Pacquiao isn't just good, he's scary good. He possess the kind of talent that sends chills down your spine.
Going into this fight, everyone felt that Cotto might be too big and talented. He's the first complete fighter that Pacquiao has fought on his pound-for-pound campaign. Some believed that "Pac-man" would sting and strafe, but that eventually Puerto Rico's favorite son would catch the Filipino with a solid shot and then we'd see what Pacquiao was really made of.
I tried to explain this to all of my layman friends. They all thought that Pacquiao would win within three rounds. They were right.
The first round was what you might expect, Pacquio strafed and stung. Using footwork and timing he was able to land on a somewhat regular rate. Cotto proved his power, though, as before the pacific typhoon could let fly, Cotto would back him off with a good, stiff jab. I gave Cotto the round, it wouldn't the last.
The second round was much of the same, but more intense. The two traded shots and neither backed down. After their chilling showdown, Pacquiao went back to a more calculated strategy and did enough to win the round.
The third was one of the most revealing as Pacquiao lived up to his reputation and went right after his man. A fast, sharp flurry by Pac-man, punctuated with a signature right hook, put Cotto on the canvass. It was a surprise to me. All my friends, who know nothing of Pacquiao besides the De Lahoya and Hatton fights, were expecting it.
Pacquiao effectively won the fight in the fourth, when after an exchange on the ropes, Pacquiao backed off just a bit and timed a vicious right uppercut that caught Cotto perfectly, leaving him on the mat for the second straight round.
From there on out is was a slow finish in waiting. The pound-for-pound champ pounded his man, going for the knock out round after round. We were waiting to see who would cave first, Cotto's trainers or referee Kenny Bayless, who let the fight go on far too long. Things got so bad that Cotto's wife and child had to leave the arena.
Cotto, though, wanted to finish. He is still a warrior and it takes a certain kind of courage and will to fight it out the way did. Eventually, though, enough was enough, and Bayless mercifully ended it in the twelfth.
I respect Manny Pacquiao, I have him at ten on my pound-for-pound all-time list.
I respect Miguel Cotto. I think he is one of the better welterweights in the world right now.
But last night was unbelievable. The only explanation for the shock and awe that was that fight is that Pacquiao is more than good, he's incredible. He's spent his last four fights utterly destroying larger, talented opponents. Granted, Diaz, Oscar, and Hatton all had their flaws, but they were not bums. Then against a legitimate welterweight contender, Pacquiao showed us once again just what he's capable of—absolutely anything.
Next up on Freddie Roach's opponent hit-list? "Money" Mayweather. And you know what? I'll be betting the farm on Manny because he's simply unbelievable.
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