We're a week out from the one of the biggest fights of the year and I have four guarantees for what will take place in Las Vegas next week.
1. The Pac-Man will dismantle Miguel Cotto almost as easily as he dispatched Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton in his last two fights.
The reasons should be obvious to any fight fans but are mostly lost on the many Manny haters that now exist in boxing fandom. Manny is simply too quick for Cotto and his power too great.
The real surprise about Pacquiao's jump from Lightweight to Welterweight has been the fact that he hasn't lost any of his speed and he actually gained power with the jump. Now a lot of people have the notion that Miguel Cotto has the power advantage because he's the bigger man. But is he really bigger?
When they measured the fighters before this fight they are almost identical in every department including reach. The only real difference is a very slight 1/2 inch height disparity and that won't help the pride of Puerto Rico when Manny comes rushing at him.
The other factor Cotto's backers point to in this fight is the supposed turmoil in Pacquiao's camp, but believe me that's overrated. Most of that turmoil was always about the power sharing of those around the Pac-Man and now that it's settled everything all business with Team Pacquiao.
Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach are on the same page about everything when it comes to boxing and that brings up the question about the two corners. Who would you rather have calling the shots? A novice trainer like Joe Santiago, who's in his first big fight or a Hall of Famer who's been through this kind of pressure many times before.
Cotto's tough but this fight won't go the distance. Pacquiao KO in the middle to late rounds.
2. The Manny haters will come out in droves after the fight.
You'll hear the same tired excuses. Cotto is the same fighter he once was. He's never been the same since the Margarito fight. Clotty softened him up for the Pac-Man. The fight would have been different without the catch weight. Mayweather would have beaten Cotto, too. Etcetera, etcetera.
3. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will say he wants to fight Manny but still demands 60% of the gate. Bob Arum calls Mayweather out and says his fighter should get 60% not the other way around.
The two sides call each other names in the press. Pacquiao says he's retiring to run for public office in the Philippines and Money May says he's retiring to do a comedy hip hop CD , shoot up a bowling ally or whatever else he does in his spare time.
4. HBO rides to the rescue. With so much money on the line for everyone involved the folks at HBO and Time Warner tell Ross Greenburg to get the fight done or don't come back to the office after lunch.
Telling each side that they will make up the ten percent the other one won't give them, Greenburg and company somehow convince the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps there "is to" such a thing as a 60-60 split. That statement along with some fancy legal maneuvering and several bags of cash convince Pacquiao and Mayweather to sign a deal for the fight we all really want to see.
And Mayweather-Pacquiao finally takes place in 2010!