Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cotto feeling good, relaxed

Cotto feeling good, relaxed
Francis T. J. Ochoa and Dennis Principe, PDI
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

WHILE MANNY PACQUIAO continues to rock Baguio City with his mere presence as he prepares for his last fight of the year, his opponent, Miguel Cotto, is quietly getting himself ready for the bout scheduled Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

“Just getting back from the gym, everything excellent,” Cotto posted in his Twitter page, even as his team has started getting busy trying to come up with a game plan against the hard-punching Pacquiao.

“[I’m] relaxed and feeling good,” added Cotto, who has been posting regular updates on his Twitter page.

“Up until today we’ve held several meetings to examine what Manny can bring to the fight,” Cotto trainer Joe James told PrimeraHora.com. “We are watching many Pacquiao fights. We also saw his two fights where he was defeated, but we are still watching more. Although he has dominated, there is always something we can capitalize on. We do not rule out any fight.”

Cotto had earlier said he was aware of the Filipino ring icon’s vaunted punching power, remarking during a recent press tour that “the punch he gave Ricky Hatton, if he hits with this kind of punch, he can throw Mike Tyson to the canvas.”

“But I’m not Ricky Hatton,” Cotto added.

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, however, said the reigning pound-for-pound king will overwhelm Cotto with speed.

Roach predicted a knockout victory for his ward.

“I picked him to win by decision, but until I started working with him to this camp, the way he’s punching, his speed, we will knock this guy out,” Roach said.

“We will bust him up a little bit. Basically we’re going to have a fast start and we’re not going to give [Cotto] any momentum.”

Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 knockouts) will battle Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs) over 12-rounds for the Puerto Rican’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Both combatants agreed to fight at a catch weight of 145 lb.

A win by Pacquiao will make him the first boxer to win world crowns in seven different weight divisions, including linear titles.

Meanwhile, Floyd Mayweather Sr. continues to harbor the belief that Pacquiao is no match to his undefeated son, Floyd Jr., who is coming off a 12-round decision over Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Pacquiao had [Marquez] down three times in one round and hurt bad and couldn’t finish him,” Mayweather told FightHype.com. “Not only could he not finish him, he got his ears boxed off after that, so what do you think my son would do to him?”

“Pretty Boy” Floyd and the Pacman are headed on a megabuck collision course next year.

Mayweather may also be headed for a pre-Pacquiao showdown against Shane Mosley, who called out the former pound-for-pound king right on the ring after the Marquez duel.

Video: Cotto's final workout open to the public in Puerto Rico

Check out Miguel Cotto's final workout open to the public in Puerto Rico:

Cotto quietly shaping into fighting form under Pacquiao's shadow


Cotto quietly shaping into fighting form under Pacquiao's shadow
Dennis "dSource" Guillermo
Source: examiner.com

Quietly, one of boxing's best and Puerto Rico's number one pugilist Miguel Cotto has been sharpening his knives under the shadow of the same little giant he aims to slay on November 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That little giant has been wrecking havoc in the world of boxing, conquering different weight classes and demolishing beloved heroes along the way.

So understandably, despite Cotto's own popularity, he has been overlooked and has been subjected to play second fiddle next to the little giant that is surrounded by myths and legends because of his gargantuan accomplishments in the ring. It's a feeling Cotto isn't used to, as he himself has headlined numerous fights cards in the past and is one of the most popular fighters that has ever laced gloves at the Madison Square Garden in New York. But with the looks of it, Cotto seems not to mind floating under the radar and is focused on nothing but overcoming the challenge at hand. Cotto wrote in his official Twitter page that he feels great and has constantly been updating his followers of how smooth and effective his training has been in the past few weeks. While the media (myself included) have followed his opponent closely and have been distracted by the return of Mayweather, Cotto has been slowly shaping into fighting form.

Cotto started training for his next fight at least a month earlier than his foe. He started doing strength and conditioning and doing some mitt work and hitting the bags to prepare his body for a rigorous camp that is divided into to stages. The first stage is behind him wherein he focused on this body conditioning while in Puerto Rico. Now Cotto has headed to Tampa, Florida to focus on strategy and their game plan on how to defeat his opponent. (In case you just crawled from under a rock, Cotto's opponent is Manny Pacquiao.)

Cotto's team said they will study everything about Pacquiao and analyze their best course of attack against the fast and heavy hitting puncher from the Philippines while in Tampa. In an interview translated from a feature by Primera Hora.com, Cotto's head trainer Joe James, who will work his second bout as head coach after replacing Miguel's uncle Evangelista Cotto after an ugly falling out,

"Up until today we've held several meetings to examine what Manny can bring to the fight," and added, "We are watching many Pacquiao fights. We also saw his two fights where he was defeated, but we are still watching more. Although he has dominated, there is always something we can capitalize on. We do not rule out any fight."

Miguel in his part is aware of what Pacquiao is capable of and chimed in during the New York leg of the press tour for this fight,

"The punch he gave Ricky Hatton, if he hits with this kind of punch, he can throw Mike Tyson to the canvas," said Cotto, and added "But I'll be ready."

Obviously, Cotto is giving Pacquiao all the respect in the world and if his early preparations for Pacquiao isn't indication enough, he is readying himself for the biggest fight of his life. And ironically, Cotto isn't only the bigger and stronger guy, he is also the toughest and best opponent Pacquiao will have to face yet.

Pacman's sparring partner tall, tough


Pacman's sparring partner tall, tough
By Abac Cordero
Source: philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao marked Day One of his sparring sessions yesterday, did three rounds with Shawn Porter and found the young American light-middleweight a tough nut to crack at the Shape Up Gym in Baguio City.

Pacquiao found the 21-year-old Porter, a Golden Gloves champion in 1997, a little too heavy and a little too strong than expected. But give the Filipino icon a few more days of sparring and things will definitely turn around.

“It was a very good sparring,” said Team Pacquiao’s Mike Koncz.

“Shawn has got the power and although obviously he’s not of the same skill level as Manny, he can punch. And that’s good because that would keep Manny’s defense up,” said the Canadian adviser of Pacquiao.

“Manny has got to keep his defense because this kid can punch,” said Koncz of Porter who can hurt his opponents with left hooks to the body, a shot that Miguel Cotto should have plenty of when he faces Pacquiao on Nov. 14.

Pacquiao, as usual, had wanted a couple of extra rounds, and would have called in the other sparring partner on tap, Urbano Antillon, up on the ring. But this time, chief trainer Freddie Roach had his way in holding him back.

“Manny was asking for a couple more rounds but Freddie said, ‘No,’” Koncz told The STAR. He added that given a few more rounds, Pacquiao will definitely be all over Porter or anyone else thrown at him in sparring.

“In a few weeks this kid won’t be able to find Manny.”

Pacquiao was out of the gym by 3 p.m. and from there he went straight up to his hotel room for a short nap.

Porter, undefeated in 10 fights, with six knockout wins coming in the first round, raised some eyebrows when he climbed the ring to spar with Manny. He seemed too big for Pacquiao, who will fight Cotto at 145 lb.

“He was much bigger but that’s good because he got to push Manny around. I also think he’s the heaviest puncher Manny has ever sparred with. But a few more sessions and I don’t think he can last with Manny,” said Koncz.

The doors to the boxing gym where Pacquiao will train for the next four weeks were closed to the media and fans yesterday, particularly since it was the first day of sparring for the reigning pound-for-pound champion.

On Thursday, however, Pacquiao will let them in when he holds a media workout. His promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, will be around on that day, and will spend the weekend in Baguio to see how things are going.