Pacquiao Stops Cotto in 12
Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) solidified himself as an all time great fighter with a dominating stoppage over Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) to win a title in his seventh weight division.
The crowd was on fire the entire night, and the frenzy built before the combantants entered due to Top Rank showing clips of classic fights from yesteryear (Leonard-Hagler, Hearns-Hagler, Pryor-Arguello). Pacquiao came out first to Eye of the Tiger, and was all smiles on his way to the ring.
Cotto picked Kanye Wests Stronger, which seemed to be an inside dig at Pacquiao sicne manny considered Miguel the bigger, stronger fighter. Miguel tried to maintain his regular stoic demeanor, but his eyes showed his fierce determination to win the biggest fight on his career. Pacquiaos jovial smile quickly disappeared as his name was introduced, and he took on the look of a warrior ready to give his life in the ring.
Both men looked sharp in round one. They traded stiff jabs that snapped each others heads back, and the Filipino and Puerto Rican contingents screamed approval for their fighters. As planned, Pacquiao kept himself in ring center and worked his patented right jab-straight left combination which glanced off Cottos guard. The Puerto Rican champion dug his left hook to the body, and maintained combination hooks to the body whenever Manny was in range.
Round two saw Cotto look to time Pacquiaos speed as he had previously done with southpaws Zab Judah and Carlos Quintana. A hard right hook counter slammed through Pacquiaos guard. The challenger retaliated with straight lefts, but Cotto looked unfazed and continue taking small steps forward in hopes of cornering his smaller foe. Pacquiao welcomed the pressure, and began exchanging with Miguel on the inside.
The risky move paid, as Pacquiao withstood several thudding body hooks to crash home blinding combinations of straight lefts, uppercuts, right hooks and jabs on Cotto. Both fighters were taking each others shots well, but Pacquiao flush blows gave him the edge.
Cottos attempts at inside work would have disastrous consequences on round three, when Pacquiao timed him beautifully with a straight left- right hook to score a balance knockdown. The champion still had his wits about him, and went right back to abusing Pacquiaos rib cage and liver with hooks. Manny waved Cotto in with defiance and peppered him with jabs. Despite the knockdown, it was Cotto who would punctuate the round with a rattling combination of hooks to the face and body which stunned the challenger.
Cotto thought he smelled blood, and picked up his momentum in the fourth. Early on, his jab backed Pacquiao up, and placed him on the ropes. There, Cotto rained in hooks around the through Pacquiaos guard. It was a dominant showing, and amazingly Pacquiao put on the high guard and did his version of the rope a dope. Freddie Roach was beside himself, since Pacquiao was doing exactly what they worked on avoiding.
Then suddenly, Manny Pacquiao exploded.
The Filipino sensation caught Cotto blind with a stinging left uppercut that hurt and dropped him. Cotto looked shell-shocked, but rose on wobbly legs. Pacquiao pounced on his prey with more uppercuts and hooks before the bell saved the desperate champion from a stoppage.
Before round six, Cotto face was a mask of swelling, fear, and confusion. He tried again to impose himself courtesy of a nice right hook, and later a left which Pacquiao shook off. The challenger again tried to goad Cotto to the ropes with the rope-a-dope, but Cotto would have none of it due to the previous knockdown. It mattered little to Pacquiao, and he began blasting Cotto with combinations at ring center and against the ropes. The punches were too fast and coming from too many different angles for Cotto, who could do little but cover up split seconds after each punch landed.
The beating continued in seventh and eighth. Pacquiao own hooks were doing massive damage to Cottos face; his eyes and lip swelling. In a nightmarish twist for Miguel, the fight had turned into the Margarito contest. Cotto was in full retreat, but could not move fast enough to avoid debilitating doses of straight lefts from a merciless Pacquiao. As round eight ended, it looked as if Cotto would only have a round or two left.
After taking another brutal pounding in round nine, Cottos corner looked close to stopping it before Miguel affirmed that he wanted to continue. At this point it wasnt about trying to win, but simply the dignity of finishing the fight on his feet.
In round ten, Cotto circled the ring and avoided any exchanges with Pacquiao. His offense consisted simply of flickering jab and occasional right hand in hopes of deterring any further punishment. For two rounds, it mostly worked, and Pacquiao grew visibly frustrated as he was unable to cut off the ring and trap the wounded champion. Several times in the tenth and eleventh, Pacquiao stopped in ring center and threw down his hands in disgust at Cottos strategy.
Miguel was close to getting his wish to finish, but Pacquiao finally caught up with him at the beginning of the twelfth. Manny caught Cotto with his umpteenth straight left against the ropes, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to halt the contest a minute into the final round.
It was an astounding victory for Pacquiao, but the specter of his pound for pound rival manifested almost immediately, as loud chants of WE WANT FLOYD reverberated through the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Time will tell if the egos will be put aside to give the fans what they want. Until then, Manny Pacquiao deserves every accolade he gets, and its a privilege to watch greatness at work.
Alfonso Gomez TD Jesus Soto-Karass due to accidental headbutt. Scorecards 58-54, 57-55, and 57-55
Yuri Foreman UD Daniel Santos to win the WBA 154 title. Scorecards 117-109 twice, 116-110.
Julio Cesar Chavez UD Troy Rowland. Scorecards 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93
Post-Fight Media Interviews
Miguel Cotto was taken to hospital and unable to attend the post-fight press conference. However, the gracious former champion made sure to get a message sent.
I feel great. I know Im cut and swollen. I just had a fight, thats how Im supposed to look, Cotto explained in a prepared statement. I did my best, and fought the best fighter Ive ever fought. Im going to take some time off and decide what Ill do next. I thank the media for their great coverage and hope the fans enjoyed the fight.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, who promotes both Cotto and Pacquiao, was on a quotable rampage regarding potential fights with Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley. Considering he currently promotes the most exciting fighter on the planet, you cant really blame him. Check out the below clips, where he explains why Manny Pacquiao is the greatest fighter of all time, and calls out Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley to step up to the plate.
Floyd Mayweather and Bob Arum Already Looking Elsewhere?
There was a disappointing rumor going around in Las Vegas regarding the next plans for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
Despite Arums public openness to a Mayweather bout, word is that the veteran promoter has been working with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to have Pacquiao face Juan Manuel Marquez in a rubber match at CowboysStadium.
On Mayweathers end, the story is hes training now for a European tour, where hell basically fight multiple bouts against lower level opponents like the old time fighters used to do regularly before the 1960s.
You would think both sides would not ignore the most lucrative fight in boxing history, but stranger things have happened.
Hopefully there scenarios will stay rumors and never come fruition, or at the very least after Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Z Gorres In Stable Condition After Collapsing in the Ring
All was not great in Las Vegas this weekend. On Friday night (November 13), Top Rank held a card at the Mandalay Bay which featured popular Filipino boxer ZC Oliveros The Dream Gorres, better known to fans as Z Gorres.
Gorres was dominating a 10 round bout against Juan Melendez before being caught with and dropped hard with 30 seconds remaining. He survived the round, and scored a unanimous decision.
As he was attempting to leave the ring, he collapsed and calls went out immediately for a stretcher.
It was later learned that there was brain swelling and a possible blood clot. A medically-induced coma along with part of his skull being removed was implemented to relieve the swelling. Gorres is now in stable condition and conscious.
Gorres was most known to mainstream fans for holding super flyweight unified champion Vic Darchinyan to a disputed draw in February 2008.
Please keep Gorres and his family in your prayers.
Shane Mosley-Andre Berto Press Conference
Yesterday afternoon, Golden Boy Promotions held a press conference to officially announce the January 30 bout between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto. There was a little trash talking towards the end, but for the most part both fighters remained respectful.
According to Berto promoter Lou DiBella, Mosley looked great against Antonio MArgarito because he had a limited fighter in front of him who was already mentally gone from his illegal hand wraps being found out.
Mosley was gracious to Bertos talent, but made it clear the young titlist is in over his head and makes too many mistakes thatll be exploited on January 30.
Unless Mosley has indeed aged dramatically since last January, Berto has a huge task in front of him to pull this off.
David Haye Makes First U.S. Appearance as Champion
Fresh off his victory over Nicolai Valuev earlier this month, UK fighter David Haye held an informal press conference for media gathered in town for Pacquiao-Cotto.
With other UK standouts like Amir Khan in attendance, Oscar De La Hoya made it clear that David Haye is the future of the heavyweight division, and will move to face the Klitschkos next year if he gets by a mandatory WBA defense against John Ruiz.
The heavyweight division has been in shambles the last several years simply due to the Klitschkos being so much better than every potential opponent out there. In Haye, the division has a fighter with the cockiness and exciting style that can make him a star with the right matchmaking.
I say right matchmaking because unfortunately Haye will be considerably smaller than most of his opponents, as he is a cruiserweight moving up. He showed his power by staggering the 7 foot plus Valuev in last round of their fight, but also had to run and potshot for eleven round because he was outweighed by 100 pounds, and had a hurt right hand.
John Ruiz is not the opponent you select to make a fighter look good, but it is a mandatory title defense that must be fulfilled. Golden Boy should look at Chris Arreola after Ruiz for Haye, as that would be an exciting, name building fight for Haye in preparation for a showdown with either Klitschko.
Manny Sings Following Cotto Victory!
To conclude on a light note, Pacquiao scheduled a $40 concert right after the fight at the Mandalay Bay. When asked for a preview, Pacquiao had no problems giving a quick sample. Can Manny sing? You decide. How can you not like this guy?