By Manny Masongsong
I am an avid boxing fan and watched fights for over 50 years. I travel on business practically almost all my professional life and every time I had the opportunity, I watch boxing matches on TV in my hotel room, at the Sports Bar, theater and so on. In most of the fights that I have watched, it seems common sense prevails. If you don’t hurt your opponent and do not avoid getting hit, you will lose. This is what I have to say about the Cotto-Pacquiao fight on HBO Pay Per View.
I watched almost all of Pacquiao’s fights, either on DVD or live on TV or theater (I can’t afford to fly to Las Vegas to watch him fight live there). I have been noticing the improvement in Pacquiao’s techniques, from his early punch-til-you-die technique to his smart combination of boxer-slugger-defensive moves.
In his wins against Barrera, Marquez, he dominated by using a great volume and speed of punches. He just kept moving forward when he gets going with these punches. In the Diaz fight, that is when things seemed to have changed. He became an intelligent boxer, using his speed as a boxer, going in and out, then in again with combination’s.
He did the same with De La Hoya and Hatton. Both De La Hoya and Hatton had the advantage of weight and size and they had the belief that they could out-muscle the little guy. But Pacquiao was quick on his feet with evasive movements and sneaky counter attacks with his straight left hand and with his right cross or hooks. He tried to avoid being hit and he steps away when his opponent starts to attack. Then he steps forward and counter attacks with quick, but hard punches.
One thing common about these fights, if you will notice, is the force and energy behind Manny’s punches, especially with his left. I still can’t figure out what’s in those gloves aside from his fists. This guy is seemingly deceptive with his punches. They are very innocent looking, but extremely powerful. I remember the very first round against both Hatton and De La Hoya, when he hit them with the quick right and left, things suddenly changed in Manny’s favor.
De La Hoya seemed to have been affected by that surprise straight left that came too fast but did not appear hard. Yet it did carry so much energy that I noticed the stunned look on both De La Hoya and Hatton’s eyes – the look of sadness and an anticipation that things would not go right.
Remember my words, when Pacquiao hits his opponent with those right hooks and straight left, the fight seem to immediately tilt to his favour and the end would just be a matter of time. For a small guy, Pacquiao’s punches not only seemed to be fast, but, for some reason, seem to carry so much weight. If Cotto is hit by a couple of those bombs early in the fight, I think that will be the beginning of his end. This is specially true with Pacquiao’s killer instinct. Do not let him sense that you are hurt, otherwise, he will come at you with those quick non-stop punches and there is no way to avoid them.
There are no two ways about it – Cotto is a very good fighter, one of the best in the arena, but he has to hit Manny hard at the early stages of this fight, maybe right after the First Round bell rings. At the same time, he must avoid those quick, but innocent looking punches from Pacquiao. If he can hurt Manny with his strong body shots and famous left hooks, of course, without getting hit, that will dictate how he could win this fight. If he doesn’t do that, it will be Pacquiao within 3 or 4 rounds, maybe earlier than that.
Submit Your Article to Nowboxing.com
Discuss this and other boxing events in the Now Boxing Forum (membership is FREE)