On November 14th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Manny Pacquiao will face Miguel Cotto at a catch weight of 145 lbs., 2 lbs. under the welterweight limit. This fight should be an action packed slugfest from the opening bell. Pacquiao is coming off a sensational 2nd round knockout of Ricky Hatton and has won his last 10 bouts. Cotto has won his last 2 bouts after being stopped in the 11th round in a war with Antonio Margarito.
Here are the keys to victory for both fighters: Get your boxing equipment for less.
Miguel Cotto must keep Pacquiao from swarming him with his whirlwind punching attack if he is to be victorious. An effective jab can neutralize Pacquiao's speed. Cotto must impose his will on Pacquiao. He needs to throw his body shots off the jab and force Pacquiao to fight backing up. Pacquiao has been stopped twice in his career from body shots and Cotto is one of the best body punchers in the sport. He cannot move toward Pacquiao without the use of a jab because he will get blitzed with punches. If Cotto does not dictate this fight with his jab, he will not defeat Pacquiao.
SPEED, COMBINATION PUNCHING & BALANCE
Cotto has fought bigger, stronger and harder punching fighters than Pacquiao has in his career. Cotto started his professional career at 135 lbs., and as his record indicates, has done well suffering only one defeat and knocking out 77% of his opponents. In contrast, Manny Pacquiao started his career at 108 lbs. and has a knockout percentage of 69%. Cotto has shown that he can take a punch pretty well from bigger punchers. Can Manny hurt him? No matter how good a fighter is, if he keeps getting blistered with punches, he will falter. Has Cotto ever been in the ring with someone so quick? Probably not, and this is another important factor in determining the outcome of the fight.
Manny Pacquiao is a whirlwind puncher and lands his shots from all angles with lightning speed. Pacquiao moves in and out quickly and uses his jab as a range finder. Sometimes, he can be a little off balanced after he fires a combination, but Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach has drastically helped him improve his footwork.
Pacquiao is elusive and boxes better now than earlier in his career. Manny possesses good head movement and keeps fighters a little hesistant from throwing their shots, which enables him to land clean, effective punches. Cotto is slower, at times flat footed and looks to counter punch. It's hard to counter punch if you don't match your opponent's hand speed. That leaves Cotto with one option. His timing placing his punches must be perfect because Manny has the definitive edge in hand speed.
Pacquiao must make Cotto fight at a very fast pace. He needs to make Cotto use a lot of energy, especially with Cotto having to make the 145 lb. weight limit because he might be drained and tired if the fight gets into the later rounds. Pacquiao should not have a problem being dehydrated because he is the smaller man moving up in weight. Pacquiao needs to use his speed advantage against Cotto because he does not want to stand there and trade shots with the bigger puncher.
Boxing's oldest saying is "Styles Make Fights". Boxing's next oldest slogan may be that "A good big man, will beat a good small man". I think the latter statement will come to be true on November 14th.
HOW I SEE THIS FIGHT PLAYING OUT?