The Case For Miguel Cotto Against Manny Pacquiao

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2009

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Manny Pacquiao and  Miguel Cotto pose for pictures during the press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel on September 14, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)

Boxing fans are salivating at the thought of seeing two of the great fighters of this generation go at it on November 14th. Its should be a very interesting contest when Manny Pacquiao takes on Miguel Cotto.

Internet message boards and blogs are lighting up with opinions for Cotto or the Pac-man. Pac-man fans are convinced that he will win with his lightning quickness and blazing hand speed. He also displays pretty decent power some times.But for this article I am going to concentrate on the reasons why Miguel Cotto will defeat Manny Pacquiao.

Reason number 1: Good ole punching power. That's right, plain and simple horse power. Cotto has it and he's not afraid to use it.

I'm talking the kind of power that changes the momentum of a fight. The kind of power that can change an opponents facial expressions from that of a cocky adversary to a scared animal running for his life. the kind of power that broke through Joshua Clottey's tight defenses and sent his body flying into the ropes.

Numero 2: Heart. Miguel Cotto has the kind of heart that movies are made of. Like the time he came back form being knocked down for the first time by Ricardo Torres.
Or the time he kept battling despite being headbutted repeatedly by Oktay Urkal.
And who can forget the gutsy performance against Joshua Clottey. Cotto kept on attacking after the horrible cut he suffered from an accidental headbutt.

Now, you can't win fights on power and heart only but, they are just his best qualities. While Cotto is more of a "come straight forward" type fighter, he has pretty good head movement and defense. He has fairly good hand speed that can produce some decent flurries when he wants.

Some Pac-man fans might compare Cotto's style to Manny's last opponent Ricky Hatton. So they assume that Pac-man will dispatch Cotto the way he did with the hit-man. But there are some differences.

For one, Cotto has a much better chin then Ricky. Or at least since Hatton got brutally ko'd by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Since then Ricky seems to be more prone to finding the canvas. Some fighters never recover from their first knockout.

Another difference is that Cotto has better defense. He actually trys to block punches once in awhile and moves his head pretty well. I also think that Cotto has more power then Hatton. While Hatton has the power to wear you down and force you to quit, Cotto has the power to put out the lights.

So, while Cotto has the obvious advantage of power and Heart, lets look at what Pac-man brings to the table. You don't need to be a genius to realize that Pacquiao has an obvious advantage of speed and quickness. Pac-man can be down-right scary with his explosiveness at times.

The problem for Pacquiao is that he really doesn't like to use his speed and quickness to his advantage. If you watch his fights, he really likes to come forward more then dance around his opponent. So speed may not be that big of a factor.

It wouldn't be fair to say that Pac-man is a light-handed fighter by any means. He is a pretty hard hitter that can get you out of there if you let him. But, in reality the biggest fighter he ever Ko'd was the glass-jawed Ricky Hatton.

Chances are, It would take another monster left hook for Pacquiao to even have a prayer of Putting Cotto on the Canvas. And I think Manny will be too busy avoiding bombs to take him out like that. Once he feels one of Cotto's body punches, I tend to think Manny will be thinking of how to avoid them at any cost.

So to put it all together, Pacquiao will probably give Cotto trouble with his quickness and ability to throw punches from all angles. Cotto will probably put the fear of God into Pac-man with his mind-numbing power shots.

Problem for Pacquiao is that he has never faced a prime welterweight fighter as dangerous as Cotto. Pac-man has never Knocked out anyone as big and powerful as Cotto. So unless the Manny can come up with a perfectly timed knockout punch somehow, I think Cotto will wear him down eventually.

Prediction: Cotto wins TKO 11th.