Manny’s Meteoric Rise – Part 2
By Alexander Fugate: After winning a paper title, Manny hit the boxing jackpot by landing a fight against De La Hoya. De La Hoya’s last fight was against Steve Forbes, at 150 lbs. Oscar’s trainer said after the fight that he “thought Oscar would have had more power than he had.” If the fight would have been at a higher weight. Oscar had been fighting at 154 or higher for 7 years. Boxing analyst Travis Marks wrote afterwards “The troubling aspect about Oscar’s fight last night was that he was at his best, at least he was at his best at this stage in his career.” He went on “…Steve Forbes was never hurt. Forbes surprisingly was able to land some of the cleaner more effective power punches. The underdog caused a mouse under De La Hoya’s left eye, he puffed up the right eye, and bloodied both Oscar’s lip and nose. No one could have expected that.” Mr. Marks went on “Psychologically De La Hoya can not be a good place. “He finished his column “…last night’s bout points to Oscar having a pretty nasty send off from the square ring.” James Slater wrote about the bout “…De La Hoya’s performance against Steve Forbes left a lot to be desired.” De La Hoya had to lose three more pounds and was seven months older. Travis Marks couldn’t have been more right, in his prediction of Oscar’s send off.
Next up for Pacquiao was Ricky Hatton at 140. Hatton had got knocked out three fights earlier against Floyd Mayweather Jr. After that Hatton battled Juan Lazcano. Boxing analyst Jim Dwyer wrote afterwards
“…I was watching…Ricky Hatton absorb tremendous punishment in the 8th and 10th rounds by light-hitting Juan Lazcano, who hurt Hatton badly in both rounds, in finally dawned on me that Hatton, perhaps, can no longer take a big shot at this stage in his career. Some people are of the opinion that Hatton’s chin was damaged earlier in his career.”
After this Hatton beat the feather-fisted Pauli Malignaggi. Then against Pacquiao he suffered another knockout.
Then in his last outing Manny Pacquiao took on welterweight Miguel Cotto. But he made Cotto fight at a catchweight of 145. Also worth noting, is the fact that Shane Mosley, who’s regarded as the best welterweight, had been practically begging for a fight with Pacquiao. He offered to go down to 143 and a 60/40 purse split for Manny. If that was his opening offer, Manny surely could have gotten an even better deal. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach was even quoted on Insidefights.com an official partner of Fox Sports as follows: “Shane came to the gym twice to ask me to let him fight Manny… I told him “no” both times, and both times for the same two reasons: First, there isn’t enough money there, and second, you’re too good a fighter.” Cotto on the other hand had suffered a horrendous beating by the possibly plaster-wrapped hands of Antonio Margarito. He took an easy fight and then he fought Joshua Clottey. Cotto-Clottey was an extremely close fight that Cotto won by decision, but some thought Clottey should have gotten the nod. After that bout Frank Lotierzo wrote on thesweetscience.com “The reality is Cotto isn’t an overwhelmingly strong welterweight. Miguel Cotto is no longer the catch and kill style fighter he was earlier in his career.” Teddy Atlas on ESPN following the fight said Cotto “…looked like the ghost of Margarito was hovering over him…it looked like Cotto was in some ways pscyologically suffering.” Then before his fight with Pacquiao an article by Brett Okamoto ran in the Las Vegas Sun, stating “Roach has said many times Cotto hasn’t been the same since taking the worst beating of his career in an 11th round TKO loss to Antonio Margarito.” Roach was then quoted as saying “’… a fighter is …not the same following a knockout like that.” The column continued “Some agree with Roach that the 29-year-old fighter looked different in a 12 round split decision with Joshua Clottey.” Manny Pacquiao went on to prove people right again by battering a Cotto that looked shot for 12 rounds. Now Manny has turned his attention to the Clottey. Yes, the same Clottey that lost to a shot Miguel Cotto.
In review, after his first title defense ended in a draw against Marquez, Manny fought the loser of Barrera-Morales III, Morales again when he was coming off a loss to Zahir Rahim, Oscar Larios coming off a loss, Jorge Solis, Barrera coming off two narrow victories over Juarez and getting dominated in his last fight, a rematch with Marquez that many feel Marquez won, the easiest title-holder at 135, a washed up De La Hoya, a Hatton that could no longer take a punch, and a shot Cotto. Now a fighter who has lost to Carlos Baldomir, Margarito, and a loss in his last fight to Cotto. It seems like Manny Pacquiao continually picks someone coming off a loss or coming off a victory in which it is widely reported that the fighter looked like a shell of his former self in the victory. Now that many consider Manny to be a top pound-for-pound fighter its time he starts taking on opponents like a top pound-for-pound fighter.
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