Southpaw boxing is a relatively recent phenomenon. For nearly a century, many trainers automatically turned left-handers into orthodox fighters.
Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, has expressed concern over possible low blows from Miguel Cotto on November 14, saying he wants automatic disqualification for any deliberate shots below the belt (click here to read the story).
Of course, it can be difficult to distinguish between deliberate and accidental shots – especially if the offending boxer knows how to disguise an intentional low blow.
Many readers have commented on the upcoming Manny Pacquiao v Miguel Cotto fight on November 14.
Among the more memorable messages is this one, from a Chinese fan: “NICE PACMAN YOUR GREAT…FROM CHINA PEOPLE..YOU LIKE BRUCE LEE HERE IN OUR PLACE….”
The comparison is interesting, because Pacquiao and Lee have at least one thing in common – both were born in the house of Sagittarius (Lee’s birthday was November 27 1940, and Pacquiao’s is December 17 1978).
At a stretch it’s worth noting that two of Pacquiao’s greatest wins have occurred within a fortnight of what would have been Lee’s birthday – his TKO win over Marco Antonio Barrera (November 15, 2003) and his third-round KO of Erik Morales (November 18, 2006). Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Pacquiao agreed to fight Cotto on November 14!
Lee was famous for his abilities as a martial arts fighter, as well as being a movie star, but it seems he tried his hand at boxing too – with great success of course.
According to Wikipedia, Lee won the 1958 Hong Kong Inter-School Boxing Championship by incorporating tactics from the martial art, Wing Chun.
Lee died at the age of 32 on May 10, 1973, more than five years before Pacquiao was born.
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.