|Human typhoon baffles Cotto
Pacquiao wins seventh world title
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – Manny Pacquiao has done it again. The Pambansang Kamao (Nation’s Fist) has won the WBO welterweight title, making him the champion in an unprecedented seven different weight categories. He defeated Puerto Rican fighter Miguel Cotto by technical knockout in the 12th round of a hard-won bout on Saturday, November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Freddy Roach, Pacquiao’s manager, predicted a knock out win for his fighter before the match while Pacquiao looked relaxed and confident, smiling as he made his way to the ring. In contrast, Cotto appeared very serious and nervous before the fight.
No walk in the park
Although heavily favoured, 3 to 1, by boxing fans, the fight was not a walk in the park for Pacquiao.
“It was not an easy fight. Cotto was tough,” said Pacquiao in the post-fight interview, adding that his team’s strategy was not to hurry.
“We were very careful in the early rounds because we don’t know what will happen. I tried to test his power in the early rounds. That’s why I wanted to get hit in the body and the head,” explained Pacquiao.
Pacquiao managed to draw blood from his opponent in the second round and even knock him off balance twice, in the third and fourth rounds, but Miguel Cotto would not go down.
Cotto was obviously groggy by the 11th round but still fairly nimble on his feet. His team refused to throw in the towel and, as Cotto said after the match, “I prefer to fight.”
His distraught wife, Melissa Cotto, however, could not bear to watch, covering her face with her hands after witnessing a particularly devastating combination of blows from Pacquiao in the ninth round. Ms Cotto left the arena with her son after the 11th round.
Then, 55 seconds into the 12th round, referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight and Pacquiao was declared winner by technical knockout.
“In the 11th round, I thought they were going to stop the fight. I was surprised he continued,” said Pacquiao.”
“Manny dictated the fight and they should have stopped it three rounds sooner than they did after [Cotto] began to run,” added manager Roach.
Described by one commentator as a “human typhoon,” Pacquiao deftly ducked under many of Cotto’s hooks and in several instances even managed to land solid head shots immediately after Cotto would land a blow. During the post-fight interview, Miguel Cotto admitted that he didn’t see many of Pacquiao’s punches coming, and indeed, Cotto was dominating the fight in the second round when Pacquiao first knocked him down.
“I fought everybody and Manny is one of the best all time,” said Cotto.
Aside from his usual speed and power, Pacquiao showed his fans and critics something new in this fight. He proved that he also has stamina and that he can take a punch. Cotto landed more blows than the Pac Man has seen in a long time but none of them could faze the champion. In the end, Pacquiao threw a total of 560 punches, landing 336 of them compared to Cotto’s 300 thrown punches and 172 blows landed.
Manny Pacquiao’s record now stands at 50 wins (38 by knock out), three losses and two draws.
The Pacquaio vs. Cotto fight drew a huge pay-per-view audience. So much so that HBO has announced that it will replay the fight on November 21 in high definition. The fight also drew celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Mickey Rourke, Derek Jeter, Magic Johnson, Sean Combs, Mark Wahlberg and Willie Revillame to the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
La Diva, the singing trio of Jonalyn Viray, Aicelle Santos and Maricris Garcia, dressed in formal Filipina gowns with traditional butterfly sleeves, performed the Philippine national anthem before the fight in a style that could be described as a Christmas Carol, though, climaxing in the usual dramatic pop style.
Ednita Nazario sang Puerto Rico’s anthem while Fil-Am singer and American Idol contestant, Ramiele Malubay belted out the American anthem.
What’s next for Manny Pacquiao? He said after the fight that he does not plan to try for a heavier weight division. His manager, Freddie Roach and fans alike are eagerly awaiting a chance to see Pacquiao go up against Floyd Maywether Jr. but, for now, the champion said he will go on vacation with his family and leave the negotiations to his promoter, Bob Arum. (Reported by PE staff)