“Best of the Best?” The question is about to be answered
By Ray Flores
Talent, power, aggressiveness, ability in the ring what more can boxing fans ask for in a world class main event. The upcoming battle between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto is hopefully about to go down in boxing history as one of the greatest fights of all time.
Manny Pacquiao who turned pro at just 16 years of age has grown as a fighter to a living legendary status. Pound for pound one of the greatest fighters the boxing world has ever seen. Taking on world class fighters and defeating them in stunning fashion. Tonight faces one of his greatest challenges having defeated Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya and the likes, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down but gaining momentum. This will be his greatest challenge yet. Having to move up in weight seems not to have weakened him as does most fighters but he appears to have gotten stronger. Pacquiao’s superb physical conditioning, speed of hands, the power to hurt his opponents with devastating punches as well as his secret weapon, Freddie Roach. Roach, probably the greatest boxing trainer alive today and perhaps in the history of boxing is a brilliant, tactician and strategist. He and Manny have formed an alliance that is closer than the two can be joined at the hip. They are one, both trust each other implicitly. Combined these two are the most formidable team in boxing today. Pacquiao’s record of 49-3-2. 37 KO’s will be Cotto’s greatest challenge.
Cotto will not only have to out box Pacquiao he will have to do it in grand style. Cotto is by no means to be underestimated with a record of 34-1-0, 27 KO’s and will be Pacquiao’s greatest challenge to date. Cotto, a man unafraid of seeing his own blood with the tenacity and aggressiveness of a pit bull is probably the stronger of the two. At age 29, Cotto is also the younger of the two, not that age has anything to do with this contest, he is as dangerous an opponent as any previously faced by Pacquiao. Perhaps the most dangerous at this point in his career. Cotto goes into this fight as the clear underdog, though bigger and stronger Cotto must maximize his size, work the body, force an inside fight and he will have to back Pacquiao up. He has to make Pacquiao respect him at the outset of the fight. Anything less than that and Pacquiao will take the initiative and Cotto will pay a heavy price for not doing so. Like Pacquiao, he has an excellent trainer Phil Landman. Landman was introduced to Cotto by Bob Arum. Phil, who is from South Africa and new to boxing is a conditioning coach who has introduced Cotto to a knew method of training which have produced surprising immediate results. The 5 round defeat of the previously undefeated Carlos Quintana won Cotto the WBA Welterweight title. Cotto’s only defeat was at the hands of Antonio Margarito, who was later discovered fighting with loaded gloves. The bloody 11th round TKO to Margarito 16 months ago, has left many with the opinion that Cotto was permanently damaged and the unanswered question.Was Margarito’s gloves loaded during that fight also?
Cotto, suffered a severe cut in the third round in his last fight with Joshua Clottey, and not being short of heart defeated Clottey in a 12 round split decision. Cotto is one mean courageous warrior. He may be the 3-1 underdog, but none the less there is a hell of a lot of fight in this dog. Will this be a walk in the park for Pacquiao? Many doubt it, this is going to be a battle of wills, and conditioning. Shortly we will all know the truth.