How Shocked Would You Be If Pacquiao Did To Cotto What He Did To Hatton?

by James Slater - Though the fight has not been officially signed and sealed yet, the word over at is that the talked of Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight scheduled for November in Las Vegas is almost certainly going to happen. Promoter Bob Arum has said the fight will almost definitely be made and that an agreed upon weight for the fight has been all but reached, with a reported limit of 145-pounds being set.

So, now that we can pretty much go ahead and look forward to this most intriguing of fights, we can also start to think about who will win - "Pac-Man" or "Junito.."

It seems strange, but only a few months ago fight experts were pretty much agreed that guys like Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton would be much too big for Pacquiao, and that the former 106-pounder was nuts taking on natural 140 and 147-pounders. But, as we know, Manny destroyed both "The Golden Boy" and "The Hitman," the latter especially. The question I'd like to ask now is, can Pacquiao possibly do a Hatton-type number on the formidable Cotto?

If the talked of weight of 145-pounds is the final poundage that the fight goes ahead at, Cotto, though he will have to push himself that much harder in training camp, shouldn't be overly drained or weakened come fight time. As such, "Pac-Man" might just be facing his most physically strong opponent yet, and therefore the very notion of him KO'ing the Puerto Rican the way he did Hatton will be seen as a preposterous one in the eyes of some fans. But no-one of note predicted Pacquiao icing tough guy Hatton as quickly as he did either.

Style-wise, Cotto - a natural lefty who fights mainly out of an orthodox stance but also has a tendency to switch during battle - could give the Filipino southpaw a real handful also. Strong with both hands and the possessor of a fine boxing brain, it's hardly likely Cotto will approach the fight in the same reckless, march-right-in, hands-held-low way Hatton did. And it must be admitted that Hatton's foolish tactics - all the more surprising as they were after all the pre-fight talk we were given about Floyd Mayweather Senior making Hatton a defensive-minded boxer - helped Pacquiao look as devastating as he did. But could the 30-year-old claimant of the pound-for-pound title KO Cotto just as ruthlessly anyway?

Cotto, who appeared somewhat easy to hit last time out against Joshua Clottey, is no defensive wizard and after a number of tough fights he isn't getting any younger (yes, he's two years younger than Manny, who also is not getting any younger, but Pacquiao looks the fresher fighter overall). And though the demons from the shocking stoppage loss to Antonio Margarito have almost certainly been banished, we still don't know how much of a physical price Cotto paid as a result of the hammering he took in July 2008.

If Pacquiao were to ice Cotto in less than 2 or 3-rounds the way he did Hatton, you can bet your money some people out there will still refuse to give "Pac-Man" the credit he deserves by saying Cotto WAS past his best and that he was in the ring with Pacquiao at the right time - just as they said, after May 2nd, that Hatton was ready to be taken. But those fans who are not afraid to give credit where it's due - should Pacquiao actually KO Cotto in stunning fashion - will be calling the Filipino one of the greatest of all-time; if they aren't doing so already.

It would be a mighty shock if Pacquiao KO'd Cotto fast. But maybe we should be used to "Pac-Man" sending us shockwaves by now!

Article posted on 05.07.2009

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