Corners could decide fight
Cotto has power – but Pacquiao’s speed may steal the show
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
SPEED PLAY: Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, pounds a speedbag during a workout in Las Vegas, in preparation for his clash with Miguel Cotto.