The sporting world is running out of superlatives to describe Manny Pacquiao’s (50-3-2, 38 KOs) victory over former welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (34-2-0, 36 KOs) last Sunday. We mean, the only thing to do really is to look deeper at the factors that lead to the 12th round stoppage and a record seventh title in seven different divisions for the Pacman.
Rough Start, Smooth Transition, Easy Sailing
Cotto started the fight with a bang. He jabbed well, moved well, and connected with a handful of power shots as Pacquiao struggled to find his range. Pacman has not lost a round that clearly in his past three fights against David Diaz, Oscar de la Hoya, and Ricky Hatton. Given that Freddie Roach has mentioned something about Pacquiao knocking Cotto out in the first round, more than a few Filipinos were worried after Cotto’s initial onslaught.
The second round was much better for Pacman. He found his rhythm, and connected more power shots. But still, Pacquiao stayed too long on the ropes that gave Cotto the chance to unload.
In the third round, Pacquiao finally shifted into a higher gear, hitting his opponent constantly with quick combinations. Though it wasn’t really a devastating knockdown, Cotto was floored midway through the round: off balance, Pacquiao caught him with a right that made Cotto touch the floor with his gloves.
Then came the fourth round, which left any questions about Pacquiao’s power all answered. He caught Cotto with a short left that dropped Cotto in a proverbial heap. This knockdown was way better then the first, Cotto’s legs shook and his head wobbled before taking a count.
The fight was effectively over after this knockdown. Cotto knew it will be extremely unlikely for him to connect with a flush shot against Pacquiao. And should he connect, Cotto knows that Pacquiao could walk right through it.
From the fifth round onward, Cotto rode his bicycle and did not get down from it. He circled towards Pacquiao’s right to lessen the chance of getting hit with another strong left, engaging only once in a blue moon. Pacquiao on the other hand was business as usual, constantly pushing forward, urging, almost begging, Cotto to trade bombs with him to make the crowd happy. Sure, some people scored the fifth and tenth rounds for Cotto including the judges in the fight but those were more of charity than merit.
WORDS BY: CARLO PAMINTUAN
ILLUSTRATION: FRANTZ ARNO SALVADOR
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