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Hopkins Predicting a Victory for Pacquiao over Cotto; Haye finds a Soft Opponent With Valuev – News

By Chris Williams: For what it’s worth, Bernard Hopkins is predicting that Manny Pacquiao will stop Miguel Cotto in their November 14th fight at the MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hopkins made this revelation last night on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Hopkins sees the fight as being a turbulent one in the early rounds, but that Pacquiao’s ability will shine through in the 2nd half of the fight.

Hopkins, 44, likens Cotto to another Arturo Gatti, liking his heart, determination and his war-like skills in the heart of battle. However, Hopkins thinks that Cotto will be in over his head against Pacquiao and will be picked apart by the Filipino star. Hopkins sees Cotto “busted up” by Pacquiao’s fists and beaten down.

Pointing out that Cotto has had two grueling fights against Margarito and Clottey, Hopkins thinks that this will weight in against Cotto in being able to pull off the win against Pacquiao.

Let’s hopes that Hopkins is a better predictor this time compared to the last time he made a prediction involving Pacquiao. Last time out, Hopkins picked Ricky Hatton over Pacquiao and boy was he ever wrong. However, in this case, Hopkins seems to have made a safe pick because Cotto looks weakened and very vulnerable going into this fight.

Cotto was badly beaten in a fight against Antonio Margarito in a 11th round knockout last year, and nearly beaten in a close 12 round split decision over Joshua Clottey last month. Cotto took a lot of punishment in those two fights, as he did in fights against Zab Judah (Cotto was hurt in the fight), Shane Mosley, Ricardo Torres (Cotto was hurt in the fight), Randall Bailey and DeMarcus Corley (Cotto was staggered by Corley).

To add to all that, Cotto will be coming in two pounds lighter than he normally does by coming in at a 145 pound catch weight. Although Pacquiao wanted Cotto to come in at 142, the 145 pound catch weight might be enough to leave Cotto sufficiently weak enough for Pacquiao to exploit the opportunities further.

Pacquiao has had to take a little bit of heat for choosing Cotto rather than Shane Mosley, the fighter that is largely considered to be the best fighter in the welterweight division at this time. However, Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum prefer the match up against Cotto, possibly seeing him as an easier fight than Mosley. Indeed, Mosley is probably too good for Pacquiao to beat at any weight, hence he wasn’t the once chosen as Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Haye Finds a Beatable Opponent in Valuev

David Haye, tired of negotiating with Vitali Klitschko, dumped the idea of fighting him this week and decided to go after World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Nikolay Valuev. Perceived by many boxing experts to be a paper champion, Valuev has the perfect qualities that make him just the right opponent for Haye to fight. To start with, Valuev has no power to speak of and is excruciatingly slow.

Having no power is the key, though, because Haye has a history of having a very fragile chin and he can ill afford to face a heavyweight with power. Haye was at a terrible risk when he was looking at facing heavyweight champions Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, both of whom can punch hard, but that’s all been taken care of now that Haye has looked for and found an easier opponent in the weak-punching Valuev.

The one problem that Haye has now is how to deal with the huge seven foot size of Valuev. Then 6’3” Haye will have to find a way in close enough proximity that he isn’t mauled by the huge Russian bear. Although not much of a puncher, Valuev’s sheer size may be enough on it’s own to cause nightmares for Haye.

Another thing that is overlooked is that Valuev has great stamina for a fighter his size, whereas in contrast Haye tends to wear down and fade late in his fights. If Haye wears down against Valuev like he did in his 5th round stoppage loss against Carl Thompson in September 2004, then Valuev may be able to take Haye out with one of his clubbing right hands.

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