That Damned Good: Defeat Of Cotto Makes It Seven Titles for Manny Pacquiao
At fifty-five seconds of the 12th round, Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao solidified his place in boxing history, becoming the first fighter to gain a title in seven weight classes.
He completed this unprecedented feat at the demise of Miguel Cotto, who put up a valiant effort in the defense of his title.
Using his unparalleled speed and power in both hands, Pacquiao dismantled the WBO Welterweight titlist, knocking him down once in the third round with a quick right hand and once again with a heavy left in the fourth round.
Through the remaining rounds, Pacquiao asserted his dominance, often times calling in the beaten champion to mix it up with him.
What this writer saw different in Manny Pacquiao this time around was a fighter who had everything working for him.
He was fast, he was powerful, he had a corner that was managing his fight plan well, his jaw was strong and was able to absorb Cotto's best, and his conditioning was unbeatable.
Cotto on the other hand looked beaten before he finished the fourth round. His face looked more and more bruised, bloodied and swollen as he cornered at the end of each succeeding round.
It seemed like the only punch he could land on Manny with any accuracy or bite was his jab, and that lost its mustard as the fight went on.
Pacquiao said, "It was a hard fight tonight, and I needed time to test his power."
Test his power indeed, Manny. He took Cotto's best and seemingly walked right through those punches with relative ease.
What seems to be a Pacquiao pattern, he fights a fight based on his strength and speed, hitting his opponents from angles they cannot see until they slow down. Then he just keeps going until they're beaten.
You do have to give it to Miguel Cotto for hanging in there and making it a great fight. A solid 147-pound welterweight, he did bring the size advantage and a history of beating great fighters.
Cotto could also transform himself in those fights. But, he was no match for the best pound-for-pound.
The later rounds prove futile for Cotto who seemed to be on his bicycle, fighting backwards just trying to survive. At the end of the 11th round, Joe Santiago, Cotto's trainer, was ready to throw in the towel, but was convinced otherwise.
At times, Manny seemed frustrated, calling Cotto in to mix it up some more until that 12th round when referee Kenny Bayless stops the fight, a TKO win for Pacquiao.
"Manny Pacquiao is one of the best boxers I ever fought," Cotto said.
What we learned about Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao in this fight, more than any other and what solidifies his place in the history books is that he can trade with a legitimate welterweight, he can absorb the welterweight punch, he can lay true leather on a true welterweight and put some sting behind it.
Out of his last few fights, with Diaz, De La Hoya, Hatton, and now Cotto, Pacquiao absorbed the most punches from Cotto and was never hurt, a testament to his chin.
He just kept coming back to trade and at the end of the fight dominated the Puerto Rican by nearly doubling his punches landed statistics 336-172.
By making it seven titles in seven weight classes, Pacquiao, the Pambansang Kamao (National Fist) said, "It's history for me and more importantly a Filipino did it."
With this fight, he proved why he deserves the best pound-for-pound title. Manny Pacquiao is just that damned good.
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