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News – Pacquiao to fight Cotto

By Manuel Perez: Fresh off his 2nd round knockout over a badly shop worn Ricky Hatton in May, Manny Pacquiao decided to stay on course by selecting the battle scarred World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto to fight next on November 14th rather than risk fate by fighting Shane Mosley, the fighter perceived to be the best all around fighter in the welterweight division.

The news is disappointing, if not predictable. This is a big money fight for Pacquiao, one in which he’ll be able to make a lot of money but without the risks involved with facing a sterner test by facing Mosley or Paul Williams.

As far as it being a real test for Pacquiao, I don’t see that as happening. Perhaps if this fight had taken place a couple of years ago before Cotto ran into Antonio Margarito, who stopped Cotto and left him a blood mess in a 11th round TKO last year, then I could see the reasoning behind fighting Cotto but not now.

As for the details, Pacquiao will get his wish by having Cotto fight at the energy draining 145 pound catch weight, so there will be a slight handicap for Pacquiao in this fight. It doesn’t all that much, because Pacquiao would very likely beat Cotto even if the fight were to take place at 160. Cotto doesn’t look like the same fighter he was before fighting the hard hitting Mexican Margarito and will be over-matched in this fight.

Cotto recently looked unspectacular in winning a controversial 12 round split decision over Joshua Clottey on June 13th. Cotto took a beating in that fight and looked like he was there for the taking for about four rounds. Although Cotto got the victory, he looked very much like a loser and didn’t prove that he was the better fighter against Clottey.

The fact that Pacquiao is choosing to fight Cotto after his loss to Margarito and his poor performance against Clottey last month makes me wonder about Pacquiao. He could have fought Mosley or Paul Williams, both of whom are beating their opponents black and blue, yet Pacquiao decides to fight Cotto instead.

I wonder why? Is it because Cotto is an arguably easier opponent than them? That pretty much does it for me. I don’t see the challenge in a fight with Cotto, but rather another easy way out for Pacquiao. He’s already beaten a washed up, weight drained Oscar De la Hoya and limited Ricky Hatton. I was hoping that Pacquiao had finally gotten the easy opponents out of his system and was ready to step it up for a change against a prime fighter like Williams or Mosley. Nope, not going to happen unfortunately.

Ring magazine may have Pacquiao rated as their number #1 champion, but I can’t even consider putting him in that title role because of his choice of opponents. I mean, Pacquiao has fought Juan Manuel Marquez twice and has appeared to lose both fights, and beyond that, there’s not a whole quality there on Pacquiao’s resume.

Pacquiao hasd beaten some old fighters like Erik Morales, De La Hoya, and Marco Antonio Barrera. Besides that, his wins over Oscar Larios, Fahsan 3K Battery, Hector Velazquez, Jorge Solis and David Diaz aren’t enough for me to put Pacquiao as number #1 on any list.

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