How many of you are stunned that Manny Pacquiao wasn’t too small and was strong enough to handle Miguel Cotto’s size and strength? If you were, please raise your hands. I know I have mine up! “The Pac Man’s” victory over Cotto wasn’t a major surprise but it was how he did it that made it breathtaking. Not only did he out punched, out landed the Puerto Rican fighter but he beat him up as if he were the bigger boxer. The win also cemented Pacquiao’s name in boxing history; winning seven titles in seven different weight classes. No other fighter has ever done that.
In the first two rounds of the bout, Miguel Cotto gave the fans the impression that it was going to be a tough night for Manny, as he established a strong jab and was the aggressor. These tactics put Pacquiao into retreat mode. Cotto started round three in attack mode but “The Pac Man” caught him with an unexpected hard right hook to the head which dropped the Puerto Rican champion. The punch didn’t seem to hurt Cotto when he got up and both fighters went to work until the bell rung. Round four was an epic round as both fighters used multiple combinations to punish the other and it seemed like Cotto was getting the best of Pacquiao as his aggression forced Manny to the ropes; but just like most sports, speed kills and Pacquiao would prove that theory with a viscous left uppercut dropping the champion again. This knockdown however, rocked Cotto as he barely got out of the round. After the sixth round Pacquiao went from the hunted into the hunter as his superior speed, foot work, and power was too much for Cotto. The end result, a battered, dejected Miguel Cotto, a twelve round stoppage by referee Kenny Bayless, and a new WBO Welterweight Champion in Manny Pacquiao.
The odds makers had the Filipino warrior favored to win big and he didn’t disappoint. Pacquiao dominated so much in the later rounds that Cotto had to resort to holding and running as he was clearly in survival mode. When interviewed, the swollen faced Cotto stated that “Pacquiao is one of the best fighters I’ve ever fought”…..”I didn’t know from where the punches were coming”. Cotto’s camp admitted that they underestimated Manny’s power and speed and it showed. The final Compubox numbers showed the dominance of “The Pac Man” as he landed 336 of 780 punches (49 percent) to Cotto’s 172 of 597 (29 percent). According to Pacquiao, the objective was to be patient and test Miguel’s power and will.
So what’s next for Pacquiao? It’s clear that he wants Floyd Mayweather, Jr. as he and his trainer Freddie Roach called Floyd out on several occasions. Even after the fight, the Pacquiao faithful chanted, “We want Floyd!”, “We want Floyd”. Floyd’s stance is that the money needs to be right and his former promoter and Pacquiao’s current promoter Bob Arum don’t see eye to eye. Manny’s camp as well as a lot fans thinks that Mayweather, Jr is running. Personally, I think it can and will happen. Floyd has a huge ego and there’s no way in hell he is going to let the perception of him being scared fly. How about Shane Mosley? He’s wants to fight Floyd and the “Pacman”, calling both fighters out. What ever happens 2010 remains to be seen but I’m surely looking forward to it.
By Keith Madyun