Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pacquiao Fans Outraged By Catchweight Stance

By Juan Angel Zurita (June 19, 2009)

Earlier this week I wrote an article where I stated that if Manny Pacquiao convinces established welterweights Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley to face him for their welterweight titles at any weight below 147 (welterweight limit), he should be criticized just like many have criticized Oscar De La Hoya throughout his career for performing similar catchweight tactics.

Apparently, the stance I took didn’t bode well with Pacquiao supporters.

A significant number of Pacquiao fanatics respectfully countered with arguments that Pacquiao is the exception because unlike those fighters he’s a smaller fighter tackling bigger challenges. Therefore, Pacquiao requiring the catchweight is simply a way to create a level playing field.

When De La Hoya fought Hopkins for middleweight supremacy, De La Hoya made Hopkins face him at a catchweight of 158 lbs. Hopkins was clearly the bigger man and De La Hoya hoped the agreed upon concession would weaken Hopkins thus giving him an advantage in the ring.

I had always been a De La Hoya supporter, but a part of me felt he was cheapening the intended accomplishment.

However, in light of recent reflection, I curbed my sentiment regarding this subject. Call it a vision, edification, confucius enlightenment.

After deep ponderance, I concluded that De La Hoya wasn’t cheapening the intended accomplishment. De La Hoya, the much smaller man, was just looking for peace of mind through having a perceived advantage going into the bout. Some of the greats have been known to do this. And honestly, it’s a very intelligent tactic to use. Not many fighters have had that type of wielding power and the few who have are some of the greatest fighters to ever come around.

In Pacquiao’s case, it’s not quite Armstrongesque, yet it’s still quite a feat considering that Pacquiao captured his first world title at flyweight.

All that said, it is extremely imperative that we take into consideration the level of opponent being fought at the catchweight.

Facing Miguel Cotto, a battle-tested, proven, top welterweight, at a catchweight is impressive either way you cut it. Anything over 140 is welterweight, right?

Further, Pacquiao is great, no question, but when is enough, enough?

He’s the only fighter in the history of boxing to ever prove himself as world class from flyweight to junior welterweight. The ride has got to begin to finally end somewhere, right? Why not be cautious?

He’s a rare breed indeed.

Despite the fact that he won his first title at flyweight, the smallest original eight divison of em’ all, in recent years Pacquiao has completely annhiliated the latter part of Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s resume.

That’s scary impressive.

More impressively, by facing Cotto, he’ll once again upstage Mayweather by facing a fighter Mayweather previously avoided at all costs. If he wins in devastating fashion, will Mayweather even sign the contract if he gets by Marquez?

By the way, if Pacquiao is the new ‘Duran’, shouldn’t his Leonard, Hagler, and Hearns be out there? Perhaps he’s already faced a few of them? The names Barrera, Morales, Mayweather, Marquez, Mosley, and Cotto all sound extremely respectful, don’t they?

That’s definitely something to think about.

Bring on Pacquiao/Cotto.

Source: (June 19, 2009)

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