Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pacquiao Decimates Cotto, Becomes 7-Division Champion

My apologies for not updating this blog these past few days. A friend during my college days came over and I had no choice but to do my moral obligation to such person – show him around and make sure he (by that I mean we) had a good time.

Of course, we did get to watch the much anticipated Pacquiao-Cotto fight at a restaurant in the city and like the rabid Manny Pacquiao fans that we are, cheered wildly as the Filipino champ obliterated a tough Miguel Cotto with a TKO victory in the final round. Just two rounds past my prediction.

The fight (or the half of it) lived up to its title, with both men showcasing their skills and trading bombs from the get go. Cotto was doing well in the first couple of rounds, using his left jab extensively to upset any combinations Pacquiao was trying to concoct.

Pacquiao,on the other hand, did something rather foolish – stay still. Cotto had a field day landing powerful blows to the Filipino slugger’s body. Surprisingly, Pacquiao was able to handle what Cotto can dish out. Bad news for Cotto.

Third round started to spell good for Pacquiao as he downed the Caguas native with a short right. In the next round, Cotto was again decked to the canvas on all fours; this time leaving everybody with no doubt that Pacquiao can really fight and bring down a true welterweight.

By the middle of the seventh round, Cotto, whose disfigured face has been the recipient of many combinations and flurries, starts to ride on his bicycle while fending the stalking Filipino with his jabs and occasional power shots.

The thing was every punch Cotto lands has no more pop. He was obviously drained of his energy and was clearly bent on finishing the fight and not end up as Pacquiao’s KO #38.

Pacquiao was obviously frustrated at times when Cotto would rather dance away instead of engaging him. But with patience, Pacquiao occasionally staggered Cotto with flush combinations, adding more damage to the already beaten and battered face of the Puerto Rican fighter.

Cotto’s father Miguel Sr. pleaded him to quit, but Cotto would have none of it. A true warrior, Cotto chose to finish the fight or fall trying.

55 seconds into the last round, Pacquiao landed another powerful left and trapped Cotto against the ropes. Referee Kenny Bayless saw enough and saved Cotto from another Pacquiao onslaught and called a halt to the bout.

After dethroning Cotto, Pacquiao, in the process, became the only boxer in history to capture seven titles in seven weight categories. Revered boxing historian Bert Sugar has already named Pacquiao as the Greatest Asian Fighter of All Time and the Greatest Left-Handed Boxer of All Time.

Great respect to both fighters for giving us a good fight. This one will surely go down as a classic.

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