The Icing On The Cake

Photo-Chop: Bret “The Threat” Newton


 

Over the past few weeks I have been straddling the fence when it came to making a firm pick for the clash of Miguel Cotto vs. Manny Pacquiao. In my mind there were very clear signs that had me teetering over to the Cotto side of the fence yet no matter how much I saw signs that this is Cotto’s fight to win, a little voice in my head kept saying, “Hey Dummy, don’t you remember you wrote that you would never pick against Manny again no matter what the circumstances?”

Listening to that little voice I remained noncommittal, but that all changed with a press release I received today that read:

PARTY LIKE A PACQUIAO!
MANNY PACQUIAO AND HIS MP BAND TO PERFORM LIVE ATPOST-FIGHT CONCERT AT MANDALAY BAY’S EVENTS CENTER

This Saturday! November 14, Beginning at 10 P.M.

 The press release went on to say something about Manny’s MP band performing after he plays a little chin music on Miguel Cotto. To me that was the proverbial “Icing On The Cake” and with that I have become a firm believer that this fight will won by Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto.

From the Philippine training camp that had natural typhoons wreaking havoc along with internal storms created by members of his own team to on camera arguments with his trainer to Freddie Roach, I was starting to question whether or not Team Pacquiao would even make it to the mainland before an implosion of epic proportions rendered Pacman unable to fight. 

Once stateside things “seemed” to stabilize for a moment but then rumors of too many celebrities and too few punches thrown started to circulate and those rumors were witnessed firsthand by yours truly at the open media workout last week.

Oh sure, these are open workouts and I know Manny and Freddy are not going to tip their hand but 99.9% of the other Wildcard workouts saw nothing but Manny busting his butt. Usually this included a time for stretching followed by 5-6 rounds of hard shadow boxing and then 10 rounds of rapid fire mitt work with Roach that usually saw Freddie telling Manny that was enough only to have Pacquiao beg for “One More!”

Last week Manny stretched for about a minute, shadow boxed (lightly) for about a minute and followed that with a mere 4 rounds of mitt work. Pac then climbed out of the ring and doddled around on the bags before calling it a day. Contrary to the famous quote, “Manny wasn’t being Manny”….not by a long shot. Throw in a stint with Mario Lopez in the ring and Mickey Rourke lurking in the background and it was hard to convince me that Manny was 100% focused.

Meanwhile on the other side of the ring Miguel Cotto held a very low profile camp in Florida that is being called by those in the know, the best camp Cotto has ever had. The Puerto Rican’s open media workout in Los Angeles that was held a day before Pacquiao’s was a no nonsense workout that included a good 30 minutes of warm up up followed by 10-11 rounds of Mitt work where there was hardly a break in between rounds and by the time he was done both Cotto and the ring’s floor were drenched with the sweat of a “real” workout.

After the Cotto workout the PR team was setting up the area for the roundtable interview when someone said to Bob Arum, “Cotto is going to sit here, you will sit here next to him.” “I DON’T WANT TO SIT NEXT TO HIM,” barked a irritated Arum who relented after being talked to quietly by cooler heads. 

And therein lies the other reason I am picking Cotto. His own promoter, who at one time almost had me 86′d from Top Rank events for a scathing piece I did on Cotto’s popularity in Puerto Rico, has turned his back on the fighter he worked so hard to get to the top.

Arum was attached at the hip with Pacquiao at the grand arrival in Las Vegas this week. When Cotto arrived to “Sin City” Arum was nowhere to be seen.

Don’t think for a moment that Cotto isn’t well aware of the dissing he is receiving at the hands of his promoter Arum and don’t think for un momento it won’t act as further motivation for the proud Boricua to beat Pacquiao when the opening bell rings.

Not to be forgotten in all this is the fact that Cotto’s contract with Top Rank is up at the end of the year and if history is any lesson we know that every athlete who has ever performed on the big stage usually performs his best in his contract ending year…it’s just the way it is. Look for Cotto to put on the fight of his life and possibly his career on Saturday night knowing he will be negotiating with a new promoter in 2010. A stunning victory over Pacquiao ups his earning power by leaps and bounds.

Since his Split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao beat a very overmatched David Diaz to a pulp, defeated a fading Oscar De La Hoya and KO’d a defenseless (take term literally) Ricky Hatton.

Cotto is neither overmatched, defenseless or fading. In fact he may be hitting his peak. Now I know many of you will point to the ”Manos De Piedra” style beating he took from Antonio Margarito as the beginning of the end of his career but something tells me that Miguel took the beating as a lesson and is out to prove he can come back and win in the face of adversity.

Throw in the fact that the same Margarito is rumored to be in attendance at ringside on Saturday night. That should give Cotto even more of a reason to impress the sold out crowd and PPV viewers.

Toss in the Time Magazine curse and……….what?  You don’t know about the Time magazine curse?

Well you do know Manny graced the cover of Time Magazine-Asia last week…right?

As it turns out there a more than two handfuls of sports stars who after gracing the cover of Time saw their careers come to a grinding halt. You can trace this back to 1929 when Chicago Cub owner William Wrigley was the Time cover story. The Cubs have not won a World Title since then. Other stars who have appeared on the cover are Doc Gooden, Pete Rose and Mark McGwire. Need I say more?

In my opinion the writing has been on the wall long before HBO’s 24/7 chronicled the rift between Pacquiao & Roach but it took a post fight singing engagement by Manny at The Mandalay Bay to finally convince me that this time the outside distractions have gotten the best of Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto should stop the Filipino star late in the fight. 

If my prediction comes to fruition you can expect Pacquiao to open his post fight singing engagement with a rousing version of the James Taylor classic “Stream Roller Blues”. 

Stay tuned to www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news including immediate Cotto/Pacquiao post fight results and photos from MGM Grand Las Vegas on Saturday night.

28 Responses to “The Icing On The Cake”

  1. stilios says:

    Nicely written Will. I’m with you on this prediction. Cotto’s in his prime still, regardless of the now questionable loss to Margarito. Me & my friends are having fun bet over this match, losers shell out a case of beer each…win or lose this one’s for the ages.

  2. kenc15 says:

    ya i picked cotto for some reason unknown, all my co workers(except the ricans) were calling me crazy. i told them cotto has all the tools to win, he can box pretty good, his defense is good and he can punch. cotto 10th round stoppage

  3. Frank Boff says:

    Boy, you missed the boat punchingbilly. You never zeroed in on the fact that Arum has planned a victory celebration for Pacquiao, and his PR team insulted Cotto with the chin music line. Yes, all this is motivation for Cotto. It’s a huge insult. All this you used to make a point about Cotto’s motivation. Find as it stands. But the larger story here is that Cotto will be leaving Arum, and Arum knows. Pavlik is a fallen star. Juanma looked vulnerable. Pacquiao is going into politics and now Cotto is leaving. Just who does Top Rank have left as a star for now AND the future. If Cotto wins this fight, Arum loses his Pacquiao-Mayweather bonanza, and there will be no more megafights to milk out of Pacquiao. Marquez is not a megafight. The sun is setting on the once all-powerful Toip Rank. That is the story. And you know and I know where Cotto will go after Top Rank: GBP, the class of boxing’s corporate raiders.

  4. Diane says:

    I agree Cotto will win by stoppage. I think many are underestimating him big time. One thing I have to correct you on though, in order for Cotto to get this fight, he had to extend his contract with Top Rank for two more years, so he’s with them until the end of 2011. Arum is just playing favorites, because he knows that Manny is a bigger cash cow than Miguel.

  5. William Trillo says:

    Hey Boff…As I said in my opening lines, the icing on the cake for me was the press release that was sent out. I assumed it was obvious that press releases are sent out by the PROMOTER!! The line that put me over the top was the chin music reference. Not only did I not miss the boat but at the present time you are dog paddling in it’s wake.

    To Diane, really? Cotto re-upped his contract? If so I stand corrected. If that is true then I change my mind…..just kidding :)

    I don’t see how on earth Cotto and Arum can survive the next 2 years if they still are contracually bound as you say.

  6. William Trillo says:

    NICE WORK DIANE!

    Your correcetion is confirmed, I found this:

    http://www.boxingrepublic.com/2009/07/24/cotto-extends-his-promotional-contract-with-top-rank-through-2011/

    Basically it says Cotto has resigned with Top Rank thru 2011.

    I can’t wait to see how that relationship progresses once Cotto defeats Pacquiao on Saturday night.

  7. M-Dubb says:

    Nice work but, all that won’t make Cotto any faster and I see Cotto and his team underestimating Pac talking about Cotto’s power which is good but nothing spectacular. The height is basically the same and so is the reach. Cotto will have a 7 to 9 pound weight advantage. Now, the hand-speed and foot-speed is not compairable and Cotto is a hitable fighter. Manny Pacquiao is the last fighter you should fight if you are hitable with straight lefts and uppercuts. Look for Manny to bust Cotto up with lefts and keep him guessing with his footwork. Then look for Cotto to start lunging forward to catch Pac and then get knocked down by an left uppercut right hook combo around round 8 or 9 and then the ref would stop it after Manny batters Cotto on the ropes. That’s my prediction. Always listen to Freddie he’ll tell you if one of his fighter are not ready. This is going to be fun I can’t wait!

  8. ChrisD says:

    You call David Diaz an overmatched, Oscar De La Hoya fading and Ricky Hatton a defenseless. On November 14 be prepared a word to describe Miguel Cotto – A DAMAGED GOODS, probably? An anecdote from Freddie Roach words. You are part of a bandwagon of lossers who make excuses not to hurt own ego after making opposing predictions. Good luck….
    My hint is, Manny will go into the body in early rounds taking Cotto’s power away and finish Cotto in the chin resulting into a bloody face (as in David Diaz) to a TKO or KO.

  9. William Trillo says:

    You are hilarious Chris D.

    Part of a Band Wagon?

    If anyone can accuse me of being on a Band Wagon it would be for Manny and not Cotto. For the record I am one of the few writers who picked Manny to defeat Oscar and I also picked him over Hatton. I also picked him over Diaz but who didn’t?

    Excuses are something you make after the fight, not before. What I gave you are reasons why I think Cotto is going to win. If he doesn’t win I will acknoledge my error and tip my hat to Manny.

    My hint is you get a better grasp of the English language before you send out another response.

    To my buddy M-Dubb,

    Thanks for the props.

    As I recall Cotto fought a very fast handed guy named Shane Mosley…remember him?

    I also recall that Cotto did a very darn good job of nullifying Shanes hand speed and if my memory serves me correct….COTTO WON!!

    Cotto is not a lunger, not now, not ever. Even in his beatdown at the stone hands of Margarito, Cotto always stayed within himself and never got caught while lunging in.

    One of Cotto’s best weapons is his jack hammer jab and one of the few things that tend to give Manny trouble is the jab. I see that Jab as the speed equalizer tomorrow night. If Cotto’s jab is on Manny could be in for a long night.

    Thanks for checking in guys!

  10. Diane says:

    Of course I knew what I was talking about William. :) I know my shit. hehehe BTW, the next time you talk to Sergio Mora, since I know that you finally got around to getting to know him, you can tell him that his girl Diane schooled you. LOL! j/k

  11. William Trillo says:

    Who?

  12. ReneKsa says:

    Don’t flare up William, ChrisD is just expressing his opinion just like you… Perhaps its time for the Boxing World to know what really Pacquiao mean in Filipino dialect. In Native Philippine language, Pacquiao means, “Take All, Regardless Of Conditions And What Comes Along”. So far Manny has proven that by going up and down in his weight levels and he has taken all their titles.

    Few more hours from now, you will see how Cotto be included in the Pacquiaoing of Manny.

    For Manny and All his fans around the World, myself included, Good Luck!!!

  13. William Trillo says:

    ReneKsa

    Not a flare up at all my friend. But your boys opinion of me being on a Band Wagon needed correcting. That’s what I did.

    As far as opinion goes, basically that’s all we have until the fight is over, then we will have facts. At that point we can all speak intelligently on the fight…well almost all. :)

  14. Dietrich Hartmann says:

    There was for me really not much trouble to consider who will win the bout.
    Why Cotto?
    A natural welter weight at 144, technically clean, taller than Manny ( the same reach though) but much stronger and super quick body attack.
    Pacquiao started as what, straw weight? He was ko’d twice and moved to the welter weight level. No Henry Armstrong he, sorry to say
    Manny will feel punches tonight he has until today not even imagined.
    Cotto by TKO in 11.
    Cheers
    Dietrich

  15. kenc15 says:

    guess we were wrong lol

  16. stilios says:

    GREAT FIGHT!! I lost on my bet but at least it was just a case of beer …lol…

    All hail the PACMAN..

    bring on mayweather…

  17. ROLFPAC says:

    OWNED!!! Pac dominated and still had time to test his chin and body

  18. The Black Ninja says:

    William Trillo,

    What now with your ‘accurate’ prediction that Manny would lose? Would you have the guts/balls to admit your mistake mr. nostradamus?

  19. William Trillo says:

    Well I guess the little voice in my head was right. Lesson learned.

    Pacquiao proved that any outside distrations he has are forgotten once he steps into the ring. All I can say is Manny is a clear cut above the rest, including Floyd Jr.

    Anyone who follows my babblings knows I always come clean when I make a blunder, and this was a gaff of the worst kind.

    Thanks to everyone for chiming in.

    Nostra Dumbass must get his beauty sleep now.

  20. :-) says:

    LOLOLOLOL

  21. M-Dubb says:

    Will, don’t be hard on yourself. In my eyes you are the best in the biz and a lot better than those clowns over on ESPN. I know what happened to you because it always happens to me. 24/7 and all these so called experts talking crap and making you doubt yourself. To be honest as a fan of yours I knew your prediction wasn’t yours. It sounded like that know nothing clown Dan Rafeal and people pulling crap out their a**. I know you very well, I’ve been following you and learning from you since the Mosely vs. Vargas fights. Remember how recenty you made me eat crow on the Vitali vs Arreola fight. My prediction would have been yours if you didn’t fall into the so called experts trap. NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF AGAIN! You were the guy that won me $500 bucks on the De La Hoya fight and I won $50 bucks on the Hatton fight. Like I always say we agree 99% of the time and I believe we agreed on this fight its just you had a moment of weakness when the so called experts pushed that pipe in your face and you reluctantly took a hit! LOL Cuidate Hermano! El Panameño Negro, M-Dubb

  22. William Trillo says:

    What I listened to was someone very close to the Pacquiao situation. Things are going on inside that camp that most would never be able to handle and be succesful. I took the warning signs as Manny’s demise without taking into consideration that this is just part of Manny’s way.

    I knew better but ignored my own advice.

    I do not watch 24/7 nor do I pay attention to Fat Dan…did he pick Cotto?

    Good grief, I am never on the same page with that guy, unless of course I am looking at a menu at Burger King.

  23. The Black Ninja says:

    No pun intended mr. Trillo! I always admire your articles and was just actually surprised that you picked the wrong guy in the fight. Nevertheless, it takes a man to admit his mistakes and you did it. Props to you and more power!

  24. M-Dubb says:

    L M A O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  25. William Trillo says:

    Gee thanks Black Ninja! :O

    After your no guts or balls blast I figured you were just another in the long line of bashers. Thaks for the props.

  26. noypi says:

    thank you guys and your wrong predictions, without you, where would we place our bets for manny.

  27. allan go says:

    ok. lets get to the next one. if a pacqiuao – floyd jr. fight were to happen, where will your bet be placed?

  28. Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.