Even though the fight pretty much went as I predicted in my last article, I was still surprised by some elements of the fight. I was always sure the fight would last beyond the middle stages, mainly due to mutual respect and a lack of risk taking by both fighters.
Miguel Cotto clearly took the first round. He exploited a flaw in Manny Pacquiao’s defense. Pacquiao has a tendency to be too square on leaving a nice gap between his guard. Cotto landed with some clean jabs, snapping Pacquiao's head back it also leaves a nice gap for an upper cut too, which Cotto had success with. Cotto seemed to be trying to get the body shots in
early. Which is a must when trying to slow down a quicker opponent.
What surprised me the most was Pacquiao's reaction to being hit, or should I say lack off reaction. The punches from Cotto didn't seem to bother Pacquiao in any noticeable way. When Pacquiao stayed on the ropes for longer than he should, it gave Cotto a chance to ruff him up a bit. I had no feeling that Pacquiao was in much danger, it was almost like he wanted to stay there to show that Cotto couldn’t hurt him.
In the later rounds Pacquiao was looking for a knock out. Cotto’s ambitions seemed to change, to going the distance. He got on his bike, and started picking Pacquiao off with jabs. In doing so he surprisingly won a round. However Cotto couldn’t keep running and Pacquiao although getting annoyed by having to chase, was always there with the relentless pressure I was expecting.
In the last two rounds the Cotto corner was clearly having uncomfortable flash backs to the Margarito fight. This time instead of hoping Cotto could turn it round, I think they just wanted him out there. His wife and kid had all ready left the area.
I have no doubt people will say Cotto was weight drained. And that’s why Cotto's power wasn’t having much effect. I simply believe Pacquiao just had too much for him.
Pacquiao punching in my opinion have gone up a level since his close fights with Juan Manuel Marquez. His punching is so unpredictable and fast. You feel a knockout punch can come at anytime.
Hopefully this fight will provide some much needed closure for Ricky Hatton. All the “what if” situations that’s been mulling in his head might finally be silenced. Regardless of how Ricky boxed on that night he must surely now know that Pacquiao is on a different level.
As the fans excitement now turns to a dream fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., all I can say is I’ll been hoping this fight is announced before Christmas. It should be the duty of the boxing promoters involved with both teams to make sure it happens. Boxing needs this fight , and hopefully the fans will demand it.
If he beats Floyd Mayweather Jr., an interesting question is: where do you rank Pacquiao among the greats? My controversial answer to that is, if he beats Mayweather Jr. I’d put Pacquiao above Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Leonard as the best off all time.