As the fight of the year approaches on November 14th between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto at a catch weight of 145 pounds, predictions about the fight are pouring in. After going back and forth for several months about the intangibles in this encounter and the way this fight will unfold, this writer believes Miguel Cotto will prevail based on the seven reasons that follow:
1.Size and Strength While this may seem obvious and spoken of at length, it bears repeating. Despite only a half inch
or so height advantage, Miguel Cotto is just bigger and has fought much more as a welterweight. It has been suggested that between fights Cotto has weighed as much as 175 lbs. On fight night, we can assume that Pacquiao will be giving up at least ten pounds to Cotto. Couple this with Cotto’s punching power, particularly the body shots he dishes out, and you have a distinct advantage.
2.Pressure Anyone who has watched Cotto fight knows he puts tremendous pressure on his opponent. Pacquiao won’t have the luxury, as he did against Oscar De La Hoya, of facing a somewhat stationary target who won’t throw many punches. It will be a tall order for Pacquiao to keep Cotto off him for 12 rounds even if Manny is able to enjoy some success sticking and moving.
3.Versatility In his fights against Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito, Cotto showed good versatility as a fighter, possibility dispelling the notion that he is simply a brawler and little else. He won many rounds against Margarito (despite Margarito’s slowness) and was able to neutralize Mosley’s speed. Cotto can box when he needs to and look for that to be on display November 14th.
4.Focus One wonders how focused Manny Pacquiao is on this fight given a potential mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather looms should he win. The fact is that a Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight is not only the biggest fight in boxing but one of the biggest fights in the last decade. Manny usually maintains incredible focus, but it’s hard to imagine he won’t be thinking ahead to some degree.
5.Heart Does anybody question Cotto’s heart at this point after some of the wars he has been in?
6.Underdog Status Cotto finds himself an underdog, and in light of the loss to Margarito and close decision win against Joshua Clotty may feel like he has something to prove. Critics have said he is not the same since the Margarito fight. Look for Cotto to fight this fight like he has nothing to lose.
7.Sense of Urgency The public interest in a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight may make it difficult for Cotto to win a decision if the fight is close at the end. Look for Cotto to increase his intensity should this fight make it into the championship rounds.