I have huge respect for trainer Freddie Roach, but I can’t agree with his prediction that Manny Pacquiao will knock out Miguel Cotto in the first round next Saturday night.
I don’t dispute Pacquiao has incredible speed, and I accept that he carries fantastic power, but even so, one look at Pacquiao’s record will tell you that he seldom wins fights in the first round. The last time he achieved that was more than seven years ago, when he was still a junior-featherweight. That is 17 fights and 130 rounds ago!
That’s when he stopped Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym of Thailand two minutes 46 seconds into the first round. His previous first-round stoppage came in June 2000 against South Korea’s Seung-Kon Chae, then an unbeaten fighter.
In his days before becoming a world champion, Pacquiao scored four first-round KOs for a career tally of six. But his best round for finishing an opponent is the second, which he’s achieved seven times.
Pacquiao has executed five stoppage wins in round three and five in round four, which means that 23 of his 37 career stoppage wins have come in the first four rounds.
It’s awesome stuff, but remember this: Miguel Cotto is tough. Sure, Zab Judah rocked him in round one, but he recovered quickly. Secondly, he has been stopped only once in his career and that was in the 11th round against a hard fighter who might have been packing plaster-of-paris in his gloves!
And don’t forget, for all the similarities and weaknesses that Roach claims to have spotted between Cotto and Hatton, Pacquiao didn’t stop Hatton in round one.
Furthermore, if you look back on superfights throughout history, how many of them ended in the first round? Almost none!
Pacquiao and Cotto fans seem to think their fighter will have an easy night on November 14. The last time both these men went the distance they had to settle for split decisions – Cotto against Joshua Clottey in June and Pacquiao against Juan Manuel Marquez in March last year.
I have a feeling that this fight will go to the final bell, although I think Pacquiao will emerge victorious. If there is a stoppage, it will be in the later rounds.
I’m not entirely sure how this will end, but that’s what makes this an intriguing fight – nobody knows what will happen!
When Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring against Miguel Cotto in what could be the biggest fight of the year on November 14, few may recall that his rise to stardom started eight years ago against a South African fighter.
Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, who grew up in Johannesburg’s famous sprawling township of Soweto, was the IBF junior-featherweight champion who, according to promoter Rodney Berman, was on the verge of securing an HBO fight contract.
All he had to do was win the sixth defence of a belt that had seemingly become the property of South Africa. It was first owned by East London-based Welcome Ncita (1990-1992), who lost it to American Kennedy McKinney (1992-1994) before being reclaimed by Ncita’s stablemate, Vuyani Bungu (1994-1999), who defended it a record 13 times before vacating it to step up a division to take on Naseem Hamed.
Ledwaba – one of the finest South African fighters of that era (the other stand-outs included Mzukisi Sikali and Corrie Sanders) – won the vacant IBF junior-featherweight crown.
His sixth defence, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 6 2001, appeared to be mere routine – he faced a late replacement, an unknown who once held the WBC flyweight title before losing that belt on a third-round KO. Ledwaba was heavy handed and it seemed unthinkable that a boxer who had stepped up from flyweight would give him a problem.
But that’s exactly what happened. Pacquiao dropped Ledwaba in the opening round and eventually stopped the champion in the sixth. Ledwaba’s performance seemed so ineffectual that Berman effectively dumped him!
It turns out that his loss to Pacquiao was no disgrace. Two years later the Filipino entered superstardom after stepping up to featherweight to score a sensational stoppage victory over the legendary Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera. Wars against Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales followed before moving up to lightweight (David Diaz – wTKO9), welterweight (Oscar De La Hoya – wTKO8) and junior-welterweight (Ricky Hatton – wKO2).
Perhaps it’s no surprise then that more than 80% of people who have voted on this blog’s poll are tipping Pacman to beat welterweight champion Cotto inside the distance. To vote, click here.
Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming bout against Miguel Cotto has raised some questions, especially considering that Pacquiao will supposedly be at a disadvantage because he’s moving up in weight.
Yes, attempts have been made to even matters out by reducing the contracted weight to a couple of pounds below the welterweight limit.
But today I saw a copy of the tale of the tape, and I notice that Pacquiao has exactly the same reach as Cotto – 67 inches. That’s very interesting. Suddenly, Cotto’s advantage shrinks. When the smaller, quicker guy can match the bigger, stronger guy for reach, then it’s a different ball game. I reckon reach is a far more telling statistic than even height!
By the way, Floyd Mayweather has a reach of 72 inches – that would be a big advantage for Mayweather if he ever were to fight Pacquiao. Mayweather’s last victim, Juan Manuel Marquez, has a reach of 67 inches (the same as Pacquiao and Cotto).
I know the world’s greatest Floyd fan and, boy, is he worried.
There’s this guy at work, called Kaka, and he is in love with Floyd Mayweather. But two years out the ring and that tough hombre, Juan Manuel Marquez, have him freaking out.
He really thinks this weekend could spell the end of Floyd’s unbeaten record. “David, I am really worried,” Kaka told me. “This could be the unlucky 40th fight giving Floyd 39-1.”
I must admit, though, that when pushed to the hilt, Kaka likes to sit on the fence. Listen to his prediction now – “I still think Marquez’ skill and great counter boxing will be a problem for Floyd. If I had to call it I would say Floyd to win on split decision and my second bet would be a Marquez on split decision.”
I suppose Kaka’s third call is Floyd on points; fourth is Marquez on points; fifth is Floyd by KO and sixth Marquez by KO.
The world mourned the loss of another Floyd this week – the famous TV chef Keith Floyd – but I’m loathe to write off Mayweather. He is amazing.
Fans of Floyd Mayweather can get to track him on Twitter (click here or go to http://twitter.com/MAYWEATHERMANIA).
The world’s pound-for-pound best boxer (former) comes out of retirement to take on Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on September 19. The bout was postponed after Mayweather injured his ribs in training, and that’s a weakness Marquez is hoping to exploit.
But Pretty Boy writes on Twitter: “Marquez says hes goin after my ribs but theres no weakness in MONEY MAY. Only ribs he’ll b diggin n2 will b at Outback after I take him down.”
An arbitrary piece of trivia here… Mayweather and Marquez have fought on the same card twice, once in Vegas in September 1999 and the other in Grand Rapids in November 2003. What may be of interest to SA’s boxing anoraks is that on the second occasion, Mayweather demolished Phillip Ndou in seven rounds, and at that time, Marquez’s brother, Rafael, owned the IBF bantamweight crown, which was previously held by Mbulelo Botile – who was at the fight, having helped Ndou in sparring.
Mayweather and his uncle Roger were full of bluster, hype and bullshit – they got under the skin of Ndou’s trainer, Nick Durandt, who has the biggest mouth in SA boxing – but I must say I found Mayweather perfectly pleasant and polite during a couple of interviews I conducted. His bluster is part of the ring hype, and if you enjoy that type of thing, keep track of him on Twitter.
Mayweather v Marquez should be interesting, but if he’s the same Pretty Boy of old, he’ll surely win.