Pacquiao - The Fast And The Furious

By Barbara Pinnella
Photos: Bret "The Threat" Newton

 

Many thought that Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 37 KOs) would win his fight against Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs). But he was not without his critics. His doubters had said that he was involved in too many things and that his mind was not 100% on the job at hand. There was discord in his camp and that took a toll on him mentally.

Well, if all those things were true, than he is as strong and gifted emotionally as he is physically. One did not have to be a fan of boxing to appreciate the clinic put on by Manny on Saturday night. Was this good for boxing? I think yes.

First, let me point out that there was no trash talking, before or after. As a friend of mine said at the conclusion of the fight, Miguel Cotto, by being such a gentleman, added to the quality of the fight by his post-fight interview. And there was no bragging in Pacquiao following his victory. Class from both men.

Cotto looked strong and solid in the first couple of rounds. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach later admitted that he was worried when he saw that Manny was not following the game plan, but then his Filipino wonder began to settle in. When he did so, he also began to wreak havoc on Miguel.

Cotto was dropped in both the third and fourth rounds by punches that he admittedly did not see, a fact that was consistently mentioned by the voices of HBO. In real time it was not always something one could see, but when it was shown back, it was obvious that Manny can fire off punches whether he appears to be off balance, backing up, coming forward, or any combination of the three.

Another thing that many were talking about before the contest was the fact that Cotto is bigger than Manny. And I must admit, Pacquiao does not look like a particularly powerful guy. I just came back from the Professional Bull Riding Finals a week ago and Pac-Man would have fit right in with those men. In fact, many are bigger. So, I must say that in this case size really doesn’t matter.

Amazingly, as the fight went on Pacquiao got stronger. You might say that it just appeared so because Cotto was failing, but I don’t think that was the case. As the fight continued the only thing that Miguel could do was start to back up. His punches, if they landed, were having no effect on Manny what so ever. As the fight continued into the later rounds Pacquiao seemed to look at referee Kenny Bayless as if to ask “How much more damage do you want me to do here?”

My hat is off to Miguel Cotto. He was not going to quit, this Puerto Rican warrior, and if any of hs fans were disappointed or upset because he lost the fight, they shouldn’t be. He ran into a monster in Pacquiao; a fighter who is faster, stronger, and tougher than anyone he has ever had to face.

Just how tough? Manny Pacquiao has now won a record seven titles in seven different weight classes. Is he the Pound for Pound King? After his performance Saturday night most think so, as he is now the WBO Welterweight Champion.

Pacquiao would not compare himself with other boxing greats such as Ali or Robinson, but Roach was quick to do so. And when Manny said that he thought of himself as an ordinary fighter, Freddie rapidly commented, “You’re not ordinary!”

One man who most certainly would not think so is Floyd “Money” Mayweather. There is no way that he would just move over and make room for the great Filipino fighter to take over that type of notoriety. Almost as Bayless was waving the fight off at .55 of the final round, the name Mayweather could be heard rumbling like an earthquake reaching a crescendo. By the time Roach got to speak in the post-fight interview he was saying that name.

There are two things that might stand in the way of that fight ever taking place. The first is; will Mayweather actually agree to fight him? Secondly, the money must be right. Floyd will not have his way with the percentages, and if that could not be agreed upon then it won’t happen. Would this be the fight of decade? One of the best fights in history? Possibly. All I know is, I would not miss it!
 

Three other televised fights on the card, the first being the one between Alfonso Gomez (21-4-2, 10 KOs) and Jesus Soto Karass (24-4-3, 16 KOs). Gomez suffered a nasty cut next to his right eye caused by an accidental head butt, and the constant flow of blood was certainly bothersome for him. His corner was never able to stop the bleeding, and the fight was ended in the sixth round. Alfonso was declared the winner, as he was ahead on all three cards at the time of the stoppage, 58-54, 57-55, and 57-55. Soto Karass was called for two low blows during this shortened contest with points being deducted in both the third and fourth rounds.
 

Yuri Foreman (28-0, 8 KOs) kept his win streak alive when he defeated Daniel Santos (32-4-1, 23 KOs) in his twelve round battle. This victory allowed him to become the new WBA Super Welterweight World Champion. Santos was charged with two knockdowns, an iffy one in the second round when his glove hit the ground, and a clean knockdown by Foreman in the 12th.
 

The fight that was shown just before the ‘big one’ should have been, in my opinion, the curtain-jerker of the night. I was really looking forward to this face-off between Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. (41-0, 30 KOs) and Troy Rowland (25-3, 7 KOs). I had wanted to watch Chavez, Jr., but found myself losing interest and wandering around very quickly. To be honest, I even had to look up who his opponent was, because the name didn’t ring a bell. Sad. Julio did win the fight convincingly, 99-91, 98-92, 97-93, and maybe I was just so looking forward to the Pacquiao/Cotto that I was distracted. Still, one of the other two fights would have held my interest a lot more, I think.

So the fight everyone was looking forward to has come and gone. Now the hype can start for Pacquiao/Mayweather – two totally different personalities with completely different attitudes towards their craft. This time we had two gentlemen from start to finish. If Manny and Floyd get to clash we all know that won’t be the case. But hell, that will all be part of the fun!



Be safe and God Bless

Viva La Raza,

Barb.

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