Cor­ners could de­cide fight

Cotto has power – but Pac­quiao’s speed may steal the show

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

BOX­ING ex­perts have mixed opin­ions on who will win the Manny Pac­quiao-Miguel Cotto mega-fight, say­ing the out­come will be de­cided not only by the fight­ers in the ring, but the role both cor­ners play.

Nazim Richardson, trainer for Shane Mosley and Bernard Hop­kins, likes the way Pac­quiao de­stroys big­ger and stronger op­po­nents and says the Filipino also knows how to im­press the judges.

“I think Manny Pac­quiao is go­ing to steal the fight,” Richardson said. “He is good at let­ting his size fool peo­ple and when they see him dart­ing around the ring looking scrappy, box­ing and mov­ing it trans­lates into a round for him.

“Call­ing Pac­quiao lit­tle in his weight class is like call­ing Mike Tyson a lit­tle heavy­weight. He knows how to make the round look like the lit­tle guy is dom­i­nat­ing a big man.”

Buddy McGirt, trainer for An­to­nio Tarver and Ar­turo Gatti, says Pac­quiao has more ex­pe­ri­ence in his cor­ner with trainer Fred­die Roach than Cotto’s trainer Joe San­ti­ago.

“Pac­quiao might have the psy­cho­log­i­cal edge, as he to­tally trusts Fred­die and is very comfortable with him,” McGirt said. “It is a big stage for some­one (Joe) who has never been there be­fore.”

Muham­mad Ali’s for mer trainer An­gelo Dundee pre­dicts Cotto’s sav­age power will take the fight into the later rounds.

“I have seen Cotto train twice now and he’s a stone-cold pro­fes­sional fighter,” said Dundee, who also trained Su­gar Ray Leonard and Ge­orge Fore­man. “He was obliv­i­ous to the out­side world when I saw him and he’s very fo­cused.

“You have a per­fect blend of style in this fight. If I had a fighter fight­ing Pac­quiao I would im­ple­ment the things Cotto brings to the ta­ble.

Cer­tain in­gre­di­ents that spell Cotto will give Pac­quiao trou­ble.

“Cotto is a pres­sure fighter and he is go­ing to be on Pac- quiao from the get go.”

Ron­nie Shields, who trained Mike Tyson and Evan­der Holy­field, also likes Cotto’s chances.

“Pac­quiao has a lot of speed but I just feel Cotto is just go­ing to walk through him,” Shields said.

“There is no way that Pac­quiao is go­ing to be able to wear Cotto down. Cotto is go­ing to get much stronger.

“Pac­quiao can­not take Cotto’s punches through­out the 12 rounds.” – Sapa-AFP

REUTERS

SPEED PLAY: Manny Pac­quiao, of the Philip­pines, pounds a speed­bag dur­ing a work­out in Las Ve­gas, in prepa­ra­tion for his clash with Miguel Cotto.

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