley, an opponent that Cotto had a win over. It was learned in that fight that Margarito's trainer had tried to spike his gloves with a substance called "Plaster of Paris," a cement-like material that hardens when wet. Margarito went on to win the fight by a stunning knockout and then him and his trainer Capetillo had their license revoked for 2 years.

The truth had been exposed and Margarito no longer looked like the monster that had beaten Cotto.

Going back to the Cotto fight one can't see how something like that could have actually taken place. Cotto's face looked like it had been hit by a truck. It was reminiscent of Louie Resto vs Billy Collins, a fight in which padding was taken out of Resto's gloves prior to the bout. What's ironic is that like Cotto, Billy Collins was also undefeated.

Since then Cotto has been going through a healing process. First against Michael Jennings (5th round KO) and then against the always tough Joshua Clottey. In the Clottey fight after scoring a first round knockdown he again was faced with adversity, suffering a huge cut in the third round. Despite his inability to see out of his left eye, Cotto fought on to score a split decision win. Not too many people appreciated how bravely Cotto fought on despite his vulnerability. Many fighters would have quit or tried to have the fight go to the score cards and try to win a decision that way.

Manny Pacquiao, a southpaw who is fast on his hands and feet and throws punches from all angles, is believed by most experts too good for his opponent Miguel Cotto. After having a tough fight with Juan Manuel Marquez at 130 lbs, Manny has gone up in weight with much success, knocking out all three opponents David Diaz (135 lbs.), Oscar de la Hoya (147 lbs.), Ricky Hatton (140 lbs.) in spectacular fashion, and with those wins he has gained a huge following. Manny looks unbeatable, even though he has suffered two knockout losses early in his career, and a third and last loss to "El Terrible" Erik Morales in their first fight. Pacquiao went on to avenge the loss with two knockout victories over Morales. Pacquiao's two fights with Marquez, which ended up a draw and a split decision win over Marquez, were his toughest bouts to date. Some felt that Manny actually lost that fight. If you took away the knockdowns in both fights Marquez would have definitely won both fights.

Cotto pointed that out in their recent New York press conference, adding that he is not Oscar de la Hoya, or Ricky Hatton and he is right. Cotto may not possess Pacquiao's hand speed but he brings a lot more to the table. Cotto is still in his prime, a very durable opponent with the ability to adjust when faced with adversity. Freddie Roach and the rest of the Pacquiao team are banking that the Margarito fiasco took something out of Cotto, but in his fight against Clottey he showed the desire and will to win. Miguel has experienced victories against bigger and tougher opponents. The converted southpaw leads with his strong arm, with a powerful left jab that put Clottey and Alfonso Gomez down. Cotto's ability to box and brawl was also on display when he faced Sugar Shane Mosley.

There is a reason why there is a 145 lbs. catch weight. Roach knows that his pupil is probably too small to face some of the bigger welterweights at the elite level. They would rather try to give Manny the advantage point by fighting at a weight that's comfortable for Manny, while making his opponent sacrifice weight in exchange. If Roach were truly confident, he would not have taken this fight at a catch weight, they would have challenged Miguel at the welterweight limit. Pacquiao is also given the chance to fight for the WBO welterweight title despite the catch weight issue. If he wins, he would be considered the WBO welterweight champ and would have broken the record with 7 world titles, without touching the welterweight division. That would be like David Haye, who scored a victory against Nikolai Valuev this past Saturday night, winning the heavyweight championship of the world and fighting at a catch weight 198 lbs., which is under the heavyweight limit. Should he be considered a heavyweight champion?

I believe that the choice to train in the Philippines, against his trainer's decision, may hurt Manny. Roach's original choice of training in Mexico was scrapped, a choice that may hurt Manny due to all of the distractions of training in the Philippines with all the rain from the typhoons and politicians stopping by to talk to the Filipino superstar. (I've also noticed a lot of guest appearances). Another factor is Miguel's early start which may have contributed to making weight and shows how serious he is about this fight.

Miguel not being viewed as a viable opponent is a disrespect. Arum has blatantly expressed who he wants to win in this fight. There have also been talks of Manny versus Floyd sometime in 2010. Roach has expressed knockout either in the first or in the later rounds. It̢۪s a bold prediction because Cotto may have tasted the canvas at 140 lbs. but since moving to the welterweight division he has not been dropped, Except for quitting under the pressure from the beating at the hands of Margarito, Miguel has had to accept certain things swayed to appease Pacquiao and Freddie Roach. Winning is probably the only thing on Cotto's mind, ready to silence the critics and prove why he should never be counted out despite a loss.

Source: http://www.braggingrightscorner.com/guzmancotto111309.html

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