Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Manny nearly pulls out of Cotto fight

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao came close to pulling the plug on Miguel Cotto if not for the assurance by promoter Bob Arum that the Puerto Rican will stake his World Boxing Organization welterweight title at a catchweight of 145 lb on Nov. 14.

Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, yesterday said they were already preparing an official statement saying they will have to start looking for another opponent after reports said Cotto was not willing to stake his 147 lb title.

The reports quoted Cotto as saying he will only stake his WBO title if the fight is held at 147 lb, the welterweight limit, and that the 28-year-old champion was not willing to pay WBO the $150,000 sanctioning fee.

“Bob Arum told us not to believe everything that’s being reported. Then he assured me that Cotto will put his WBO welterweight title on the line -- at 145 pounds,” said Gacal from Gen. Santos City yesterday.

“We have to take Mr. Arum’s word on that,” added Gacal.

The Pacquiao lawyer said with the weight issue practically settled, now comes the money issue, although he said both camps have had an agreement regarding the purse sharing.

But Gacal did not give out the details, only saying that a 65-35 sharing in favor of Pacquiao should be the “worst-case scenario” for the Filipino pound-for-pound champion and today’s main attraction in boxing.

Gacal is hoping that the fight contract for Pacquiao vs Cotto be signed as soon as possible so both boxers can start focusing on what they have to do on the ring than on the negotiating table.

Reports said Cotto is scheduled to start working out today in Puerto Rico, while Roach wants Pacquiao to start limbering up before the press tour set on the second week of September.

“We were almost ready to issue a statement that we’ll start looking for a new opponent because of all those talks that Cotto wants Pacquiao to go up to 147 before he stakes his crown,” said Gacal.

Gacal, however, did not mention the boxer they had in mind in case the Cotto fight was scratched. It could be Shane Mosley, who’s offering Pacquiao everything but the kitchen sink, or someone else.

And that could even be Floyd Mayweather Jr., whom trainer Freddie Roach described as “the easiest fight of the three.”

Mayweather, who retired almost two years ago but is slated to return to the ring in September against Juan Manuel Marquez, another fighter drooling over Pacquiao.

The fight was supposed to be held in July but a rib injury sustained by Mayweather in training, coupled by poor ticket sales, led to a cancellation, and a new date on Sept. 19.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=492906&publicationSubCategoryId=69 (August 4, 2009)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Miguel Cotto being manipulated by WBO , Roach

They always say don't eat angry. Others say don't drive angry. Never heard don't write angry. But that is exactly what I'm about to do. When the corrupt organizations try to screw over our sport , I get angry.

Do you remember a few years ago when Max Kellerman was still on ESPN's Friday Night Fights. These criminals that hide behind three letters like WBO were about to hurt our sport once again. Max said ,"I spit on these organizations". I paraphrase , but you get the gist of it. That was classic and right on the money.

Well today I spit on all of these corrupt organizations. Let me name a few of these clowns while I'm on a rant. WBA , WBC , WBO , IBF and IBO. For the uninformed , the organizations work this way. I have a fighter that stinks. I want that fighter to get a title shot. I call up Mr. WBO and say my man wants a belt. They ask if he can fight. I say hell no , but he would like to own a pretty belt. Mrs. WBO can be heard in the background saying , "tell Mr. Wilson that if he pays us a large sum of money we will rank his fighter number one".

So I write a check , or in this instance , put a large sum of nontraceable bills in a plain brown paper bag and hide it in Mr. WBO's trash can. The next day I get a phone call saying that my boxer is now top dog of the overhype division. He might have a record of 40-40 and have been knocked out ten times in a row , but we got the right connections.

I had a friend a few years ago that confirmed all of this. Doc Beavers actually testified that that was pretty much how fighters were ranked by the IBF. You needed a fighter ranked , just pay the toll.

I tune out any reference to these bogus belts. I know that Shane Mosley is the number one welterweight. Cotto is ranked number two. When a Michael Buffer or Jimmy Lennon announce that this fight is for the WB anything , that is the time I take a bathroom break. And believe me , what I leave in there is probably more valuable than that belt they're fighting for.

So I wake up this morning and read that Cotto will have to put that WBO trinket on the line against Manny Pacquiao. Cotto said if the fight isn't at 147 then my belt shouldn't be on the line. That seems more than fair.

Freddie Roach says that if the WBO ranks Pacquiao number one that they will have no problem paying the sanctioning fees. See these are fees that the crooks , I mean , the WBOs of the world charge a fighter to defend their belt. Sometimes the crooks , I mean , the WBOs charge a boxer as much as $250,000 a fight. If Cotto doesn't defend his belt then the crooks , crooks is the best word I can use for them , won't make a ton of money on the fight.

And what do you know , the WBO now list Manny Pacquiao as it's number one ranked welterweight. Of course this is after Roach said they would happily pay the fees.

The WBO must of ranked Pacquiao so high after his long list of accomplishments at welterweight. Lets see , he beat a parttime fighter in Oscar De La Hoya and then he beat? Oh yeah , that is the only welterweight he ever beat. But somehow he jumped over Mosley , Clottey , Margarito and Berto. All welterweights that fight other , you guessed it , welterweights. Can the reason that he is now ranked number one have anything to do with Roach's comments? Even Helen Keller could have read between those lines.

To see how much of a joke the WBO is , just go to their rankings. Manny Pacquiao , the man who just destroyed world junior welterweight champion Ricky Hatton , is not even ranked at junior welterweight.

So Miguel Cotto agrees to fight Pacquiao in a megafight. But Pacman's people say the fight must be at 145. Cotto says fine , but that isn't the welterweight limit so I will not put my belt on the line. That means no WBO extortion fees. Now Roach calls the WBO and says we will pay it.

On November 14 Miguel Cotto will receive a royal screwing. His belt will be declared vacant. That means Pacquiao can win it , but pretty much Cotto will be in a no win situation and have to come in at 145.

I'm sure that there will be a penalty for coming in overweight for Cotto. And being the class act that he is , I'm sure he will honor his contract. But there is always that hope that Miguel has a moment of indiscretion and fights back against the crooks running the WBO.

They are trying to hand the belt to Pacquiao because he'll pay for it. So Miguel , here is my advice. Come into the weighin at 150 pounds. The night of the fight weigh about 160. If the WBO and their new partner in crime , Freddie Roach , want to steal your belt , let them have it. It is nothing but a piece of trash anyway.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/x-8557-Norfolk-Boxing-Examiner~y2009m8d2-Miguel-Cotto-being-manipulated-by-WBO--Roach (August 2, 2009)

Cotto’s title on the line vs Pacquiao

August 2, 2009, 7:44pm

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) removed one of Manny Pacquiao’s concerns when it announced Sunday that Miguel Cotto will defend his welterweight crown in a catch weight of 145 lbs — and not 147 lbs — against the Filipino boxing icon.

WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel told the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia that (the fight) it’s going to be for the (WBO) title” and that everything will come to a “happy ending” for both parties.

Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal said he had spoken with Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum also yesterday, assuring him that the fight will be at 145 lbs and that Cotto’s WBO throne will be on the line in the super showdown penciled at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Cotto had insisted a few days back that if Pacquiao wants to go after the WBO crown, the fight will have to be at 147 lbs.

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said fighting Cotto in a non-title bout is almost without value.

Now that it appears that a major stumbling block has been cleared, next up for discussion would be the crucial choice of finding a new training camp for Pacquiao, who has been advised by the Harvard-educated lawyer to set up the first half of his training camp outside US territory owing to an IRS regulation called the Substantial Presence Test.

Arum, whose promotional outfit Top Rank is staging the megabuck fight, will embark on a huge promotional tour of four cities in September, kicking off with the lead event at Yankee Stadium in New York on Sept. 10.

The next stops will be in Cotto’s hometown of Caguas in Puerto Rico on Sept. 12, AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sept. 13 and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles on Sept. 14.

Then, the two will head to their respective training camps with Cotto going to Tampa, Florida, and Pacquiao in the Bahamas, Canada, Mexico or the Philippines.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/214025/cotto-s-title-line-vs-pacquiao (August 2, 2009)

Roach: "WBO Will Sanction Pacquiao-Cotto Regardless"

By Rick Reeno

BoxingScene.com spoke with trainer Freddie Roach about the controversy surrounding Miguel Cotto's willingness to defend the WBO welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao on November 14. Cotto has publicly refused to defend the title because the Pacquiao fight is being contested at a catch-weight of 145-pounds. If Pacquiao agrees to bump the weight by two-pounds [full welterweight limit of 147], Cotto will put the title on the line.

The WBO has been pushing for Cotto to defend the title. It’s easy for the WBO to push when Cotto has to pay them a six-figure sanctioning fee. Roach is not losing any sleep over Cotto’s refusal to defend the title. He doesn’t see any of this as a big problem. Even if the WBO puts pressure on Cotto, and the title is vacated, Roach is confident the title will be at stake on fight night.

“If [Cotto] gives it up, I think the WBO will make Manny the number one. We'll pay the sanctioning fee and the title will be on the line. That's what I think will happen. I haven't spoken to Manny [about it] but if it was me, I would ask for the title to be on the line. I think regardless of what Cotto says, the title will be on the line,” Roach told BoxingScene.

Based on Roach’s scenario, the title would only be at stake for Pacquiao. If Cotto were to win, the title would remain vacant.

The fight will be the biggest boxing event of the year. The money in the pot, for both fighters, is more money than most boxers will ever see in a lifetime. The WBO title is a minor piece of the puzzle but Roach views the title as a major piece to cement Pacquiao’s legacy.

“I want it for Manny's legacy. Manny won titles at 112, 122, 126, 130, 135, and 140. I want to see him become the first fighter to win seven world titles in seven weight divisions,” Roach said.

Source: http://www.boxingscene.com/?m=show&id=21368 (August 1, 2009)

Is Pacquiao-Cotto Going to Be Called Off?

There's been an "official" announcement of the Manny Pacquiao/Miguel Cotto fight (tentatively scheduled for Nov. 14 in Las Vegas) from Bob Arum, but as yet there's been no press conference to announce the fight. What's more, it seems like the negotiation for the fight is still playing out in the media between the two camps, begging the question, "Is this fight a done deal or not?"
The latest issue to hit the headlines concerns the question of Miguel Cotto's WBO welterweight title and whether it would be up for grabs in a fight with Pacquiao. Reason would tell you that it wouldn't be, because the Pacquiao fight has been set at a catch-weight of 145 pounds, two pounds shy of the welterweight limit. After Arum brushed off concerns about the title question last week, Cotto stated his case earlier this week, saying, "If Pacquiao wants the fight to be for the title, it will have to be at 147 pounds... My decision is final and firm." But Pacquiao's camp is equally insistent that the fight remain at 145 with the title at stake. "We don't need the fight if the title is not on the line," Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, told The Manila Bulletin. "I want Manny to do this for a reason. I want Manny to win seven world titles. Titles are overrated but I would like to see Manny do this."

Of course, if Pacquiao and company are so adamant that the title be at stake in this fight, why didn't they raise the issue before the fight was "officially" announced to the media by the promoter of both fighters?

Well, according to Pacquiao's lawyer, Franklin Gacal, you'll have to ask the promoter about that. "I don't know why Bob made the announcement when in fact we haven't seen the contract," Gacal said.

Dah... what? They haven't seen the contract? Then what the hell is going on here exactly? How could this fight be a done deal when one fighter's camp claims not to have even seen the deal?

There are three possible answers to that question, all of which seem plausible to me:

1. They have seen the deal but are acting like they haven't to get what they want.

2. They have seen the deal but for whatever reason have decided that they don't want the Cotto fight and therefore are using this issue as the excuse to back out.

3. They haven't seen the deal – Arum's announcement was premature, a tactic to try and bully the Pacquiao camp into a fight that he desperately wants them to take.

Or it could be some combination of points one and three, although I confess that I'm really wondering about point number two. The reason I'm wondering about that is this: Who the hell cares about a WBO belt? I understand that Freddie Roach is starting to think about Pacquiao's place in history and everything, and an unprecedented seven world titles would be nice on that count, but still, I just don't believe that they care about it that much. Not to mention the fact that, hey, the fight's at 145 pounds. Cotto's right – that's not a welterweight fight and it shouldn't be sanctioned as such. It's true that the belts mean less than the fake gold they're made out of at this point, but nevertheless, if we start completely throwing the weight divisions out the window in this sport, we're looking at utter chaos.

And I suspect Freddie Roach knows that. I can only imagine the venom that would pour forth from him if he were on the other side of the argument. Cotto is well within his rights to stand his ground on the title question, and based on his comments yesterday, Roach is willing to scotch the fight if he does. Could that possibly be just for the honor of competing for the WBO welterweight crown?

I can't see it, myself. Maybe Pacquiao's team is just beating its chest a little to get this concession out of Cotto, but something tells me that he's not going to back down. Cotto is an old school guy, and though Roach is quick to point out that Pacquiao doesn't need Cotto, I don't think Cotto feels a tremendous need for Pacquiao either. Cotto sells out the Garden when he fights a no-name like Josh Clottey. He's not making Pacquiao money, but he's doing just fine for himself, and there are other big fights out there for him.

Which leads me to believe that if Pac Man Incorporated is going to hold the line on this issue, then the fight is off. And if that happens, never in a million years would anyone be able to convince me that the reason for that was the precious WBO title.

Source: http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/the_sporting_blog/entry/view/29091/is_pacquiao-cotto_going_to_be_called_off (July 31, 2009)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pacquiao’s camp blames Arum for ‘no-title’ fiasco

July 31, 2009, 7:11pm

The insistence of Miguel Cotto not to put his world title at stake when he fights Manny Pacquiao is being blamed on Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.

Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal said on Friday that Arum's hasty decision to come out with an announcement about the Pacquiao-Cotto fight scheduled Nov. 14 in Las Vegas early last week could be one of the reasons behind the insistence of Cotto to stand firm on his decision not to stake the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.

"I don't know why Bob made the announcement when in fact we haven't seen the (official) contract," said Gacal when asked about the other pertinent details of the contract.

Arum has both Pacquiao and Cotto under the promotional banner of Top Rank.

Cotto's decision not to risk the WBO 147-lb crown stems from the fact that the fight is going to be at a catch weight of 145 lbs and that during the negotiations, Team Pacquiao did not bother to raise the issue.

Cotto said he will only risk the WBO title if Pacquiao agrees to face him at 147 lbs.

"(My decision is) final and firm," Cotto told El Nuevo Dia in a story that appeared on the paper's July 31 issue. "The belt is not going to be on the line in the fight."

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, already panicky about the prospects of bringing Pacquiao somewhere else other than the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, was bothered when told about the development.

"The WBO should make it a title fight. We don’t need the fight if the title is not on the line," Roach told The Bulletin. "I want Manny to do this for a reason. I want Manny to win seven world titles. Titles are overrated but I would like to see Manny do this."

There's been no seven-division world champion in boxing and Roach is dead-sure Pacquiao will become the very first when he faces Cotto.

Pacquiao has won legitimate world titles at flyweight (112 lbs), super-bantam (122), super-feather (130) and lightweight (135), but was widely recognized as well when he beat Marco Antonio Barrera for the Ring magazine featherweight (126) crown and Ricky Hatton last May even if the Englishman, considered as the best in the division, held the fringe International Boxing Organization junior-welter (140) diadem.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/213744/pacquiao-s-camp-blames-arum-notitle-fiasco (July 31, 2009)

Pacquiao and Cotto, two fighters just looking out for their own best interests

It seemed as though everything would be smooth sailing for the Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto bout slated this coming November: The two camps have already agreed on a catch weight of 145 pounds after initial reports that Pacquaio’s team wanted a weight of 143, and it certainly seems that— although the purse amounts were not disclosed – Miguel Cotto has already agreed to take home a smaller piece of the pie.

However, according to reports, no contract has been signed to date.

Also, in a recent interview with Primera Hora, Cotto stated that he would rather vacate the title than stake it against Pacquiao.

"The weight of 145 pounds is not a category. If the WBO is upset with my decision, I shall deliver them the title. I have no problem with that," Cotto said.

A concession, however, is Pacquiao fighting Cotto at 147.

"If Pacquiao wants to fight for the title, it will be at 147 pounds. I won the title at welterweight and that's 147 pounds," Cotto added. "The WBO has the authority to strip me as a champion and I'll give them the title, but Paco Valcarcel knows better than anyone that 145 pounds is not a division."

Pacquiao is keen on winning another world title in an unprecedented seventh weight division as he explicitly stated in his own column published in Abante.com.ph and Philboxing.com. It’s understandable why a lot of Pacquiao fans have already voiced out their protests against the planned tussle not being a title fight.

But, come to think of it, it’s also understandable why Cotto doesn’t want to stake his title. He wants to avoid paying a hefty sanctioning fee.

So, when you really look at it, Pacquiao and Cotto are only looking out for their own best interests.

Pacquiao wanted Cotto to go down a couple of pounds lighter than welterweight at 145 because he wanted to gain some advantage, being the supposedly smaller fighter. Naturally, he also wanted the bigger piece of the pie, being the pound-for-pound champion.

Cotto, who’ll be getting the smaller purse, doesn’t want his belt on the line to avoid paying sanctioning dues. Perhaps this, and his desire for Pacquiao to fight him at 147, is his own subtle way of telling the rival camp that he also has a say in the current negotiations?

So, to reiterate, the current brouhaha has come about because of both fighters’ desires to look out for their own best interests.

And, perhaps, one promoter’s too.

Remember, this match-up came into fruition because Top Rank’s Bob Arum kept pushing for it. Both fighters belong to his stable. Naturally, if one of the fighters is handled by a rival promoter (like one Shane Mosley for example, who is willing to go as low as 140), Golden Boy for instance, Arum would end up sharing the profits of the fight.

Such is the business of boxing.

Such is human nature.

Source: http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/1792/2009-07-31.html (July 31, 2009)

Roach: "Pacquiao Doesn't Need Cotto Without The Belt"

By Mark Vester

The tug of war is still going for the WBO welterweight title. Miguel Cotto refuses to make it a title fight when he steps in the ring against Manny Pacquiao on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao wants the title to be on the line. The fight is scheduled to take place at a catch-weight of 145-pounds and Cotto refuses to defend the title unless Pacquiao agrees to face him at the full welterweight limit of 147. He says Pacquiao can have the title or the catch-weight but he can't have both.

Pacquiao's lawyer Franklin Gacal tried to shift the blame on Top Rank's Bob Arum for announcing the fight before Manny and his team had a chance to review the official contract. He says Cotto is making his stand because the fight is already announced.

"I don't know why Bob made the announcement when in fact we haven't seen the (official) contract," said Gacal to the Manila Bulletin.

Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach told the paper that Manny doesn't need a fight with Cotto if the title is not on the line. He says the WBO should force Cotto to defend the title. The sanctioning body is trying but Cotto has already said that he plans to vacate the title if the WBO tries to force his hand.

"The WBO should make it a title fight. We don’t need the fight if the title is not on the line," Roach said. "I want Manny to do this for a reason. I want Manny to win seven world titles. Titles are overrated but I would like to see Manny do this."

Source: http://www.boxingscene.com/index.php?m=show&id=21346 (July 31, 2009)

Cotto now dictating terms on Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines - It seems that Miguel Cotto is the one dictating on Manny Pacquiao when it should be the other way around.

First, he got the Filipino pound-for-pound champion to agree to the catchweight of 145 lb, and now, the Puerto Rican champion is saying he’d only stake his WBO welterweight crown if Pacquiao climbs to 147.

Pacquiao, through his lawyer Franklin Gacal, said weeks ago that the fight is off if Cotto insists on 145 lb, and said he wants the younger, bigger but not necessarily stronger champion to go down to 143.

But somewhere along the way Pacquiao agreed at 145 lb, and the other day, upon realizing that there’s a chance for him to win an unprecedented seventh world crown in different weight classes, he said he wants Cotto’s title.

“We should be the one dictating the terms. We are the main attraction,” said Gacal, adding that if Cotto insists at 145 lb then they might consider Shane Mosley, the WBA weltweight champion, who would have been easier to deal with.

Mosley first said he’s willing to fight Pacquiao at 144 lb and stake his WBO crown, and days after he dangled another offer for him to fight Pacquiao at 140 lb for the Filipino’s IBO light-welterweight title he won over Ricky Hatton last May.

While they have agreed verbally on the fight to take place on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao and Cotto have yet to sign the fight contract, and may take them a little more time to decide whether or not a title will be at stake.

Arum told The STAR Cotto doesn’t want to pay the WBO sanction fee of $150,000. – Abac Cordero

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=492019&publicationSubCategoryId=69 (August 1, 2009)

Why Pacquiao Will Destroy Cotto: Fire Up The Grill and Simmer Until Ready

By Mike Burnell: First and foremost this is a fight fans fight. It’s a fight that stimulates our primitive hunger for violence. This may not be the huge fillet mignon that hardcore fight fans crave but it is a juicy rib eye. Anyone who has grilled a day in their life knows that it is almost impossible to grill a ribeye that doesn’t satisfy. This fight will leave us full and anticipating the next meal. This fight is a case of two fighters going in opposite directions. Both fighters have legions of absolute die hard fans but unfortunately only one side will celebrate the result. Fans of both fighters will be able to hold their heads high at the end of the bout however fans of the Filipino phenom will be salivating like a starving dog in Pavlov’s kennel for the Super fight we all know is on the horizon.

It is certainly a telling sign when Pac, who calls the shots, opts for dangerous Cotto at 145 (only two pounds under the welter limit) instead of a ‘weight drained’ Shane Mosley at 140 who hasn’t been close to that weight in nearly a decade. On the surface it appears to be a much more comfortable weight for the smaller framed overachiever to take on Shane but he opted against it despite the decided advantage. What does he see?

Miguel Cotto has a very impressive record of 34-1 (27). His sole loss to Antonio Margarito is shrouded in doubt as Margarito was discovered with loaded gloves v Mosley. Cotto apologists will give him a pass as it is possible Margo had loaded gloves that night too. Truth be told loaded gloves don’t help a mans beard and Cotto couldn’t substantially hurt him. The freshly tattooed Cotto’s victory over Michael Jennings was meaningless to knowledgeable boxing fans but a great blind antiseptic him and his fans.

Most recently Cotto engaged in a life or death struggle against much avoided Josh Clottey. Enduring a huge wound over his left eye in the early rounds he managed a disputed decision in front of a pro-Cotto crowd. Most objective fans wouldn’t have a problem had the decision gone the other way. Cotto is a very tired 28 years old with wars against Zab Judah, and Shane Mosley while being rattled by Chop Chop Corley and others along the way. The Cotto we saw v Clottey will bring impressive credentials into the ring and he will likely be carried out v Pac.

Manny Pacqiuao is 30 years old and is deservedly recognized as the mythical pound for pound champion of the world. He recently annihilated larger Hatton who had lost only once (to Floyd Mayweather Jr) and dethroned the legendary Kostya Tszyu. Freddy Roach helped Pac turn the corner from being a one armed bomber with good intentions to a two-fisted southpaw killer.

Mayweather will be successful as expected v smaller Marquez via 7th round TKO and Pac defeats legit Welter Cotto at 145 with an accumulation of punishment however the official result will be TKO on cuts. It will set up the mouth watering fight of the decade. The money will be far too large to prevent the fight (they will argue percentages but the fight will happen) for recognition of the best fighter of their era and the largest non-Heavyweight purse in history.

This is not an interesting match between unproven prospects, it is the biggest bout that can be made with todays two biggest stars. It is reminiscent of the first Ali-Frazier bout where both had legitimate claims to the same championship. They chose to settle it in the ring and the rest is history.

While we may hunger for fillet lets enjoy the rib eye that we are being offered. Regardless of the result the grill is hot and ready for the main course…

Source: http://www.boxingnews24.com/2009/07/why-pacquiao-will-destroy-cotto-fire-up-the-grill-and-simmer-until-ready/ (July 31, 2009)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Is Cotto Damaged Goods?

By Dave Lahr: ESPN analyst Teddy Atlas made mention of Miguel Cotto looking like damaged goods last Friday night during the FNF telecast, remarking on how Cotto didn’t look good in his fight with Joshua Clottey in June and looked ready to quit during the later rounds. Atlas raised a very good point about Cotto. He doesn’t seem to be the same fighter he was before his fight with Antonio Margarito last year in July. Cotto controlled much of that fight for the first nine rounds, but was tired out and was hurt at the end of the 10th round by a big uppercut from Margarito. In the 11th round, Cotto twice took a knee to escape the punishment that Margarito was dishing out to him in the round. The fight was stopped by Cotto’s corner after the second time that Cotto took a knee.

Although Cotto didn’t really get hit all that much in the fight, the punishment he did take in both the 10th and the 11th rounds, left his face a mess, making him look as if he had taken a severe beating in the fighting. It’s unclear how much damage that Margarito did internally to Cotto’s brain.

Cotto wasn’t really hurt by any of Clottey’s shots in their June 13th fight, yet Cotto looked like he was there for the taking during several of the later rounds. Cotto looked like he was ready to quit again for awhile there. Clottey, however, didn’t have the work rate to finish Cotto off and ended up losing a close 12-round split decision.

But the way that Cotto looked in the later rounds, he seemed to be confused, worried and giving up on himself. It was like looking at a replay of the 10th and 11th rounds against Margarito. Cotto looked like a shell of himself.

It’s very lucky for him that he was fighting Clottey rather than a more active welterweight like Shane Mosley, Margarito or Andre Berto otherwise I think Cotto would have lost the fight. Could it be that Cotto haunted by the Margarito fight? Is this the lingering effects of that fight or is a neurological problem?

With the way that Cotto looked against Clottey, it’s not a good thing that he’s now fighting Manny Pacquiao on November 14th. Cotto really needs a couple of fights against easier competition to build up his confidence and see whether he has a chin problem that’s lingering from the Margarito loss. We learned nothing from Cotto’s 5th round stoppage win over Michael Jennings in Cotto’s first fight after his loss to Margarito, because Jennings, a light puncher, barely laid a glove on Cotto that night.

But, we did see Cotto struggle badly as he went life and death with Clottey last month. That fight left a troubling feeling in my mind about Cotto. He doesn’t look like the same fighter he used to be and probably is making a huge mistake in fighting Pacquiao at this time.

I think Clottey actually won the fight, but Cotto, the more popular fighter, got a gift decision on that night. It might have been better had Cotto lost the fight, because at least he’d be rebuilding his career more slowly instead of rushing from his poor performance (his second in his last three fights) against Clottey into a fight with Pacquiao.

It’s too bad, because Pacquiao won’t get the credit that he’s seeking if he beats Cotto, because Miguel simply doesn’t seem to be the same fighter mentally that he was before his loss to Margarito. This is why the choice of opponents for Pacquiao was pretty poor. I can understand why his promoter Bob Arum pushed for Pacquiao to fight Cotto, since he also promotes Cotto. But it may be a fight where Cotto had wished that he didn’t take at this point.

Source: http://www.boxingnews24.com/2009/07/is-cotto-damaged-goods/ (July 30, 2009)

Pacquiao Should Stop Dragging Boxers Down in Weight

By Liam Santiago:

I am a big fan of Manny Pacquiao. But I wish he would stop demanding boxers come down from their natural weight. What gives Pacquiao the right to demand boxers lose extra weight than what they are comfortable losing. Of course, this gives Pacquiao a big advantage. His opponent is likely to be weak after pushing his body to extreme limits to make the weight limit. At this level, every pound makes a massive difference. As I say, I’m a huge fan of ‘Pac-Man’, but I wish he would fight at a weight limit, whether it’s lightweight, light welterweight or welterweight, I don’t care.
Just to be clear, this problem did not effect the Hatton fight. Pacquiao fought Hatton at light welterweight and shown his superior skills and talent by knocking Hatton out in the second round. This is what I want to see Pacquiao do, boxing at a weight limit. Weight limits are there for a reason. They prevent boxers getting seriously injured. When I heard Pacquiao was fighting Oscar De La Hoya, I instantly knew Oscar could not win. He simply could not make that weight limit and fight as he could at light middleweight. When a boxer fights in that condition he doesn’t stand a chance. Even at the weigh in, you only had to take one look at Oscar to decide who was going to be victorious the following day. He looked awful.

However, even though Miguel Cotto is going to have to shift an extra 2 pounds on November 14th this year, I am still predicting a Cotto knock out. Yes, them two pounds will play a part, but I think the Puerto Rican star can deal with it. If Cotto does not win it will be because he couldn’t deal with that drop in weight. Before the Oscar fight critics said Oscar would be too big, but, as I’ve said, the weight had the affect. Before the Hatton fight critics said Hatton would be too big and strong, but Hatton’s poor defense was embarrassingly exposed. Fighting Miguel Cotto, I imagine, will be somewhat different. Cotto should deal with the weight ok and he won’t have a weak defence ; plunging forward with his chin out to dry, like Hatton did. I know it has been said before, but I see power and size being the key factor. I predict Cotto to stop Pacquiao in round 9 or 10.

But, the big question is Can Cotto handle that extra two pound drop in weight. If it does bother him and he loses energy like Oscar did, Pacquiao will win and the referee will probably stop the fight. I don’t want to see Pacquiao’s legacy built on fights where his opponents were drained that badly they could only stand there and take Pacquiao’s shots. That’s no legacy. However, like I said I am a big fan of Pac-man. What he did against Diaz and Hatton was incredible. He has amazing power and speed and I believe he does deserve his pound for pound spot. The fight I really want to see Pacquiao in is not with Mayweather. Its Marquez 3.

Source: http://www.boxingnews24.com/2009/07/pacquiao-should-stop-dragging-boxers-down-in-weight/ (July 30, 2009)

Why Cotto Will Destroy Pacquiao

By Manuel Perez:

I’ve changed my mind about the November 14th fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. I originally saw the fight going for Pacquiao because of figured him and his trainer Freddie Roach would install some medieval catch weight that would leave Cotto too weak and drained to make a fight of it. But now that I’ve had time to look at the new variables with the catch weight only being 145 rather than say 142or 143, I think Cotto is going to wipe the deck with Pacquiao.
It saddens me because we’ll be seeing Pacquiao forced to eat his humble pie but heck, it was bound to happen sooner or late. Pacquiao should have had a whole face full of defeat with his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez last year in March, but Pacquiao instead was given the win in one of the worst scored fights I’ve ever seen in my life. Just horrible scoring in that fight and no way should Pacquiao have won that bout. At any rate, I’m willing to put that fight behind me and forget about it all while I focus my attention on the Cotto-Pacquiao.

Like I was saying, Cotto is going to literally wipe the deck with the little Filipino and give him a lesson he won’t soon forget. Pacquiao would have gotten that painful lesson in his fight with Ricky Hatton in May, but the British fighter lost his fool head and went out there with some primitive caveman fighting style and got taken out. If Hatton had the brains to fight smart in the bout, he would have had the chance to hurt Pacquiao and give him a taste of real power.

I don’t think Pacquiao would have stood up for more than few rounds of Hatton’s big shots without going to pieces under the strength of his shots. But Hatton messed up and went out there like rank amateur and blew his chance. Cotto isn’t going to make that mistake you can bet on it. He’ll take his time, use his jab, right hand and high guard and coast for the first four rounds or so and let Pacquiao exhaust himself a little.

Once the fight gets past the 4th round, Cotto will start attacking Pacquiao’s body with huge hooks and give him a taste of power that he’s never seen before in his career. Pacquiao’s sparring partners and his trainer Freddie Roach won’t be able to prepare him for the torture he’s going to have to ensure at the hands of Cotto. This isn’t going to be a case of Cotto fighting a fighter his own size like Shane Mosley.

This is going to be Cotto whipping on a little fighter much smaller and weaker than him. Pacquiao will be faster, but speed is nothing when you don’t have the power like Cotto has. When Cotto discovers that Pacquiao doesn’t punch that hard, that’s when the beating is going to begin. Oscar De La Hoya said it himself that Pacquiao doesn’t hit that hard. He knows.

The only reason why De La Hoya lost was cause he was too weight drained from coming down from 154. Plus, De La Hoya was an old fighter by the time he fought Pacquiao and was essentially semi-retired at the time of the fight. Okay, so once Cotto realizes that Pacquiao has nothing in the way of power, he’s going to start torturing Pacquiao and beating him like an old rug.

This is going to be much worse than Cotto’s beating of Paulie Malignaggi in 2006 in which Cotto fractured Malignaggi’s orbital bone and beat him nearly senseless. This is going to be much worse than that. Cotto is going to make Pacquiao suffer and let him stick around so that he can toy with him for the full 12 rounds and show who the master is.

Now if Cotto is feeling generous, I think he’ll take Pacquiao out by the 7th or 8th round, but I think he’s going to let the fight linger and go the full 12 rounds so that he can toy with Pacquiao like a cat with a mouse. Afterwards, Pacquiao, badly beaten, will be cradled and mothered by Roach as he leads him out of the ring in defeat. And Cotto will be glorified with his career once again back to where it was last year before his defeat at the hands of the powerful Mexican puncher Antonio Margarito.

Source: http://www.boxingnews24.com/2009/07/why-cotto-will-destroy-pacquiao/ (July 31, 2009)