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Cotto-Pacquiao: Is Manny Avoiding Mosley and Paul Williams?

By Manuel Perez: I got to say I wasn’t exactly shocked to see Manny Pacquiao’s name being linked for a fight with Miguel Cotto after the Puerto Rican fighters disappointing performance last Saturday night against Joshua Clottey. As bad as Cotto looked in the fight, and believe me Cotto looked pretty awful, it seemed like a no brainer that Pacquiao would then select him as his next opponent.

But my question is why isn’t Pacquiao going after Shane Mosley or Paul Williams instead? Why the emphasis at fighting Cotto, when he was destroyed by Antonio Margarito last year? It seems to me the much better choice for Pacquiao would be to go after Mosley, since he beat Margarito a few months ago by a 9th round TKO.

Since Margarito has already stopped Cotto, the logical choice for Pacquiao to fight would be Mosley. That’s the bout that Pacquiao should be going after unless he wants to be considered a cherry picker and to be seen as avoiding Mosley.

I think the only way that Pacquiao could avoid that tag would be if he chose to fight Paul Williams, who none of the top welterweights want to fight because of his long arms, great chin and high work rate. I could respect Pacquiao for the first time if he stood on his hind legs and took that fight. I highly doubt he would since Williams would toy with Pacquiao for 12 rounds, but it would still be a daring thing to do for Pacquiao.

Whether it be Mosley or Williams, though, Pacquiao will probably have to bump heads with his promoter Bob Arum, who has a strong desire to see Pacquiao fight Cotto. I can’t see the interest for Arum other than possibly that he’ll end up making more money out of the deal since he promotes Cotto as well.

That’s a weird situation, though. It’s kind of like a manager who co-manages to baseball teams deciding to have them play against each other in a situation where the manager wins no matter what. I see it as being more than a little off putting and can’t stomach the thought of seeing a fight that would seem to have few benefits for the fans, especially when Cotto isn’t even close to being the top man in the welterweight division.

What does a victory over Cotto prove for Pacquiao? That he can beat someone that was already destroyed by Margarito or that Pacquiao could beat a fighter that perhaps should have lost to Clottey last weekend. If Cotto and his promoter want a fight, a good place for them to look is at Clottey.

It seems to me that Cotto has unfinished business with Joshua and needs to prove that he’s the better man because his victory over him is rather hallow if you ask me. Even Cotto’s loyal boxing fans aren’t exactly enthused with his win over Clottey.

Oh yeah, they think he won but it bothers them that Cotto had to struggle so badly and looked so crappy against him. They of course try to explain his bad performance away by blaming it on Cotto’s cut over his left eye, but I doubt they really believe this.

I think the cut actually saved Cotto from being knocked out, because if he had decided to fight it out with Clottey at close range for 12 rounds, Cotto would have probably been hit and hurt with something big and taken out. So the cut was actually a good thing. But there’s no escaping from the fact that Cotto was fought to a virtual stand still by Clottey and that he didn’t prove that he’s a better fighter.

If I was Pacquiao I wouldn’t want to fight Cotto. I couldn’t get motivated for a fight against someone that has struggled in two out of his last three fights. You can arguably say that Cotto lost two out of his last three fights, because he lost the Clottey fight on my card and Margarito destroyed him.

The only win came against a below average opponent Michael Jennings. I’d say the heck with fighting Cotto, let me fight Paul Williams or Mosley. If Pacquiao wants respect from boxing fans those are the two fighters that he needs to be going after, not Cotto.

Miguel still has to prove that he belongs in the same ring with Pacquiao, and right now I don’t think he has. His Puerto Rican fans will flock to see him fight against anyone, but as bad as Cotto looked against Clotty and Margarito, I seriously doubt that other boxing fans would be interested in seeing him against Pacquiao.

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