With less than two months to go, both Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto are gearing up for their very much anticipated superfight. The significance of the bout will be of great importance, as both fighters have a lot of things at stake, along with Miguel Cotto’s WBO welterweight belt.
Should Pacquiao wins, he will be the first Asian and the only boxer who coveted seven championships in seven different divisions and further solidify his status not just a P4P topper but also an all-time great. A loss to Cotto would diminish his camp’s negotiating power with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who recently dismantled Pacquiao’s archnemesis effortlessly.
As for Cotto, a win will not only retain his belt, it will also elevate him the P4P rankings, perhaps to the fourth or fifth slot, overtaking current holders Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins. Also, victory over Pacquiao can potentially set up a fight between him and Money Mayweather , which may prove to be a juicy payday for the Puerto Rican boxer.
At the time of this writing, Pacquiao is the clear favorite, with +210 odds. On the other hand, Cotto is -250.
But before you place your bets, here’s a breakdown of the both fighters’ strengths and weaknesses.
Pacquiao main advantage will be his speed. It always has been his main asset and has been evident in his last five outings (Hatton, Dela Hoya, Diaz, Marquez, and Barrera). Another to consider is his underrated power.
Many have felt that with Manny going up in weight, his power would likely decrease. But as shown in the recent Hatton fight, Pacquiao not only shown he has power, he now packs power in both hands. He’s no longer a left-hand dynamite puncher he once was.
His extreme mobility will also come into play. Pacquiao’s quick movements have been the bane of Dela Hoya during the Dream Match. Against Cotto, Pacquiao must move well in order to avoid power shots from Cotto.
Pacquiao’s stamina has been tried and tested. The Filipino southpaw can even go 15 rounds without gassing out. And to make a perfectly clear observation, he seems to get stronger as the fight progresses.
One of Pacquiao’s chinks in his armor is his tendency to be reckless especially when exchanging flurries. At times, he is open for counters and overexerts himself just to win a trade.
Mean body punching will be a key to this fight. Aggression should be Cotto’s mantra if he wants to deliver power shots to Pacquiao’s body.
Cotto is also a durable fighter who can take a punch. His bouts with Clottey and Mosley show how strong this guy’s chin is.
Many do not realize that Cotto is an effective counterpuncher and that will serve him well in his bout against Pacquiao. Pacquiao’s close fights have been with counterpunchers, notably Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Cotto, however, cuts easily and if he is cut in the earlier rounds, he could be in deep trouble as Pacquiao can easily switch from a boxer to a brawler if he smells victory.
My odds in this fight: 60-40 in favor of Pacquiao. Speed kills, you know.
This article is also featured in Boxers' Camp.