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Monday, November 9, 2009

Pacquiao – Cotto: INTANGIBLES

By Carlos Cinco

You can try and predict the outcome of a fight with your endless reservoir of Boxing knowledge, with your in depth analysis, your measurements of size and your understanding of styles and techniques. You can print your little sheet of paper filled with punch statistics, place them side by side and tell us why one fighter will win over the other. But you can’t tell us for sure who will win on fight night. That is the beauty of Boxing, that even though one style almost certainly trumps another, the perceivable and predicted loser of a bout finds just enough courage and heart to muster up and override the rules of the game. Truly a sport that breeds heroes, and teaches you never to underestimate the underdog.

With the fight only a week away, Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao are wrapping up their training camps and winding down to fight week. Both camps seem to be successful without much controversy. HBO gave their best shot at creating a sense of disarray within the Pacquiao camp but only the mainstream fans will buy into that. We KNOW Pacquiao is coming in at peak form, as will Cotto.

I’ve read a few “prediction” articles already, most of them have Pacquiao as the favorite in this fight. Even Vegas has Cotto as a 3-1 underdog, which I think is a mistake and though I can understand Pacquiao being the favorite for this fight, what I can’t come to terms with is how some people seem to write Cotto off based largely on his performances against Margarito and Clottey. If anything, Cotto should be the favorite despite the loss to the Mexican. Going nearly the entire twelve rounds against a Mexican with loaded gloves, even in defeat, is easily a tougher challenge than fighting a very slow and obviously weight drained Dela Hoya. And Hatton should never be compared to Joshua Clottey. This is not to degrade Pacquiao’s victories over two tough challenges, but to make clear the point that Miguel Cotto is not the 3-1 underdog that he’s turning out to be.

If you have any shred of Boxing knowledge, no, even if you just really think about it, you’ll know this match is dead even and can go either way.

It all comes down to the “intangibles” as I like to call it, the components of the fight that can’t be quantifiably measured by any means known to man. And what I believe to be an even fight, will be separated by intangibles possessed by Manny Pacquiao.

Soak it in. Manny Pacquiao moving up once again to face, this time, a true natural Welterweight in his prime. This will be the fourth time Pacquiao seeks another challenge we “think” will be too much for him. He was supposed to get roughed up and beat down by a rugged Lightweight in David Diaz. He was supposed to be outboxed by the more intelligent, stronger, bigger Oscar Dela Hoya. It was supposed to be a mismatch, but didn’t quite turn out as we expected. He was expected to get mauled by Ricky Hatton, bullied into submission by the crème a la crème of the Light Welterweight division. And now, after the past two years of seeking Boxing immortality, Manny Pacquiao is on track to get beat up, bloodied and knocked out by arguably the best Welterweight not named Floyd Mayweather. Why is that not going to happen? Because Pacquiao is a one of a kind athlete, rare and truly special, in the same vein as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. He is a freak of nature, a physical specimen that will use all of his God-given physical attributes to outspeed and overwhelm Miguel Cotto.

Though it is not however a guarantee that Pacquiao will beat Cotto (nothing in this sport is ever a guarantee), the competitiveness will reach its full potential in this fight. Pacquiao could very well lose, but he should look impressive nonetheless against a legitimate Welterweight with all the advantages. And though my head says Cotto will be too much for him, I know in my heart Pacquiao always finds a way to win. Pay particular attention to rounds 9 and 10, when we see that warrior spirit manifest and history being made once again.

Source: http://www.officialscorecard.com/blog/?p=105

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