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Saturday, November 7, 2009


By Christian Jimenez christian@officialscorecard.com
My counter says 8 days, 10 hours, 30 minutes and 24 seconds for the most anticipated fight of the year. Even as I am writing this article, I can feel a chill coming down my spine. The hair on my arms is lifting and yet we still have a total of 729,024 seconds left for this amazing event. Yes, I even count the seconds left to this fight, not only because we are about to watch two of the best fighters the sport has brought to us in the past years or because Manny Pacquiao is pound for pound best but because on November 14th we will witness a war.

So far, we have seen plenty of media coverage from Pacquiao’s camp and at least enough from Cotto’s. They are both in the best shape of their lives, and as off today, they seem to be ready to strap on their gloves. The media has been a huge factor in this fight, it has helped boost its already known potential and has actually done enough to sometimes even influence fans predictions.

From the beginning of both training camps, the big issue was the fact that Manny Pacquiao was still filming an action movie while Miguel Cotto had already been training for a month. Many fans had gone on record to say that Manny was giving the impression that he was not taking the fight as serious as he should. Not only were the fans nervous about Manny’s lack of training, but so was his trainer Freddy Roach who could not even contact Manny. Before Freddy had seen Manny he predicted the fight would go the distance on an interview with Dog House Boxing. Finally, Freddy Roach was able to get things moving and began training camp with Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines. Now the issue was the increasing amount of distractions the camp would have.

Across the sea, Miguel Cotto like stated above had already been training. He had started light training while he waited for his conditioning coach Phil Landman to arrive. Once Phil arrived, an even more intense full time training began and they moved camp to Tampa, FL to decrease the amount of distractions. Although Miguel Cotto’s camp sounded like a smoother flowing camp fans and the media still had and have a concern over the amount of experience and knowledge head trainer Joe Santiago carries with him. Joe Santiago’s lack of experience has not concerned team Cotto one bit, and as off today, the team remains the same and as smooth as can be.

Freddy Roach summoned the help of light middleweight Shawn Porter to be Manny’s head sparring partner. Shawn was supposed to be stronger and maybe faster than Miguel, therefore giving Manny the proper training for what would be the toughest fight of his career. Rumors began to flow around the internet about Shawn out working Manny and maybe landing a knock down. These rumors were then reversed when Freddy Roach claimed Manny had actually been the one doing all the damage in the sparing sessions. At this moment Freddy Roach changed his prediction to the fight finishing by TKO in favor of his fighter.

Among Miguel Cotto’s sparing partners was light welterweight Francisco “El Gato” Figueroa who after being in Cotto’s training camp for several weeks he was then expelled with no explanation behind it. Miguel later explained on an interview that the reason he had sent El Gato home was because of his lack of discipline while sparing, Cotto’s comments led to a much interesting answer from Francisco Figueroa. Francisco to his defense clarified that he had been doing his best while sparring and had sometimes even succeeded in frustrating Miguel with his similarity to Pacquiao’s style.

Back in the Philippines a devastating storm had recently occurred, a storm that did not only destroy many homes but killed a large amount of people. Pacquiao and his team supplied help but many writers and fans have speculated how the natural disaster would affect training camp and the outcome of the fight. Although many may see the disaster as a huge distraction Pacquiao told the HBO 24/7 cameras that this would actually force him to perform better come fight night since he would dedicate the fight to all the storm victims. Word of a second storm forced team Pacquiao to pack their things and make a much needed transfer to The Wild Card gym in Los Angeles, California.

At this moment the HBO 24/7 episodes had already started to air, we finally got to see how both fighters were looking like and the way they were performing and their camps. Both episodes of the 24/7 series that have aired so far have also made some worry since they seem to always show a very active in training Manny Pacquiao and a not so active Miguel Cotto. I believe this all has to do with the fact that Miguel’s team does not want to show much of their techniques and strategies, Pacquiao’s team has always been very open with their sparring and deep training at camp. On the 2nd episode of 24/7 we got to see Manny Pacquiao spar Shawn Porter, the couple of seconds of sparring footage flooded forums and blogs with the question “why was Shawn Porter out performing Manny Pacquiao when Freddy Roach said otherwise?”. I personally believe that although this is not a fake sparing match and Shawn was indeed out working Manny Pacquiao for those few seconds they refused to show when Manny Pacquiao got used to his opponent and actually started using his speed and foot work against him. Right around this moment Freddy Roach predicted a TKO in one round for Manny Pacquiao against Miguel Cotto.

Several media work dates have already occurred and the public has been able to observe both their fighters only a week before the fight. Both Miguel and Manny are looking in great shape, Miguel looks trim and fit while Manny looks bigger than ever. The media has exposed many different versions of the fighters, it has also made fans a bit concerned or a bit more confident depending on what was published, uploaded or aired. I believe that although the media is a great booster for the financial outcome of the fight it is also a way of leverage for excuses. I would like the best man to win instead of the man with fewer distractions or better trainer and you should not let the media change your mind on what you think the outcome would be. The fight will happen next weekend and after many distractions, problems or all possible predictions coming from a trainer everyone should know that at the end these two men will go there to win. It will be a war to remember and one that everyone should be a spectator of, come November 14th the media will only talk about one thing and that is the winner of an amazing fight.


-Freddy Roach will probably have two more predictions before the week is over and don’t be surprised if he predicts (in case of any problems he finds) his fighter losing so that he keeps his prediction streak intact.

Source: http://www.officialscorecard.com/article.php?aid=5458

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