Vegas is getting ready for another great fight weekend. The war between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto is only a few days away and boxing fans are salivating.
As the fighters settle into the last phases of promotion and training, Manny Pacquiao remains calm amid the chaos on the strip. Basking in the adulation and spoils of success as thousands of fans welcome the Filipino phenomenon at the hotel, Pacquiao doesn’t look like a guy gunning for his seventh world-title in a seventh-weight class.
He gamely tells the press, “I never thought I would be this popular in the United States.”
Miguel Cotto too is adjusting to the desert, albeit trading friendly smiles with a detached seriousness.
By all accounts it is shaping up to be a tense, crowd-pleasing, high energy fight. While most insiders at this point are looking for any weaknesses, some speculation has been made that Cotto appeared withdrawn at the press conference. The likely inference becomes a question of the 145 agreed catch weight. Pacquaio’s camp asked for it, clearly to neutralize some of Cotto’s size advantage.
Aside from the size issue, the case for a Pacquiao victory remains strong. Here’s why.
Pacquiao has a way of systematically changing confident fighters into ones who are depleted and confused, just trying to find anyplace in the ring where they can catch a breath.
Miguel Cotto is fierce and tough but the consensus is he’s no match for Pacquiao’s superiority in terms of experience, speed and strength. The Vegas odds makers have Pacquiao as a 3-to-1 favorite.
It will be a difficult fight for Pacquiao and the biggest fight of Cotto’s career. Expect to see Cotto resume his natural style of fighting as the aggressor. As a tremendous body puncher, he’ll definitely go to work on the body and land a few good shots in between stalking Pacquiao and trapping him in corners.
However, Pacquiao’s newfound mastery of angles, combined with his other weapons, will keep him out of serious trouble.
But it’s boxing. Anything can happen.
Who will prevail come fight night and set the stage for a possible Mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather? Will it be a tribute to unquestionable toughness and an upset by Cotto? Or will the unmatchable speed and power by Pacquiao secure his bid for boxing history?
The answers will come quickly as the punches start to fly at the MGM Grand this Saturday night.
Meet Manny Pacquaio. America’s Latest Boxing Celebrity.
The likeable five foot five, pound for pound champion is dominating the media like Oscar De La Hoya did in his prime, and the masses are eating it up.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, with the audience chanting “Manny,” a smiling and relaxed Pacquaio talked about his many talents (which include singing and acting), his upcoming movie, “Wapakman,” as well as the political issues that face his homeland of the Philippines.
He also mentioned a little side project… an upcoming battle against welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on November 14th. Seemingly Pacquaio can juggle fighting with his various other activities well enough that he can still beat the best fighters in the world and raise awareness about his country and his many other pursuits.
In little over a week, Manny Pacquaio and Miguel Cotto will go to war.
The early rounds will be the biggest test for Cotto as he will get a taste of Pacquaio’s power for the first time. If Cotto can get through the bombs and return some of his own, then the fight will be a lot harder to predict.
The majority seems to think Manny will stop Cotto without any problems. Others are worried that Pacquaio is getting too caught up with both his celebrity status and political career in the Philippines, as well as the conflicts within his own camp.
A source of tension comes from Pacquaio’s “advisor” Michael Koncz, who seemingly has come from thin air. Koncz has no real ties to boxing other than his connection to Bob Arum. The bad blood between Pacquaio’s trainer Freddie Roach and Michael Knocz is boiling to a surface with Koncz urging Pacquaio to dump Roach.
Normally camp drama is a red flag for the fighter and has been known to change the odds at the sports books in Vegas. Add to that Manny’s multi-tasking, and the question begs to be asked… “Is he as dangerous as he used to be?”
But since we’re talking about the best trainer and the best fighter in the business, the likely answer to that question is, “Yes he is.”
Back to the Jimmy Kimmel interview, Pacquiao ended his appearance by singing “Sometimes When We Touch.” The sentimental song, its lyrics dripping with irony, would make the perfect background music for a YouTube video of Pacquaio destroying Cotto.
But if you think about it, the rendition would work just as well if Cotto were to pull the upset.