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PACQUIAO ATTEMPTS TO MAKE MORE HISTORY!


PhilBoxing.com




San Francisco, CA — During the post-fight interview of the international feed back in June of 2008, Manny Pacquiao, who just won the Lightweight title when he knocked out David Diaz, said he was willing to fight anyone from lightweight to even Jr. Welterweight. But when the question of fighting at Welterweight was proposed, Manny quickly laughed and said that was too high. Then, his promoter, Bob Arum, said that Manny would fight anyone in the world except Miguel Cotto. My, have times changed since then.

After about a month of negotiating, Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto have officially agreed to fight on November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Cotto, 34-1 (27 KOs), was last seen escaping with his WBO Welterweight title when he won a split decision over Joshua Clottey. Cotto took a lot of damage from the skilled and tough Clottey, but he was able to come back late to retain the title. Pacquiao, 49-3-2 (37 KOs), is coming off his most explosive win of his career when he blasted Ricky Hatton in just two rounds. Both fighters have agreed to catch-weight of 145lbs—two pounds below the welterweight limit.

Barring any potential December fights, the Pacquiao-Cotto match will be the last big fight of 2009. This match-up features two of the most popular fighters in the world with two diehard fan bases. In fighting Cotto, Pacquiao will attempt to win his 7th world title in as many weight classes, which is a feat no other boxer in history has done.

A Pacquiao win will likely earn him his third fighter of the year award and his second in a row. He will also likely become the fighter of the decade (2000’s). During this decade, Pacquiao has gone 22-1-2 with 19 knockouts and five world titles in five different weight classes. He has also fought in fight of year candidates against Juan Manuel Marquez (draw in 2004) and Erik Morales (decision loss in 2005). Against future hall of famers (Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Oscar De La Hoya), Pacquiao went 6-1-1 with 4 knockouts and scoring a remarkable 11 knockdowns. He also set the record for Pay Per View buys at 130lbs and below. Only Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, and Floyd Mayweather Jr. can make claims to that distinct honor.

But it won’t be easy for Pacquiao because he will take on the biggest opponent of his career in Miguel Cotto. Cotto, two years younger than Manny, has fought at Welterweight since 2006 and has gone into the ring at fight night as high at 160lbs. Pacquiao, who weighed 138lbs against Hatton, has never weighed more than 148lbs by fight night. It’s safe to say that Cotto will have at least a ten-pound weight advantage over Pacquiao. And unlike Hatton, who smothers his opposition, Cotto actually uses his strength and power punching ability to defeat his opponents. Cotto will also be the biggest puncher Manny will have ever faced. Cotto is also one of the best body punchers in the game today and has never been questioned about his heart or guts. Don’t expect Cotto be sitting in the corner silent when asked whether he wants to continue with the fight.

However, they are still questions about whether Cotto has fully recovered mentally and physically from his fights with Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottley. Also, style-wise, the bout favors the quick feet and hands of the Pacman because Cotto has never been considered the fastest fighter at Welterweight. Although Cotto has been successful against fast fighters like Zab Judah and Shane Mosley, Pacquiao is different kind of fast and with legitimate power to back that up.

It’s clear that there is a lot on the line for both fighters and both will feel a tremendous amount of pressure to come out victorious. Both have Floyd Mayweather in their sights. The winner of Pacquiao-Cotto against Mayweather would be the biggest fight boxing could make.

For Pacquiao, it will be his attempt to make history and add to his already impressive resume. For Cotto, it will be the biggest and most watched fight of his career. He is taking on the biggest star and the pound for pound best fighter in boxing. Cotto has already been listed as a 2-1 underdog, which is likely the first time Cotto has been the underdog in his career.

And let’s not forget that both fighters are exciting fighters who look for the knockout and are both power punchers. It’s a potential fight of the year candidate. This is the best style match-up since Israel Vasquez vs. Rafael Marquez. Let the hype begin!

PPV WARS BEGINS

The 2009-year of boxing has featured a small amount of PPV’s. Fights that would have been on PPV a few years ago have been on HBO or Showtime. However, in the fall, two of the biggest PPV’s of the year will be 63 days apart. In September, Floyd Mayweather Jr. takes on Juan Manuel Marquez and in November Pacquiao fights Cotto. Could the fact that boxing fans will spend $55 on the Mayweather PPV prevent them spend another $55 on the Pacquiao PPV or vice-versa?

Also, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has essentially laid out the challenge to Pacquiao that he will sell more PPV’s than him. Constantly, Mayweather has proclaimed himself the number one draw in boxing because of his record PPV numbers. That claim will be put to the test because he will take on Marquez, who has never been much of a draw. With Mayweather going on record saying he won’t work with Top Rank, who promotes Pacquiao through at least the end of 2010, the closest thing we will see to Mayweather-Pacquiao competing against one another will be whoever gets the higher PPV numbers.

IF YOU ONLY HAD $55…

The clear choice to buy is Pacquiao-Cotto in terms of pure boxing entertainment. Although Mayweather-Marquez is a legitimate match-up, paying money to see two fighters who are at their best when on they’re back foot doesn’t seem like a smart buy compared to the November PPV. Plus, as Dan Rafeal of ESPN puts it, in investing in Pacquiao-Cotto, you won’t have to deal with the nonsense of Mayweather. And who knows, maybe if Pacquiao crushes Mayweather in PPV sales, “Money” Mayweather may finally come back to earth and agree to a 50/50 split with Pacquiao. Follow me on twitter.com/sportnjordan.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Jason Aniel.


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