Sunday, November 22, 2009

Man, oh, Manny




Pound for Pound King, Manny Pacquiao victorious over heavy-hitter, Miguel Cotto.

And what a fight it was.

Although fight fans had Pacquiao favored 3 to 1 come fight time, most Boxing experts had it pretty even. Cotto's larger size, strength and comparable hand-speed made him a formidable opponent.

There was a lot of underlying drama leading up to this fight. Manny Pacquiao's training camp took place in Baguio City, Philippines for the first time ever, since new tax laws in California prevented him from training at his usual spot, the Wildcard Boxing Club. Known for being superstitious, Pacquiao didn't like straying from routine and choosing his home country, be it familiar, seemed like a bad choice considering his god-like status there and all of the distractions that his fame would entail. What they didn't know was that the fan adulation would offer little distraction compared to the 3 typhoons that would blow threw the islands during the few weeks they would be there. Concerned for their safety, Freddie Roach forced training camp to move to the capital city of Manila when the final storm was headed directly over Baguio City. Ironically, Vancouver, Canada was overlooked as a potential training spot due to its perennial rain.

Miguel Cotto also held his training camp in a new location. Instead of his home country of Puerto Rico, Cotto opted to hold this training camp in Tampa, Florida and though his camp didn't have to contend with typhoons (or a rainy day, for that matter), Cotto was adjusting to the absence of his seasoned, though contentious uncle and trainer, Evangelista Cotto. Joe Santiago, team Cotto's fitness and nutrition expert for only a short time, was surprisingly named the new head trainer in April of this year. Santiago, for his part meant well, but was highly criticized by fans, experts and certainly not in the least by Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach for being too "green" and inexperienced.

The drama continued at the weigh-in before the fight, where Joe Santiago and Freddie Roach got into a verbal confrontation while Cotto was on the scale. Apparently, reacting to the skepticism by the press and fans that Cotto may not be able to make the 145 lb weight limit, Joe Santiago viciously turned to Freddie Roach and stated "145, ASSHOLE". Roach took offense to this and went after Santiago. Cotto got involved for a second until Roach threatened him as well. Things cooled down quickly, but the tension continued between camps until the fight the following night.

As both fighters entered the ring, the energy of the crowd became palpable. During the first round, Miguel Cotto came out with fists blazing against the pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao. Surprisingly aggressive, Cotto executed a near-perfect round and when the bell rang, Cotto fans raised their hands in victory. In the second round, Pacquiao seemed to be timing Cotto and landed some game counter-punches. The third and fourth round saw Cotto being knocked down and the course of the fight had then been set. Cotto put up a good fight, flurrying with some strong combinations, but Pacquiao had taken control of the fight and dominated the remaining rounds, until referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight in the 12th round. What the television audience didn't see was that Cotto's father had tried to stop the fight at the end of the 11th round. The stoppage was an inevitable end, as Cotto had taken to the bike for the last few rounds, backing away from Pacquiao and trying to survive rather than win the fight.

I had the opportunity to to have a quick chat with Freddie Roach after the fight - right when he was about to leave for England, where he is training Amir Khan for his first title defense against Dmitry Salita. It's short and sweet, but you're going to enjoy this...

video

Congratulations, Manny on an unbelievable fight. You are truly a pound for pound champion to be proud of.

Floyd - admit it; You just don't want to lose your zero. You will continue to duck this fight by asking for too high of a percentage or you will silence your detractors by being reasonable in your negotiations. Until you take this fight at a reasonable weight and percentage, you will be thought of as a wuss by your peers, the media and boxing fans at large. Fact.

13 comments:

  1. I keep checking ESPN and the Ring for updates; I know Schaefer and Arum started negotiations Monday, and I'm hoping that Mayweather can be reasonable and just get the fight made. Arum is right: the public has demanded this fight. Shame on Floyd if he asks for 60-40 to get out of it. I'm glad that Manny already said he would fight at 147, so when Mayweather takes his first "L" there can be no excuses.

    We witnessed history on November 14th. I can hardly concentrate, thinking of a fight of this magnitude, a throwback classic similar to the likes of Leonard/Hearns, Tyson/Holyfield, and Ali/Frazier I, correctly dubbed, "The Fight."

    It's about time fight fans get a superbowl...

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  2. HAHAHA! The comment at the end from Freddie was classic! Great interview once again Tash! Thanks so much, and keep up the GREAT work.

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  3. Would a reasonable weight by 147?

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  5. good stuff but an unneccessary swipe at Floyd,

    as what are you talking about Floyd "taking the fight at a reasonable weight"

    Mayweather doesn't have his trainer mouthing off about catchweights and beating someone at any weight.

    you can rip Floyd for being a money pig and facing weak oppossition

    but he's never gone up in weight while making an opponent move down to face him

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  6. You're right, Floyd has never moved up in weight and had someone bigger move down...that would pose a risk. Floyd is content making his smaller opponents move up in weight to fight him, whether or not he sticks to the contracted catchweight, instead of challenging opposition his own size.

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  7. Seriously, forget about Mayweather, Shane Mosley is the man he should be thinking about fighting, Mayweather has cemented his legacy already, Pacquiao is a different breed of fighter. You could say the same about Mosley, but I just dont care for a fight between floyd and manny.

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  8. Mosley wont get past Berto, I like Mosley but the man was caught using roids and that was his biggest win of his career, followed by the margarito fight.

    People tend to over rate mosley, mosley is very inconsistent in terms of performance and he only has one legit win and that was over a unconfident and slow Margarito after his weapons was taken out of his gloves.

    Pacquiao vs Mayweather needs to happen even if the fight might end up boring.

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  9. Keep it coming...

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  10. you exude extreme clarity and depth in your interview's with Freddie Roach.

    great job

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  11. Thanks, Quentin. You just made my day.

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  12. OT: It might be his last fight as Manny Pacquiao was quoted as retiring after his fight with Tim Bradley. Right now he is training for the fight. Want to watch awesome training videos by Manny Pacquiao? Watch the Peoples Champ Manny Pacquiao speed shadowboxing all day on the official MP Youtube Channel now!

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