Saturday, October 31, 2009

Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto Promo Video

Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto Promo Video:

Fri, 30 Oct 2009

NBA basketball player Ron Artest, right, shakes hands with boxing pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao during Pacquiao's workout at the Wildcard Gym in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. Pacquiao, of the Philippines, is preparing for his megafight with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto on November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Roach going to eat his words, Cotto vows

Roach going to eat his words, Cotto vows

Freddie Roach has somewhat succeeded in getting under Miguel Cotto’s skin.

Less than a week after Roach told the Filipino press that he is placing a $1,000 bet on a first-round knockout win by Manny Pacquiao, Cotto lashed back at the famed American trainer, boasting that “Roach is going to eat his words” on November 14 in Las Vegas.

“It’s going to be a tough battle, but I can assure you that in the end I am going to leave (the ring) victorious,” Cotto told Primera Hora as he was wrapping up his training camp in Tampa, Florida, en route to Sin City.

“I don’t care what Freddie says. The best that he can do is help Manny Pacquiao reach his best form. I will not mind Roach. He talks a lot,” said the obviously slighted Puerto Rican puncher.

Team Cotto, made up of head trainer Joe Santiago, conditioning coach Phil Landman, cutman Joe Chavez, aide-de-camp Bryan Perez, lawyer Gabriel Penagaricano and key members of the Cotto clan, are flying to Las Vegas on Sunday.

Perez said Cotto will stay in a rented house at first but will transfer to the MGM Grand on fight week and train at the Top Rank Gym.

Cotto spent six weeks in Tampa and Perez described the entire training period as “excellent” and “great camp.”

Cotto, who turned 29 on Thursday, said he can’t wait for the scheduled 12-round catch weight title bout to take place, stressing that he is in tip-top shape and ready to rumble.

“We are prepared for whatever he (Pacquiao) will bring to the ring,” added Cotto.

Meanwhile, Cotto will hold an open media workout at the Pound-4-Pound Gym at La Brea in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to Top Rank publicist Lee Samuels.


By Eddie Alinea

“He’s going to be a seven-time world champion.”

Thus was the words uttered by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach in answer to questions by sportswriters during an international press conference held Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) in regards to Manny Pacquiao’s coming fight against Puerto Rican welterweight champion Miguel Cotto.

“He (Pacquiao) is still learning and very hungry to improve. “I think I have the greatest fighter in the world today and I think we’ll find (that) out again with Miguel Coto,” he told his international audience.

Despite reports to the contrary, especially coming from the foreign media, Roach, again, defended the choice the Philippines (Baguio City) to set up Pacquiao’s training camp in the first month of his preparations.

“That was the best first four weeks we’ve ever had,” the three-time ‘Trainer of the Year’ awardee asserted.

Asked what strategy he will use against Cotto in the fight set November 14 in Las Vegas, Roach said there’s nothing new, except to add that he had studied all of the tapes on Coto’s fights.

“He's never fought a guy like Manny Pacquiao, with his speed. I think that's where he's going to have trouble is with the speed,” he emphasized.

Echoing what he said in previous interviews with Filipino sportswriters during last week’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan weekly session while still in Manila, Roach said he wants Pacquiao to start as quickly as possible and avoid staying at the ropes.

The plan, he said, to keep the fight in the middle of the ring where his ward can use his speed and movement to confuse Cotto who has the reputation to be a plodder. To stay off the ropes would be to our advantage, I feel.”

Saying he had observed Coto’s style of fighting, Roach said, that for a change, “we will force him to counter punch and not come at us,” a plan, he explained will catch Cotto by surprise since he has been characteristically a stalker who presses the action, comes forward, and looks to land damaging shots in an effort to take his opponent out.

Roach reiterated his respect on Cotto’s left hook, which he thinks is the punch they will be watching and will try to concentrate in the next three weeks of training.

“Miguel has a pretty good left hook,” said Roach. “But that doesn't win fights, boxing ability wins fights.”

Roach believes Pacquiao is the quicker, faster fighter who possesses the more refined boxing skills which will the world junior-welterweight kingpin to victory, possibly by knockout.

“We’re working the mitts with Manny and at this weight he is punching so much harder than he ever has,” said Roach who had a touch of weariness in his voice. “He’s punching fast and hard and I just think Miguel Cotto’s defense isn’t good enough - and people that Manny hits, he knocks out.”

Welterweight contender Urbano Antillon and former two-time world lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo had been relieved in favor of Rashad Holloway and Ray Beltran and along with middleweight prospect Shawn Porter, Roach said Pacquiao is getting well in sparring.

“He was getting a little too used to the sparring partners we had,” Roach said. “We got some fresh guys in there to liven it up a little bit and keep Manny more focused.”


By Tony Montgomery

As I looked through the upcoming boxing schedule I was blown away by two Pay Per View boxing cards that will take place within the next two weeks. On October 30th, on something called Latin Invasion 2, Hector Camacho Jr. will be fighting Yori Boy Campas as the main event of this PPV. You read it right...Camacho Jr. vs Campas is the main event of a PPV card.

This fight should have been scheduled for October 31st; just the thought of it is truly scary. Want to know what’s even more scary? This is the second time in less than five months that Campas has headlined a PPV! Are you’re wondering who he fought in the prior PPV, which was held this past May? Well, I'll tell you... He fought none other than Hector Camacho, Sr. What?!? you ask. Yes, you read it right, he fought Camacho Sr.

The fight between Camacho Sr. and Campas was originally set to take place in New Jersey. However, the New Jersey Boxing Commission would not grant “Macho Man” Camacho, Sr. a license to box in their state. Well, there goes a Commission with integrity and common sense, right? Yes, definitely, but subsequently enters the state of Florida Boxing Commission, and its illustrious Executive Director, Thomas Molloy, who welcomed the fight with open arms, thus putting smiles on the faces of all the retirees that now call Florida home, as they got the chance to watch two of their childhood idols meet in the ring for the much coveted “Just For Men“ (who is kidding who here?) world title.

Camacho Sr., (age 47), and Campas, (listed at age... gulp...38), battled to an eight round draw in what I imagine has to be a top candidate for Fight of the Year. So, as the story goes, the young Camacho Jr., who at 31 years of age is almost as old as Campas, (if you buy into Campas being 38 years of age), was so livid with the decision that he demanded a fight with Campas to restore honor to the Camacho family name. (Why is it that honor and the Camacho family name does not work for me?). I’ll give you a prediction right now as to who the real loser will be on fight night, and the answer is ANYONE WHO ACTUALLY PAYS MONEY TO WATCH THIS FARCE!!

The second Pay Per View that grabbed my attention takes place on November 6th, and features Zab Judah and Joel Casamayor in separate bouts against opponents most of you have never heard of. Both Judah and Casamayor still have name value in the sport but not enough value to sell this kind of crap. So I ask, what is going on here people? How do these garbage PPV’s keep popping up? Oh, that’s right because some folks outside of the fighters' family are actually paying to watch these disasters.

To be perfectly honest, I would let it slide if you were to buy one, maybe even two suspect PPV’s a year, considering that once in a while the boxing schedule is so slow that most boxing fiends have no choice. But may I suggest you get your fix by watching ESPN Classic or youtube to watch classic fights that actually had meaning behind them. To those boxing promoters who might read this, I ask, you want to know why so many people find these fights on the internet to watch them on a live stream? Simple. Because you keep putting out junk like the above mentioned. The Camacho Jr. - Campas fight has no meaning behind it, unless you actually buy into the honor thy father crap being put out. And as far as Judah and Casamayor these are tune up fights, nothing more nothing less. Judah hasn’t fought in over a year, and the same goes for Casamayor, so let’s pay money to watch them fight in glorified sparring sessions, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong!

In closing, I want to make a point, and here it is. We need to be appreciative of fights like the upcoming Manny Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto fight. Earlier in the week I upset many Pacquiao fans by saying Miguel Cotto will destroy Pacquiao, but let me set the record straight. I do believe Miguel Cotto will score a knockout and a big one at that, but I also believe it will be a competitive fight that is worth fight fans' hard earned money. PPV is not going to go away, but as long as it’s here, can we please have quality cards with quality undercards? Is that so much to ask of those who run the sport of boxing?

Stop feeding us this trash and stop with the pathetic under cards you force feed us; as boxing fans we definitely deserve better. Boxing needs less Camacho-Campas, (how about no Camacho-Campas), and a hell of a lot more Pacquiao-Cottos.. Most boxing fans will always choose QUALITY over quantity.

Bye, bye.....


Thursday, October 29, 2009

PACQUIAO WATCH: Master of organized chaos

Edwin Espejo
Location: General Santos City, Philippines

Manny Pacquiao has become more and more unpredictable.

His chief legal counsel once told me that Team Pacquiao is a virtual snake pit, just like Malacañang where wolves continuously keep their eyes on their back for the next prey and predator.

The recent imbroglio involving near fisticuff, some say choking incident, between his self-appointed adviser Michael Koncz and Manny’s conditioning coach is child's play compared to the adroit and sly maneuverings between and among camps with poles-apart interests in the Filipino boxing superstar.

Think about this, for another reason.

Manny is such a favorite of Malacañang that he can walk through its doors to see President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo unimpeded. But at the same time, you have former President Joseph Estrada paying him a visit in his cock farm in Malungon, Sarangani. The first of three HBO 24/7 installments for his Miguel Angel Cotto rendezvous had him being pestered by coach Freddie Roach while having coffee with former Senate President Manny Villar who, like Estrada, is running for president next year. Roach, not wanting any distraction and upsetting the schedule and training regimen he mapped out for his ward, doesn’t mind standing up to a guy who could become president of the country one day.

But that is not what this piece is all about. We will reserve the more seedy and steamy ones for later.

This is about Manny’s transformation from a strictly one-two combination fighter, right jab-left straight, into a completely unorthodox and unpredictable boxer and his November 14 (November 15 in the Philippines) date with Cotto.

Manny’s speed and agility are deceiving. His previous opponents knew these are Manny’s main assets, aside from his powerful fists. Yet nobody has solved the puzzle that is Manny. Juan Manuel Marquez came close to unsettling Manny’s rhythm. But that was it, almost. And almost is as painful as complete failure.

Cotto’s trainor said they have prepared a counterfoil for Manny’s speed. Easier said than done.

Cotto is basically a bigger and powerful upgrade of lightweight David Diaz, whom Manny stopped in nine rounds to capture his fifth title in as many weight categories in June last year.

True, Cotto is the probably the strongest and biggest opponent Manny will ever face. The Puerto Rican also has above-average boxing skills as shown when he boxed away from danger against Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey, both with above-average quickness and power, en route to decision wins.

But Manny’s speed in catching a back-pedaling opponent is unmatched. Just take a look back at the way he sent Marco Antonio Barrera (first fight), Erik Morales (second and third bouts) and Ricky Hatton crashing to the canvas while moving back in the early rounds to set up his kayo wins in latter rounds of their matches.

Comparing Cotto to the speed of Barrera and Morales is like comparing apples and oranges. He is a slumbering welterweight by Manny’s standard.

However, Cotto is not entirely defenseless against Manny. If there is any boxer who could turn off the lights on Manny, it is the Puerto Rican - provided he catches Manny solidly with his powerful hooks to the body or to the chin of the Filipino southpaw.

Unpredictable as he is, I am seeing Manny running circles on Cotto before striking him with powerful and lethal accuracy in the middle of the ring, just like a sly fox about to pounce on its prey.

The key is to penetrate that peek-a-boo defense Cotto will likely adopt in the early going to test Manny’s power.

Solve that and Cotto will open up to brawl with Manny.

It should be a slambang affair like it is hyped up to be.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7 Episode 1 Teaser

Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7 Episode 1 Teaser

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opinion: Can Cotto Exorcise the Ghost of Margarito?

By Ariel A. Avenasa.

The first installment of HBO’s highly-acclaimed reality series 24/7 featuring Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto rolled out Saturday night, bringing back images of Cotto’s devastating loss last year to Mexican Antonio Margarito.

Boxing sites all over the internet are abuzz with the first installment of HBO’s 24/7 series which is a prelude to the upcoming WBO Welterweight Title fight between Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican champion Miguel Cotto on November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Kudos to HBO for delivering yet another outstanding presentation which would surely drum up more interest for the upcoming pay-per-view fight especially from among the casual fight fans. Outstanding sound effects, superb editing, and Liev Schreiber’s distinct voice-over highlight and further intensify the drama surrounding both camps.

The images showing the devastation brought about by typhoon ‘Ondoy’ (international name Ketsana) were really moving and hopefully more eyes were opened with regards to the poor plight of our unfortunate brothers in Luzon who were badly affected so that international aid may continue to pour in as our countrymen sorely need all the help that they can get in order to rise again.

This is the third time in less than a year that Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao appears in the popular series, after Pacquiao-De La Hoya last year and Pacquiao-Hatton in May this year. Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on the other hand appears in his very first HBO 24/7 series, only the second Latino fighter to do so after Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez’ turn last month in his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Team Pacquiao is always fun to watch especially with the always candid Freddie Roach. And Manny Pacquiao's opening sequence where he was made to do laps in the pool in lieu of the usual road work which became impossible when the streets were flooded as a result of the typhoon, was almost comical. Apparently the Pacman doesn't know how to swim, as a result he swallowed a lot of water.

It was Miguel Cotto’s side of the story however which provided the drama as the show immediately focused on the only loss of his career at the hands of the dreaded Antonio Margarito in July last year wherein he took a knee twice in the eleventh round when he could no longer take the brutal punishment that he was getting from the persistent Mexican.

“The thing that passed through my mind was, stop the fight… for my benefit, for the benefit of my kids”, Cotto explained on why he took the voluntary surrender late into the very competitive bout. His wife and four kids could not hold back their tears as they watched him fight from ringside.
“That was a very sad night for me”, said Miguel Cotto Sr. who was working in his son’s corner on that fateful night. “The tears coming out of Miguel’s eyes that night weren’t normal, they were tears of blood. You had to see it, bleeding out of his nose, bleeding out of his ears. You had to see how deep his wounds were, it’s impossible to explain. I couldn’t explain how someone with gloves could do that”, he said as images of his son’s battered face streamed across the screen.

A possible explanation could have been the illegal plaster found in Margarito’s hand wraps prior to his fight with Sugar Shane Mosley six months later, a fight which he lost via knockout. Team Cotto believes that it’s likely that Margarito used the illegal substance when he fought Miguel Cotto and was the reason why Miguel absorbed such a brutal beating.

Whether Margarito was using the illegal plaster or not when he fought Cotto may never be proven. What is certain though is that Miguel Cotto took a terrible punishment that night, both physically and mentally. And experts say that more than the actual physical beating, Cotto may have lost the mental toughness as a result of that brutal loss which will make it difficult for him to rise above adversity from here on.

While Team Cotto claims that the Margarito incident is all in the past, boxing critics disagree and say that he’s not the same fighter before Margarito’s beating, as reported by Leo Reyes of Digital Journal.
On November 14, the twenty-eight year old native of Caguas, Puerto Rico will square off against boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao to try and redeem his once lofty perch atop the boxing world and to prove once and for all that he has completely exorcised the ghost of Antonio Margarito.

But Cotto is facing long odds as he is going against the current pound-for-pound king who is also determined to cement his legacy and his all-time greatness by going for his seventh world title in as many divisions, a feat which no boxer has ever done. Manny Pacquiao has not lost since 2005 and was beaten only once in twenty fights under coach Freddie Roach, who publicly declared that they intend to remind Cotto of his worst nightmare when the time comes.

As reported in, Roach vowed, “Manny needs to start aggressive, strong and fast so that he'll make Cotto remember the beating he got from Antonio Margarito.”

This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of


Monday, October 26, 2009

In US, Pacquiao steps up training


October 26, 2009, 7:02pm

Pacquiao’s high-octane training reaches another level this weekend as the Filipino pound-for-pound king is scheduled to spar 12 rounds at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood under the supervision of Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao has gone beyond the halfway mark of the targeted 150 rounds needed to whip himself up for the November 14 fight with Miguel Cotto after breaking the Philippine leg of his five-week training over the weekend.

“We’ll do 10 rounds on Tuesday, 11 (on Thursday) and 12 (on Saturday),” said Roach, who arrived in Los Angeles with Pacquiao and other team members for the final three weeks of preparation.

Pacquiao should have his hands full at the Wild Card since Roach has recruited two additional sparmates replacing Urbano Antillon and Jose Luis Castillo.

Roach has tapped super-featherweight Raymundo Beltran of Arizona and welter Raymond Serrano of Pennsylvannia to join super-welter Shawn Porter in the remaining sparring days as Pacquiao has shown signs of boredom the last week.

After this week’s tough grind, Roach said they’ll start to taper off gradually.

Pacquiao and Cotto will fight at a catch weight of 145 lbs and Pacquiao’s handlers are supremely confident that making it will not be a problem.

When Pacquiao left the country, he weighed around 147 lbs, according to Roach.

Conditioning coach Alex Ariza said Pacquiao will likely tip the scales at 143-144 lbs on the eve of the fight and won’t be more than 148 lbs when he climbs the ring at the MGM Grand the next day.

Pacquiao is a -225 favorite, while Cotto is a +185 underdog, according to oddsmakers. (A $225 bet on Pacquiao wins $100, while a $100 wager on Cotto wins $185).



10/26/09, Hollywood, CA -- Six-time world champion pound-for-pound king Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (R), General Santos, Philippines hits the mitts with chief trainer Freddie Roach (L) at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood Monday during his first day training since arriving in the United States on Saturday.

Pacquiao is preparing for his upcoming "FIREPOWER" World Welterweight championship fight against three-time world champion and the pride of Puerto Rico Miguel Cotto, Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Pacquiao vs Cotto is promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Cotto Promotions, MGM Grand and Tecate, will take place, Saturday, November 14 at the sold out MGM Grand in Las Vegas and will be available live on HBO Pay Per View.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is the Pacquiao/Roach relationship beginning to sour?

By Lou “Cinder” Block

Those who have watched HBO 24/7 Pacquiao/Cotto last night could see the change in the Pacman. It was a different side, an inconsiderate side that I had never seen before.

Roach made a comment about Pacquiao being happy over the small things before but not so much today, like when Manny came to the gym and was happy because he got a new pair of Mizuno boxing shows and showing off his new Mizuno shoes to Freddie. Well those times have changed and it seems Manny has finally fallen victim to the Fame.

Like mJustify Fullany other star athletes once they get to a certain level they no longer cherish the little things.

Manny has gotten too comfortable wearing those silky pajamas to bed. In the episode he disobeyed Freddie, he promised Roach behind closed doors that they would leave early, but later on decided to stay a bit more in Baguio.

As Manny Pacquiao trained in the lavish Baguio gym, instead of taking a break to visit the victims he just stayed at the resort. Roach as usual sticks up for Manny during the Baguio visit he tells the storm victims that Manny could not visit them because he told Manny to train for his fight, no matter how bad Manny treats Freddie, Roach will defend Manny and never talk bad about him.

For those poor Filipino people, just one glimpse of seeing their hero Manny Pacquiao in person would of boost their morale and give them hope. Manny took time out from training to talk politics, but not visit those victims for a brief moment? I hope this was just HBO editing because that seems unlike the Manny Pacquiao image we are so used to seeing.

Even Floyd Mayweather Jr. took the time out of his training to help the homeless and give lectures to homeless youth. Mayweather showed even with all his money that he still has the time to help those less fortunate, but with Floyd Jr. people seem to overlook that side of him and focus on the negative.

I really felt for Roach, the father and son relationship that they once had or seemed to have was no longer there. As evidenced by the final scene where Manny was talking to some politician and Freddie who was fed up because no one was listening to him tells Manny that they have to leave to LA already.

The response from Manny was shocking he rolled his eyes at Freddie Roach simply to dismiss him as if he was a nobody.

Pacquiao needs to realize how lucky he is to have a man like Freddie Roach in his corner, inside and outside the ring. Roach has stuck his neck out for Manny many times. True friends like Roach always get overlooked when they get to a certain level, they forget the little people.

People like Roach are few and far between.


Trick or Treat Mr Cotto

Brad Cooney

It is almost Halloween here in America. The kids are looking for costumes so they can knock on doors and score handfuls of candy. Halloween is the time when all the ghosts and goblins dance about the gravestones, and the haunted houses stir with activity. Will it be a trick or a treat for Miguel Cotto this Halloween season?

Miguel Cotto is still quietly training for his upcoming fight against the pound for pound king, Manny Pacquiao. The Puerto Rican brawler is the real deal, and for anyone who thinks he is not you better think again. A full fledged welterweight at 146lbs, he's a freight train that has no reverse gear built in him. He knows that this is the biggest fight of his career, and that a win over Pacquiao would shoot his stock sky high. More than likely so high, that it would land on HBO against Floyd Mayweather Jr for the biggest payday of his life, and perhaps ever.

So will he be treated or will he be tricked? There is a little guy named Manny that has a little something to say about this. Remember him? He used to steal cigarettes in the Philippines to make a buck. If you need help jogging your memory, he's the guy that mowed down every Mexican living legend put into his path. Perhaps not Marquez, although he still got a victory, and in doing so, he did knock him on his ass a few times. He's the guy that put Ricky Hatton to sleep in front of thousands of British fans, silencing the drums and the singing alike. He is also the guy that everybody thought was crazy by taking on Oscar De La Hoya. Well Oscar's team decided to quit on the stool in that one, too much Pacman to deal with.

Will Manny Pacquiao be like a ghost and disappear before Cotto can hit him? Will Cotto be tricked by the mind games of Freddie Roach? Will the fella from the Philippines haunt Miguel Cotto in his dreams? Or will it be the man from Puerto Rico that gets the last laugh?

Trick or treat men....trick or treat?

source: the

Roach irked over Pacquiao’s antics


There was a long pause before words – just nine of them actually – came out Freddie Roach's mouth.

"If he stays on the ropes, he'd get beat."

Roach had been asked what would prevent Manny Pacquiao from winning his Nov. 14 bout with Miguel Cotto and that's what the venerable cornerman told the Bulletin after presiding over the Filipino's final workout Saturday afternoon, just hours before they flew to Los Angeles for the final push of their preparation.

Roach wasn't pleased with the way Pacquiao conducted himself up the ring and the 49-year-old trainer said he expects the mood to change when they begin training under familiar conditions at the Wild Card in Hollywood beginning Monday afternoon (Tuesday in Manila).

Two new sparring partners – Raymond Serrano of Colorado and Ray Beltran from Arizona – have been signed to replace Urbano Antillon and Jose Luis Castillo.

"He has to stay focused and he can't afford to take Cotto lightly," said Roach, a bit disappointed that Pacquiao opted to horse around with Shawn Porter and Urbano Antillon than focus at the task at hand.

"If Manny does that," said Roach, referring to the many instances when he let himself get pummeled while pinned on the ropes, "Cotto's going to beat us."

Although Pacquiao has resorted to such antics many times before in training camp including at the Wild Card, Roach insisted the 30-year-old lefty has no other choice but to concentrate fully on Cotto.

"We can't afford to take it easy in sparring because Cotto's not going to be easy on us. Cotto's going to be hard on us."

Still, Roach is more than confident Pacquiao will not resort to allowing himself getting caught with his back on the ropes come fight night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Asked why Pacquiao is going to emerge victorious, Roach only had one thing to say.


Meanwhile, Pacquiao was mobbed by his legion of fans when he finally arrived at LAX on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) from the Philippines.

Pacquiao will take the day off on Sunday as he resumes training camp this time under familiar conditions at the Wild Card in Hollywood owned and operated by his trainer Freddie Roach.

Noted orthodontist Ed de la Vega, who customizes Pacquiao's mouthpiece, was on hand to welcome Pacquiao.

Pacquiao will train in Hollywood until Nov. 9, the day a customized bus will bring Pacquiao and his team to Las Vegas.


Pacman Wraps Up RP Training, Mobbed by LA Fans Upon US Arrival

Ariel A. Avenasa

Ring Magazine's number one pound-for-pound boxer Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao completed the Philippine leg of his training preparations Saturday and has flown to LA to set camp at the familiar Wild Card Boxing Club of Coach Freddie Roach.

Filipino boxing sensation Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao and his team have officially wrapped up Saturday the Philippine leg of their training preparations for his upcoming fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas on November 14.

Pacquiao spent his final training day in the Philippines by engaging in a 10-round workout with sparring partners Shawn Porter and Urbano Antillon at the boxing gym of two-time former world champion Gerry Peñalosa in Mandaluyong City.

The Pacman however took the sparring session lightly which did not amuse his disciplinarian coach Freddie Roach.

“He was just playing around too much,” said Roach. “This is the reason why I don’t like training in Manila because there’s just too much distractions”. There was a sizable crowd of spectators inside the gym. “I was telling him not to lose focus,” said Roach, in an article by Nick Giongco of Manila Bulletin.

Roach admitted when he guested at the Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP) Forum last Friday morning that Pacquiao has a tendency to get bored and not to beat up his sparmates once he gets too familiar with them. Because of this Roach said that a change in the roster of Pacquiao’s sparring partners will be in order once the team resumes training at the now famous Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.

Expected to get the axe will be Urbano Antillon, Danny Escobar, and former WBC Lightweight Champion Jose Luis Castillo. Undefeated Middleweight prospect Shawn Porter will be retained however while replacements Raymund Serrano and Ray Beltran will be providing a new challenge for the pound-for-pound king as they enter the final phase of training camp in the US, wrote Rene Bonsubre Jr. of

Three weeks into the fight and the team is still focused on their goals. As reported by Francis Ochoa of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Roach said that the Pacman is already in 90-percent shape. Pacquiao, who is always pre-occupied with a lot of other things, will also be allowed to continue with his lighter diversions after practice such as singing but definitely there will be no more basketball pick-up games.

In typical Pacquiao fashion, the team held a farewell mass Saturday afternoon at Gerry Peñalosa’s boxing gym in Mandaluyong before boarding a Philippine Airlines Flight headed for Los Angeles in the evening. According to Dr. Ed de la Vega of, the team landed in LAX airport at 7:00 pm Saturday (LA time) where the Pacman was promptly mobbed by a sizable contingent of eagerly awaiting fans.

Pacquiao takes the day off on Sunday while the team regroups on Monday for the resumption of training at the now famous Wild Card Boxing Club of Coach Freddie Roach. Sparring sessions are scheduled for Tuesday.

Meantime, WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto who started his own training a month earlier than Pacquiao, is also in the thick of preparation and will be entering his tenth week of training camp based at the Fight Factory in Tampa, Florida.

They will meet on November 14 for a pay-per-view event that is expected to be the biggest fight of the year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. At stake is Cotto’s WBO Welterweight Title belt and possibly boxing’s pound-for-pound supremacy.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

'Beat Marquez, Mayweather, be the greatest'

By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Get rid of Miguel Cotto, face Juan Manuel Marquez a third time, beat Floyd Mayweather Jr., then call it a day.

If he could have his way, this is the course of action Freddie Roach wants Manny Pacquiao to take before the Filipino pound-for-pound champion retires as the greatest boxer of his era.

Roach said Pacquiao, barely three weeks before he takes on Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is now 90 percent ready, and should be at his peak by next week in Los Angeles.

Pacquiao leaves tonight for LA to resume his training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. After another two weeks, they head to Las Vegas for what should be the year’s biggest fight.

“Manny is 90 percent now. There are two weeks to 100 and we will hit that next week in LA,” said the three-time Trainer of the Year at the packed Scoop Sa Kamayan forum.

Less than a month ago, at the start of training camp in Baguio City, Roach watched Pacquiao on top of the ring, and said he was only 40 percent of his ability. Last week, the boxer said he was at 70 percent.

Roach said he was impressed with how the camp went on, and despite some lulls brought about by a string of typhoons that hit the country, he couldn’t ask for anything more.

“There were one or two days that went bad but overall the camp was good. We managed to limit the distraction. Everybody respected my decision to keep the camp closed,” he said.

Roach is so confident of a victory over Cotto, and had gone out with statements that they can knock the WBO welterweight champion from Puerto Rico “in the early rounds.”

Then he looked forward, saying he wants Marquez as Pacquiao’s next opponent. Top Rank’s Bob Arum said Pacquiao will fight next on March 15, and then run in the May 2010 elections.

“I want Marquez because he’s been crying a lot and I want to shut him up. Manny can knock him out,” said Roach of the Mexican counter-puncher who, to this day, believes that he has beaten Pacquiao twice.

They had a very controversial draw in 2004 and last year figured in another close contest with Pacquiao escaping with a split decision. In those two fights, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez four times.

This time, if the fight is held at 140 lb, one where Pacquiao’s IBO light-welterweight crown will be at stake, the Mexican will stay down on the canvass for good.

“I want it at 140 because that’s where Marquez is at his best. So we can shut him up,” said Roach.

And Mayweather Jr.?

“The fight is difficult to make because of the money issue,” said the American trainer of the fight the world wants to see, but one that the world may never get to see.

This early, there’s a million-dollar disagreement on how the purse should be divided as both boxers want a bigger piece of the pie. Not even an even 50-50 split is acceptable to both as of the moment.

But if by any chance the fight happens, then it’s the one which Pacquiao can’t affort to lose.

“Because if he wins, then he retires as the greatest of his time. Then he can run for President,” said Roach.

Friday, October 23, 2009


BOB ARUM: I think this call will be very enlightening. Miguel Cotto’s trainer, Joe Santiago is here and Miguel’s strength and conditioning Phil Landman is also here. I have been to both camps and I am so gratified to see two athletes getting themselves in peak condition. I want to see, more than anything else, a great fight on November 14. To have a great fight, you have to have two well-conditioned athletes and that’s what we
have here.

JOE SANTIAGO: This has been an excellent camp. We have worked very hard and our objectives have been met every way up to now. Everyone is happy and everyone has done everything that has been expected and we are looking pretty good.

PHIL LANDMAN: For the most part the work has been on the same format as we have done before. We have changed a few things to address what Pacquiao is bringing to the fight. Miguel is looking super good and I am really happy with the work that has been done.

Were you comfortable in the last fight, your first with Miguel, when there was trouble in the ring for Miguel?

JOE SANTIAGO: That first time we were very conscious of what we needed to do. It was a team effort and everyone did their part. We all worked hard on what we needed to do. I think the preparation was good and on the night of the fight we were all doing what we were supposed to do. I am very grateful to the Cotto family for having me work on such an important event. This time around I think we are all going to be better for it. It’s a team effort and I think if we all do what we need to do Miguel will be fine and we’ll walk out a winner.

Miguel seems very calm about everything. Does that rub off?

JOE SANTIAGO: I think it was a very smart move by Miguel to move the whole team to Tampa for this fight and for the last fight. We are all in camp and very confident in what we are doing.

Do you think Miguel will have trouble making 145?

PHIL LANDMAN: 147 is Miguel’s natural weight so Miguel has no trouble getting to that weight. I was never with him at 140, but the stories I have heard I think it will just take a little more training for him to get to the weight. He has come in twice at 146 so we have no concern with that.

Joe, have you felt pressure since taking over?

JOE SANTIAGO: I have been around the camp for seven years, so I know how he prepares himself. I know him very well. The confidence that the Cotto family had in me, made me feel good. I know I was well prepared and I know I have the capacity to do this job and I think I just follow along what we’ve done before.

What would a victory mean to the island of Puerto Rico?

JOE SANTIAGO: It is huge. Everybody knows what Pacquiao has done and we know what Miguel is capable of doing. It would not only be huge for me and Miguel, but for everybody in Puerto Rico. It would be a huge win especially with what Pacquiao has done in his last few fights.

When Freddie talks of 1st round knockouts, what do you think?

BOB ARUM: Anything is possible. They fight from the beginning, and anything can happen. Miguel can knock Manny out in the first round and Manny can knock Miguel out in the first round. I don’t think it’s likely and I know that Freddie is a great trainer and he is also a great psychologist. A lot of what Freddie says is to get in camp Cotto’s heads. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s boxing. No one knows what can happen. The fight could go a lot of different ways and that’s why it’s going to be a great fight.

A lot of people think the Margarito fight took a lot out of Miguel and maybe it showed in the Clottey fight…

PHIL LANDMAN: For me, I commend him for coming in and fighting a tough guy like Clottey. Getting a cut like he did in the third round, he never thought about quitting and he toughed it out for twelve rounds and he won the fight. I think you have to look at it from that perspective and give him credit for it.

JOE SANTIAGO: As far as we are concerned, the Margarito fight is over and done with. We are preparing for a new challenge and I see him just as hungry. We always go into win. The confidence when he goes up into the ring – I don’t see that changing. I don’t think many guys would have stood up to Clottey the way he was fighting with the cut and everything. I think you just have to look at the challenge ahead and we are preparing for that.

BOB ARUM: I would like to say that Clottey is one of the best welterweights out there. For Miguel to come back after suffering that cut and to come back and pull out a victory, I think shows that Miguel is back but it also shows an absolutely brilliant performance. I don’t think people give Clottey a lot of credit for being the great fighter that he is. I think people should watch on December 5 on HBO where Joshua is fighting Quintana then you’ll see what a great fighter he is.

After Clottey fight there was talk of some mistakes that Cotto made…

JOE SANTIAGO: Sometimes in the corner we are a little late getting in and getting out and where we should be in between rounds. We had different people going in there and at times it was difficult to work. The way the New York Commission set up was a problem. Overall, it was just a question of how Chavez would get in there and how we want to use him and how we want to work. I think that having Joe Chavez here for most of the training camp is important. We are getting to know him and he is getting to know us and he knows how we work. That is going to be beneficial. There were really no mistakes about the way we wanted to do the fight. I think the strategy was fine. I have known him for seven years and I know they had talked about bringing in well-known trainers but I think the fact that I have known him a long time and he feels comfortable with me gave me an advantage over all those guys. I think it’s just a question of getting everybody on the same page and I think we’ve done that.

JOE SANTIAGO: A few years back before Miguel fought Quintana, a lot of people thought Quintana could beat Miguel and he took a little affront to that, people picking Quintana to beat him. The night of the fight he was so in tune to what he wanted to do, he was so impressive. I think you will see that in him this time. A lot of people are picking Pacquiao to beat him and he is motivated by that. Without question, all the fighters want to be great and all the fighters want to be the best and Miguel has that little extra because the people don’t think he can win this fight. We know he can win this fight and he knows he can win this fight but he’ll have to show everyone what he’s capable of doing against this type of opponent. I think he will come out with a little more fire.

JOE SANTIAGO: I think both guys want to show that they are the best. One is called the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and we know we have the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world in Miguel Cotto and when that night comes and he wins, everyone will know that Puerto Rico does have the best pound-4-pound fighter in the world.

Does Pacquiao struggling against Marquez give him confidence?

JOE SANTIAGO: With all that Pacquiao has done lately you have to be impressed by that. We know what we are capable of doing and Miguel wants to show everyone and that’s why we work so hard in this camp. Different fighters and different things going on…all in know is that Cotto is the first true welterweight that he will have fought in his career that is young and still in his prime so that is what Pacquiao is facing.

Has the cut healed?

JOE SANTIAGO: We were very lucky on the night of the fight that we had two plastic surgeons there at the Garden and they were able to do their job and it came out very nice and we have not seen anything at all that has been wrong with his cut and we have had no issues with it in camp and I don’t think it will be an issue in the fight.

We have 26 days to go to the fight. We are sparring three days a week. We are going to continue doing the same work we have done for the past few weeks. This next week we will work really hard because we will start toning it down the three weeks after that. We will be more intense about what we are doing but we won’t work as long.

JOE SANTIAGO: Right now we are where we want to be weight-wise. He is working hard. There is a certain weight he needs to be on…the commission in Puerto Rico requires that and we are right on there. If you want to know about our strategy, you’ll have to watch the fight on the 14th. That’s when you’ll see everything.

Without a doubt, Miguel has done everything asked of him. It has been hard to accomplish everything we have needed to accomplish. We have a plan that we look at every week that needs to be done and he has been very good at it. We are now looking forward to finishing it off and we look forward to the 14th. On the 13th we will be 145 lbs. no question. On the 14th it is going to be a great night. And on the 15th we are going to celebrate with the country of Puerto Rico.

Has Miguel’s training differed over the past few fights? He seems to be more comfortable in training…

PHIL LANDMAN: A lot of things I have brought to Miguel he had begun to realize the benefits of sticking to it, especially between the fights. We have talked about this before that if he continues in between fights it is easier to get back into a rhythm again. After the Clottey fight, we knew we were going to have something big again before the end of the year. When he came into camp, which he’s done a couple of times before, at weight, with a lot of preparation behind him has definitely helped out. Miguel has wanted a program for when he is out of camp and it has been a big help to us.

Do you think it is a challenge for yourself fighting against a well-known trainer?

JOE SANTIAGO: I don’t look at it that way. I know that he has done a lot in boxing. I have a lot of respect for what Freddie Roach has done. But it has nothing to do with us. It’s the fighters that are going to do the fighting. They are going to do their work and we have our work to do. As long as our guy wins we are going to get recognized for it. Once Miguel wins, they are going to recognize that we have a great corner, a great team. That’s the way I look at it. It has nothing to do with me and Freddie Roach. We are preparing Miguel Cotto to fight many Pacquiao. That’s my job and that’s the way I look at it.

Some people question Manny’s opponents in his last couple of fights. Do you think Miguel is a step up for Manny?

JOE SANTIAGO: I wouldn’t say that Manny’s opponents have not been quality fighters because we know they are. We know Oscar De Le Hoya and we know Ricky Hatton and their careers and that’s the way we look at it. Miguel is obviously at the point of his career when we know he is at his best and he’s going to show everyone that he is at his best. I think many Pacquiao is in for a tough night. Cotto showed in the Clottey fight how much he wants to win and how much it means to him to win. I think that desire is a very important thing to have, to win, and Miguel has it.

How was Miguel able to sustain the high energy in the Clottey fight?

JOE SANTIAGO: We had no doubt about his heart and will to win and he showed that in the Clottey fight. I think in this fight he is going to show you a lot more things. He is going to show you his speed and his strength and how good he can be. I know we have seen him at his best against some other fighters but I truly believe that this is going to be one of his best performances.

PHIL LANDMAN: I think a big part of that was his communication with the team prior to Joe coming in wasn’t all that great. I think with the way things were back then, Miguel wasn’t able to get as much out of the program that he could have. With the communication that I have with Joe…we sit down and we work together. And it s better for this camp and I am really looking forward to the next few weeks to finish up.

Does he need to box and win a decision or does he need to be spectacular and knock out Pacquiao?

JOE SANTIAGO: I think in his career he has shown a willingness to fight anybody and everybody they put in front of him and he beat them all except one. All he has to do is beat Manny Pacquiao to prove he is the best in the world. I fhe does that I don’t see how they can deny him that No. 1 spot.

Clottey was not as busy as Pacquiao will be. Will Miguel be able to match that?

PHIL LANDMAN: I think you should expect to see even more from Miguel for this fight. We have worked on changing many things the way Miguel is as a boxer. We have improved in a lot of areas where he could improve. The most important thing is that he will fight smarter. He will have more strong points than he had before. We have taken a lot of things from the Clottey fight and we built on them for this fight because we know that we are fighting one of the best guys out there. We are coming in well prepared for that in all areas of Miguel’s boxing.

Is the perception that Miguel is bigger and stronger and just as fast?

PHIL LANDMAN: Miguel is Miguel and I’m not going to compare him to Pacquiao. Manny has a lot in his game and Miguel brings a lot of things that Pacquiao doesn’t have. We are working on improving those areas. We are just trying to prepare for a very good fight for an opponent that is very good.

JOE SANTIAGO: I think that Miguel has shown everybody that he can deal with speed, with Mosley and with Zab Judah. I don’t think it is a problem with speed. I think the rhythm that Manny brings to the fight, I don’t think people think Miguel can stay with that speed. But I think he will. I not only think he can stay with the rhythm but I think he will enjoy fighting that kind of fight. I think it will be a very interesting fight and I think Miguel will come out victorious in the fight by just doing what he always does, coming forward, throwing punches and being strong.

Could you differentiate between a boxer’s strength and his knockout power?

PHIL LANDMAN: The best things with Miguel are with his strength and his speed and the work we have done has shown especially since he came up to the welterweight division. We work on things in the gym to improve on his overall power and strength and towards the end of the camp we will focus more on functional stuff, which is funneling that power and speed to work for him in that fight. That, along with conditioning, which I think will contribute to all things coming together to create a better puncher as well as a better boxer.

BOB ARUM: I would like to thank all of you for being on this call as well and Joe, Phil and Ricardo. I would now like to tell you about the card you will expect to see on November 14. It starts with Jesus Sotto-Karass, a top welterweight in the world, fighting Alfonso Gomez, another top welterweight. Then we have a WBA super welterweight title fight between Daniel Santos, the champion from Puerto Rico and No. 1 contender Yuri Foreman of Brooklyn. And finally the last fight on the card prior to the main event Troy Rowland, an excellent middleweight from Grand Rapids with a record of 25 wins and 2 defeats will challenge Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. of Culiacan, Mexico, with a record of 40 wins, no losses and 30 knockouts. It will be a great undercard, and everybody of course is waiting for the fight of the year and maybe the fight of this decade, Miguel Angel Cotto defending his title against pound-for-pound No. 1 in the world, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.

**Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach have moved their camp down to Manila and is expected into the United States this weekend. Their conference call will be next week. Also look for the first installment of 24/7 Pacquiao-Cotto which will debut this weekend on Saturday at 10:15 PM ET & PT.

BOB ARUM: I spoke to Ross Greenburg and Mark Taffet and they have told me this is probably the best segment ever done on 24/7. It has unbelievable footage from the Philippines which the news programs didn’t get. It shows how devastating the floods were, how Manny coped with the floods and the typhoons. It is well worth it.


The Pacquiao vs. Cotto pay-per-view telecast, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, has a suggested retail price of $54.95, will be produced and distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and will be available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. HBO Pay-Per-View®, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. For Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight week updates, log on to

HBO's® award-winning reality franchise “24/7” returns with an all new four-part series. “24/7 Pacquiao/Cotto” premieres This Saturday! Oct. 24 at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.

The four-episode series chronicles the preparations and back stories of both fighters as they train for their Nov. 14 pay-per-view showdown.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get ready for the most compelling HBO 24/7 episode ever this Saturday in Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7

Dennis "dSource" Guillermo

For all the criticism Pacquiao's training camp in Baguio, the City of Pines in the Philippines received, perhaps one of the true benefits of it will be on display this Saturday night at HBO airs the initial episode of Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7.

The outstanding HBO film crew was able to capture the horrifying scenes brought about by typhoon Ketsana, which just a couple of weeks ago, ravaged the island nation destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of people in the process and crippled the country's economy with an estimated damage worth billions in local currency.

This Saturday's episode will show the world a different side of the tragedy which news reports weren't able to relay. Just like Hurricane Katrina in NOLA, it will take years to recover from such a devastating disaster, and hopefully, with the world's eyes exposed to the video documentation of a people in need of aid, that somehow, the excitement generated by the biggest boxing event leads to more than entertainment.

At the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters bunked in this world of ours. Tragedy can strike anywhere, and perhaps the efforts people like Pacquiao and Bob Arum have shown to lend a helping hand, and many others who have contributed even in the least bit way, will remind people about the greatness of the human spirit, not only in men who perfect their craft inside the boxing ring, but also through the remarkable hearts they possess.

Press Release:

HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured seven Sports Emmy® Awards, will return to present its seventh installment with 24/7 PACQUIAO/COTTO, an all-new four-episode, all-access series. Debuting SATURDAY, OCT. 24 (10:15-10:45 p.m. ET/PT), the series will follow Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, two of the sport’s brightest stars, as they prepare for their Nov. 14 pay-per-view showdown in Las Vegas. Pacquiao seeks to continue his reign as the sport’s pound-for-pound king, while Cotto looks to prove that his ring skills are ideal for derailing the Pacquiao express.

This fast-paced series will capture the interactions and rigors the two fighters experience in preparing for their contest. Making his third “24/7” appearance, Pacquiao is expected to surround himself with a familiar contingent of family and friends as he trains with trusted longtime associate Freddy Roach. HBO reality series newcomer Cotto, who never ducks a challenge, is taking on his biggest fight yet with trainer Joe Santiago as they seek to set a strategy to unseat the widely regarded pound-for-pound champ.

Episodes two and three of 24/7 PACQUIAO/COTTO debut on subsequent Saturdays – OCT. 31 (11:00-11:30 p.m.) and NOV. 7 (9:00-9:30 p.m.) – while the finale debuts FRIDAY, NOV. 13 (9:30-10:00 p.m.), just one night before the fight. All four episodes will have multiple replay dates on HBO, and the series will also be available on HBO On Demand.


Miguel Cotto: Are His Chances of Beating Manny Pacquiao Increasing?

By Gina L. Caliboso

Who is the fighter that Manny Pacquiao is supposed to fight?

Oh, now I remember. On November 14th, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, 49-3, 37 KO’s, and Miguel Cotto are set to battle one another for the WBO Welterweight Title. However, let’s consider that whether Pacquiao or Cotto emerge with a victory, Floyd “Money” Mayweather just may pull a Sugar Shane Mosley – interrupt a post fight conference and pose a challenge to the unsuspecting victor.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has taken over not just in popularity as a fighter, but in skill and ability as well. Since Mayweather’s return to boxing with his victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, there is no doubt that Pacquiao’s current presence in boxing has created the drama for his return. Somewhere in between the showdown of two great boxers, Cotto remains relatively overlooked. If it should happen, Cotto just may defeat Pacquiao and set up a fight with Mayweather. For Cotto, he can definitely make it a good fight with a victory.

As I’m the ultimate Filipino flag waver, I’d like to mention that I’m obviously in Pacquiao’s corner for a victory. He will win. But now, after watching Cotto and looking at his impressive fight record, I’m worried. As much as Pacquiao has moved up in weight, he still remains a light welterweight. Cotto’s punches are solid when he connects. He is a bit slower in execution with a more deliberate approach to his opponents. There is something to think about in terms of how Cotto can defeat Pacquiao. Cotto’s fighting career has primarily been in the welterweight division.

By contrast, Pacquiao’s fight record at welterweight is suspect. When I say suspect, I mean that he hasn’t faced the same quality of fighter that Cotto has defeated. We can look at 2008 as a definite adjustment year at welterweight for Pacquiao. His first fight in 2008 was against Juan Manuel Marquez for the Super Featherweight Title at the weight of 130 pounds. Three months later in June, Pacquiao defeated David Diaz by TKO in 9 rounds at 135 pounds. Six months later in December, he defeated a soon to be retired Oscar De La Hoya in the 8th round. Against De La Hoya, Pacquiao weighed in at 145 pounds. Finally, in his one fight for 2009 in March, he weighed in at 140 pounds and defeated Ricky Hatton with a 2nd round KO.

In three fights, Pacquiao has boxed approximately 18 rounds as a welterweight. Using this point, one could argue that you cannot really count the fight against Hatton as a true test of his standing welterweight boxing ability. Similarly, in his fight against De La Hoya, Pacquiao’s speed at a less than stellar De La Hoya worked in his favor.

For Pacquiao, his fight against Cotto would only be his third fight at welterweight. In terms of comfort, the 15 pound weight gain, if not more against Cotto, may prove to be a factor in his execution of his trademark speed and power.

Admittedly, Cotto is set to fight the best boxer of the moment. In addition, Mayweather stands as the former boxer of the moment who has recently come out of retirement. His coming out of retirement has all the makings of a Joe Louis comeback – making a return to boxing because he owes money to the IRS and has run-ins with the law.
As of today, news reports allege Mayweather may owe approximately $6.17 million to the IRS. Mayweather’s camp denies any financial problems as factor to his return to the boxing ring.

It is true that Cotto’s overlooked ability and past performances are a little less exciting in comparison to Pacquiao’s status and Mayweather’s return drama. This is where Cotto just may emerge as the winner (dare I say it) over Pacquiao. Cotto should not be overlooked nor ignored.

Cotto’s current record stands at 34-1, 27 KO’s. His fights have been filled with solid, convincing fights. As far back as 2007, Cotto’s fight record shows a determined fighter – an experienced welterweight puncher. His actual experience as a welterweight far exceeds that of Pacquiao’s mere 18 rounds as a welterweight within the last year.

In 2007, Cotto defeated both Zab Judah with a TKO in the 11th round and Shane Mosley with a unanimous decision over 12 rounds. In April 2008, he defeated Alfonso Gomez in 5 rounds and later in July 2008, he suffered a loss to Antonio Margarito by TKO in 11 rounds. In 2009, he had two fights. In February 2009, he defeated Michael Jennings by TKO in 5 rounds. Later in June 2009, he defeated Joshua Clottey by split decision.

If you take the same measure of his fights within one year from 2008, Cotto has seen 10 times as many rounds as Pacquiao at welterweight. Against Gomez, Cotto weighed in at 146 ½ pounds and against Margarito he weighed in 147. In 2009 against Jennings, Cotto weighed in at 147 pounds and against Clottey, he weighed in at 146. He is at his best when he fights as a true welterweight. This is what makes him dangerous. Cotto is a confident and superb fighter at a weight he always known. Pacquiao may literally not know what may hit him.

Although overlooked, Cotto cannot be counted out. He is going to make my man Pacquiao earn his welterweight title. I repeat that I am the ultimate Filipino flag waver on RSR, but Cotto will provide the much needed challenge for all those that want to see Pacquiao prove himself as the best pound for pound fighter.

While Cotto does not have Pacquiao’s overwhelming speed, he has taken and traded punches with bigger and stronger fighters. The pressure is on for the eventual meeting between Pacquiao and Mayweather. But this will only work in Cotto’s favor for his fight against Pacquiao.

Among Pacquiao and Mayweather hype, Cotto figures into the mix. He is obviously being overlooked in his fight coming up on November 14th, but at the same time, there’s pressure for Pacquiao to not only beat him, but beat him badly. Cotto just may surprise everyone. If Cotto manages to win, he should definitely fight Mayweather because then he would have earned the right to be the best welterweight of them all.


Fiery Pacman nearly decks Porter

Fiery Pacman nearly decks Porter
By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao skipped road work yesterday morning then came out strong in the afternoon to rock Shawn Porter during sparring at the Gerry Peñalosa Gym in Mandaluyong City.

Pacquiao was scheduled to go out for a run at the Rizal Memorial track oval in Manila but was allowed stay in his hotel suite and rest after going the extra mile over the last two days.

“He was tired and weary so he stayed in,” said one of his trainers, Nonoy Neri.

The weariness, however, was hardly seen when Pacquiao reported at the gym for a heavy 10-round sparring with Porter, who did six, and Jose Luis Castillo and Danny Escobar who did two each.

Neri said Pacquiao showed so much speed and power in sparring he almost decked Porter with a left straight to the face in the second round of their session that ended with the American barely hanging on.

“His knees shook and his legs wobbled,” said Neri.

Pacquiao is in his last two days of training in the country. Tomorrow is another sparring day and in the evening he leaves for Los Angeles along with his handlers, including Freddie Roach.

Roach created some ripples when it was reported in the Internet that he now thinks Pacquiao can knock out Cotto in the first round on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

But if Roach did say that, the fight promoter, Bob Arum, thinks otherwise.

The Top Rank president said in Tuesday’s tele-conference with Cotto’s chief handlers that a knockout, regardless of round, could come either way.

“Anything is possible. They fight from the beginning, and anything can happen. Miguel can knock Manny out in the first round and Manny can knock Miguel out in the first round,” said Arum.

“I don’t think it’s likely and I know that Freddie is a great trainer and he is also a great psychologist. A lot of what Freddie says is to get in camp Cotto’s heads. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s boxing. No one knows what can happen. The fight could go a lot of different ways and that’s why it’s going to be a great fight,” he added.

Roach laughed when asked to react on his sweeping “first-round” statement.

“I was just playing around,” he was quoted as saying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pacquiao, Cotto in best shape ever

By: Jun Medina, Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C.: With less than four weeks left to their title clash, boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto are leaving nothing to chance even as both fighters declared they are already in excellent shape for their biggest fight ever.

“I am in great shape and almost ready for Cotto,” Pacquiao said in his latest Abante column.

Pacquiao said he hopes to make boxing history—winning a record seventh world title in different weight class—when he clashes with Cotto, the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, in the super fight at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

“I’m training very hard for this fight. I’m in great shape and doing quite well with by sparring partners,” said Pacquiao who is now sparring nine rounds with different spar-mates and hopes to log 12 rounds in the coming days.

He also expressed satisfaction with his training staff led by renowned trainer Freddie Roach and his able assistants—Filipinos Buboy Fernandez, Nonoy Neri and his Colombian conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Pacquiao said Team Pacquiao is in good spirits, and all minor problems are immediately being resolved, in an apparent reference to the reported confrontation involving Ariza punching Pacquiao aide Michael Koncz.

Ariza reports that found their way in many boxing websites, Ariza lost his cool after finding out that Koncz tried to get his slot to work in Pacquiao’s corner for the Cotto fight, despite the Filipino icon’s personal order that Ariza join Roach and Fernandez in his corner during the fight.

Koncz, who serves as Pacquiao’s personal assistant but wanted to work the corner in place of Ariza, was admonished by the Filipino icon to stay clear on matters involving training, according to a key member of Team Pacquiao.

Meanwhile, Cotto said from his Tampa, Florida training camp that “I am now in my best shape ever,” and added that his fight preparation are proceeding in without hitches.

Cotto said is currently training in a 24 feet by 24 feet ring, bigger than the normal ring, in anticipation of Pacquiao using a lot of movements to maximize his speed advantage.

“We are getting to ready to fight in a ring 22 by 22 or 24 by 24,” Cotto’s chief trainer Joe Santiago told El Nuevo Dia. “Miguel has no problem fighting in any ring, but since Pacquiao sticks and boxes are getting ready for [Pacquiao moving around a lot].”

Santiago said Team Cotto will move to Las Vegas starting November to acclimate to the Las Vegas weather, which can get really cold at night in autumn.

Will All Of These Distractions Be The Down Fall Of Manny Pacquiao?

by King J

In numerous interviews on ESPN, Bernard Hopkins has stated that he feels Manny Pacquiao is the current number one pound for pound fighter in the world; and he's also stated that the only way Manny will lose, is if he makes himself lose.

So that essentially means, that no one can defeat Pacquiao right now for he is in his prime and in the zone. But, if he starts to slack in training or get's too distracted, a defeat could be waiting in the wings.

With report after report arising about the significant distractions and drama affecting Pacquiao's training camp, it can only be disadvantages for the pound for pound fighter.

From the various TV and movie rolls, public appearances, future political plans, typhoons and humanitarian work, Manny may just have too much on his plate right now. Don't forget the recent drama with his financial advisor Michael Koncz, getting beat up by his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

It really does sound like HBO has a very interesting 24/7 on their hands.

I began to worry about Manny when he was sitting ringside for the Clottey v Cotto fight. I saw Manny distracted from everything around him and not focusing on the fight. It appeared to be the look of over confidence as he witnessed Cotto struggling against the durable, tough Clottey.

In past Pacquiao fights, when Manny has been rather distracted, the most seemed to be during his first fight with Erik Morales, the Oscar Larios match and his rematches with Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Whether it was management troubles, rock star lifestyle partying, or being too over confident, Manny's performance in the ring was affected by these distractions.

The first Morales fight was Manny's last loss. I felt the fact he wasn't able to wear his signature Reyes puncher gloves, really affected him. Pacquiao without his Reyes gloves is like Popeye without his spinach.

In both the rematch and rubber match, Pacquiao was able to wear his Reyes gloves and gave Morales his first knockdown of his career and first stoppage. He then totally destroyed him in the three rounds of the rubber match.

In the Oscar Larios fight, which was back in his homeland at the famous Araneta Coliseum, many criticized Manny for not training as hard as he should have and not stopping Larios; but letting it go to a full 12 round decision. Other rumors indicated that Manny intentionally carried Larios for the full 12 rounds to fit in sufficient time to endorse all of his sponsors.

This rumor can be viewed as more credible, as in the post fight ring interview, Manny was holding many different soda and energy drinks; as well as wearing several different endorsement hats.

In the Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez fights, it was reported that Manny was enjoying his new rock star party life style and was not 100 percent devoted to training.

The HBO countdown series focused more on Manny's distractions than his actual training.

In both the Barrera and Marquez rematch, Paquiao took it to a decision win. The Marquez rematch ended up as one of the most highly debated split decision wins in recent boxing history.

Now, when Pacquiao is fully focused and in prime animal conditioning, it can be hard to view him losing at all. Evidence of this can be seen in his near perfect fights with the stopping of Oscar De La Hoya and the demolition of Ricky Hatton.

Miguel Cotto is also a machine that will not quit. His only loss came from the highly suspected illegally plastered hands of Antonio Margarito. When ever Cotto was hurt or down, he came back up to win like a true champion should.

But one thing is for sure entering Nov. 14, Cotto will be the toughest fight of Paquiao's career. Cotto is the true Welterweight Champion of the world. He is the strongest, most devastating body puncher Manny will ever step into the ring with. Miguel Cotto is not a fighter to be taken lightly, over looked or to fight after a camp full of drama and distractions.

As a big fan of both Cotto and Pacquiao, one can not be more than happy that this fight will be happening in less than a month.

Again, these two guys have been keeping the sport of boxing alive. When many criticize boxing to be growing more and more boring and dying, one can easily defend it by showing them any of Pacquiao or Cotto's fights.

So having both of these men in the ring with each other can only be a true fight fan's dream.

Miguel Cotto has been taking this fight very seriously- to the point of possibly over training himself- as he started weeks before Pacquiao even began training camp.

As for Pacquiao, until I see footage of him flooring and destroying much larger, stronger, sparring partners in camp at the Wild Card gym on a daily basis, I will not feel entirely comfortable about his performance come fight night.


'La Diva' to sing RP anthem in Pacquiao-Cotto bout

by Reyma Buan-Deveza and Trina Lagura,

MANILA – Three artists, not just one, will sing the country’s national anthem in Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s much anticipated showdown with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The people’s champ confirmed to in an exclusive interview that “La Diva,” dubbed as the Destiny’s Child of the Philippines,” will sing “Lupang Hinirang” in the Pacquiao-Cotto “Firepower” clash.

The pop girl group is composed of “Pinoy Pop Superstar” champions Jonalyn Viray (soprano), Aicelle Santos (alto) and Maricris Garcia (mezzo-soprano).

Viray is the 1st grand champion of the singing contest, while Garcia is the 3rd Pinoy Pop Superstar champion. Santos, on the other hand, was a runner-up in the second season.

Pacquiao said the three auditioned in the early part of this year. Other artists from networks ABS-CBN and GMA 7 also took part in the audition, he said. The boxer cited Jolina Magdangal as one of those who wanted to sing the national anthem.

The Filipino boxing icon was particularly impressed by the “La Diva” when he saw them perform. He added that he believes “La Diva” will do justice in singing “Lupang Hinirang” next month.

The boxing champion also admitted that he was told that international singers Charice and Lea Salonga were interested in singing the national anthem for the fight.

"Pero hindi ko naman sila nakausap. Kung nakausap ko, siguro sila. Pero ‘yong ‘La Diva’ kasi, na-oo-han ko na. Mahirap naman at baka masabi wala akong isang salita," Pacquiao explained.

According to law

To avoid any controversy like what happened to Nievera when he sang “Lupang Hinirang” in Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton bout on May 2, Pacman assured that the trio group will sing the national anthem according to what the law prescribes.

The National Historical Institute (NHI) lambasted Nievera for his alleged "wrong" rendition of the "Lupang Hinirang."

Critics said Nievera sang the first part of the song too slowly and should not have belted out the last words of the song.

The NHI said this constituted a violation of Section 37 of Republic Act 8491 or the 1998 Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, which states that the rendition of the national anthem, whether played or sung, should be in accordance with the original musical arrangement of Julian Felipe, which follows a marching-type beat.

Violators may be imprisoned for not more than a year and fined at least P20,000.--Reyma Buan-Deveza and Trina Lagura,

Vegas fight odds fire up Cotto in training

By Abac Cordero
Source: The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao remains the heavy favorite against Miguel Cotto, and the WBO welterweight champion from Puerto Rico is using the odds stacked against him to his favor.

“Miguel is driven by the people saying Pacquiao will beat him,” Joe Santiago, the chief trainer of Cotto, told yesterday, just 23 short days to the fight set in Las Vegas.

“It’s extra motivation and he is coming with fire because people are saying he can’t win,” added Santiago of Cotto, who has walked the extra mile in training as compared to Pacquiao.

Fight odds coming out of Las Vegas yesterday placed Pacquiao at -250, meaning you need to put $250 to win a hundred bucks. Cotto is at -190, meaning a hundred wins $190.

Pacquiao is a non-believer of fight odds. Not because he says he doesn’t place bets on his own fights, but because he believes that all bets are off once the opening bell sounds.

Cotto, however, loves to look at the odds as a motivating factor.

Over at the Fight Factory Gym in Tampa, Florida, which serves as Cotto’s training headquarters, the younger and bigger Puerto Rican is banging away on a heavy bag with Pacquiao’s image on it.

It was a gift from Everlast, the leading manufacturer of boxing equipment, to the 27-year-old Cotto, a natural welterweight (147 lb) who will be paired against Pacquiao who started out as a skinny 106-pounder.

The fight, however, is set at a catchweight of 145 lb.

Pacquiao is into his fifth week of training, the first four weeks spent in Baguio City, which is cooler, and the last few days in Metro Manila, which is definitely hotter.

He leaves for Los Angeles tomorrow evening to resume training at the Wild Card Gym, and after two more weeks he heads to Las Vegas for what could be the fight of the year.

Pacquiao surely wouldn’t mind Cotto hitting the heavy bag with his image on it, because he’d done it before, plastering a carded image of Oscar dela Hoya on Freddie Roach’s body armor.

Pacquiao wouldn’t mind as well that Angelo Dundee, the great trainer, visited Cotto in his Florida gym, and based on pictures, looked like he was giving some pointers to the Puerto Rican champ.

But they could be the same pointers he gave Dela Hoya, who just couldn’t handle Pacquiao and had to quit on his stool in their fight last December.

Santiago says history might just repeat itself for Cotto.

“Before Miguel fought Carlos Quintana a few years ago many people were picking Quintana to win and that really motivated Miguel. The night of the fight he was so focused to prove people wrong that it really gave him a boost in the fight. We’re seeing that again with the way so many people are picking Pacquiao to win on Nov. 14,” he said.

“Everyone on the team is very confident about what we’re doing. Miguel has done everything asked of him in camp. Each week we’ve had a game plan and everything has been accomplished,” he added.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Miguel Cotto Update

During his training camp in Tampa, welter weight world champion Miguel Cotto, has had some very interesting visitors including hall of fame trainer Angelo Dundee, who spent some time with the champ talking boxing. Cotto also got a nice present from Everlast a heavy bag with his next target Manny Pacquiao as he prepares to defend his WBO championship belt next November 14 at the Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas. The big “Firepower” championship card will be televised by HBO pay-per-view.


Shaq wants to lead Pacman to ring for bout

By Abac Cordero
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Shaquille O’Neal leading Manny Pacquiao up to the ring against Miguel Cotto?

Well, to Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Freddie Roach, it sounds a good idea.

The hottest trainer in boxing today said the bulging NBA superstar had thought of leading Pacquiao to the ring although Roach said he has yet to take it up with Pacquiao seriously – barely four weeks the fight set at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Roach said that awhile back, during the NBA break, he had the chance to give the 7-1 O’Neal, who wears size 23” shoes, some boxing lessons in Los Angeles, and the former Laker superstar brought up the idea and offered himself for the role.

“He sounded like he really wanted to do it,” said Roach, not forgetting that a couple of wrestling superstars have led Pacquiao up the ring in his previous fights.

Former World Wrestling Entertainment champion “The Undertaker” was the first to play the role when he led Pacquiao in his march up the ring for his fight with Hector Velasquez at the Staples Center in 2005. And for the Ricky Hatton fight last May, it was Dave Batista, with Filipino blood, leading Pacquiao to the ring.

So, why not O’Neal?

Roach said the NBA player who weighs over 300 lb is such a fun guy to be with.

“I saw his shoes in the gym and I wanted to keep them as souvenir so I tried to steal them. But they wouldn’t fit in my gym bag so I had to leave them behind,” said Roach, who recalled the incident with a smile.

O’Neal learned about it, and the next thing Roach knew was that the future NBA Hall-of-Famer had sent him a pair.

“They were so huge they looked like a kid’s toy truck,” said Roach of the giant fellow.

“In the gym, I had to put vaseline on his face and I had to use a stool to do that,” said the American trainer, almost laughing.

He really has nothing against the idea of O’Neal being up there on the ring with Pacquiao.

'Ramil' chases Pacman out of Baguio

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao sneaked out of Baguio City last Sunday and will resume his training in Manila before he leaves for Los Angeles on Saturday or barely three weeks before his showdown with WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.

Fearing that Baguio might take a direct hit from the coming super typhoon “Ramil.”

Pacquiao called in his chief trainer Freddie Roach and adviser Mike Koncz to a meeting, and decided right there and then that they leave the country’s summer capital before midnight of Sunday.

“He had us jumping. But it’s Manny’s decision,” said Koncz.

“The main concern was that mountains in Baguio are already saturated and there might be problems getting out if the typhoon hits us. Manny doesn’t want to miss the departure for LA on Saturday,” said the boxer’s adviser who added that the convoy left Baguio shortly before midnight.

Koncz said it was a big decision to make considering that except for a couple of days when Pacquiao missed jogging because of the rains in Baguio, things were running quite smoothly up in the summer capital for the past four weeks.

“He just didn’t want any other distraction so he decided to leave Baguio,” he added.

As a result, Pacquiao likely missed another day of jogging yesterday as he had to rest in the morning after the 250-km journey from Baguio to Manila. But he was at the Peñalosa Gym in Mandaluyong yesterday afternoon for his regular workout that lasted almost three hours.

Koncz said the mudslides really don’t pose a problem for Pacquiao because a private plane owned by the boxer’s close friend, Chavit Singson, is always on standby for his use. But the problem is if flying out of Baguio would be advisable by Thursday if the typhoon indeed lands there.

Pacquiao resumes sparring today at the local gym, and Roach said the session could go beyond nine rounds. He spars again on Thursday and Saturday, and later on the day he should board the Philippine Airlines flight to Los Angeles for two more weeks of training.

The last week will have Pacquiao working out at the IBA Gym in Las Vegas. – Abac Cordero and Artemeo Dumlao

Monday, October 19, 2009

Castillo says Manny too sharp for Cotto

By Joaquin Henson
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Former two-time WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo is convinced there’s nobody out there within weight range capable of beating Manny Pacquiao and that includes Floyd Mayweather Jr. whom the Mexican has faced twice.

It goes without saying that Castillo, now working as Pacquiao’s sparmate, is sure the Filipino icon will dispose of Miguel Cotto when they meet at a catchweight limit of 145 pounds for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 14.

Trainer Freddie Roach shared Castillo’s remarks the other day as he assessed the 35-year-old warrior’s performance in two sparring sessions in Baguio City so far. Castillo flew in from Los Angeles via Hermosillo, Mexico, with another sparmate Danny Escobar and arrived in Baguio City in former Ilocos Sur Gov. Chavit Singson’s private plane last Sunday.

Castillo’s style resembles Cotto’s and that’s why he was brought in to spar with Pacquiao. He turned pro in 1990 and won his first 18 outings, 13 inside three rounds. In 2000, Castillo wrested the WBC lightweight crown from Stevie Johnston on points then lost it in his fourth defense to Mayweather in a close encounter in April 2002. Castillo was decisioned by Mayweather in a rematch eight months later but regained the vacant WBC title on a 12-round verdict over Juan Lazcano in 2004. Castillo then repulsed challengers Joel Casamayor and Julio Diaz before yielding the throne to Diego Corrales in 2005. He knocked out Corrales in a rematch but was prevented from claiming the WBC belt because he weighed in 3 1/2 pounds over the limit.

Now a welterweight, Castillo has won four in a row, knocking out James Wayka, Roberto Valenzuela, Christian Solano and Carlos Urias and is hoping for another world title crack.

At first, Roach was unsure of what Castillo could bring to the table as a sparmate. But now, he likes what he sees in the rugged Mexican gladiator.

“He’s a genuinely nice guy,” said Roach. “He’s probably doing 70 percent of what he can do. But he’s adjusting and getting more comfortable. He’s looking for a comeback to the big time. I’m willing to help him although I don’t know if I’ll be in his corner for his next fight.”

Roach said Castillo has asked if they could work together in the gym.

“I told him to show up about an hour early before Manny comes to the gym and I could help him out,” said Roach. “That’s no problem for me.”

Roach said while he likes Castillo, he can’t be sure if he’ll draft the Mexican as a sparmate for Pacquiao’s next fight.

“It really depends on whom Manny fights next because I’ll want sparmates who resembles the style of his next opponent,” said Roach. “If it’s Mayweather, I don’t know if Castillo will fit in. But he might. Castillo has fought Mayweather twice so he knows his style and tendencies well. Castillo thinks Manny will beat the heck out of Mayweather because he hits harder and he’s a lot quicker.”

What has impressed Castillo is the uncompromising work ethic in Pacquiao’s training camp.

“Castillo was Julio Cesar Chavez’ long-time sparring partner and it felt good when he told me he’s never been with a team in camp that works harder than us,” said Roach. “That’s saying a lot because Castillo has a lot of experience behind him.”

Roach said it wasn’t difficult to lure Castillo to Baguio City.

“No, it wasn’t hard to get him,” said Roach. “He wanted the opportunity to work with Manny. Everybody does. He’s amazed at how hard we work in the gym, how hard Manny works.”

Roach said Pacquiao’s sparring partners are top-quality. Aside from Castillo, Pacquiao spars with unbeaten junior middleweight Shawn Porter. Escobar is on standby. Another sparmate Urbano Antillon of Mexico was scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles yesterday. When Pacquiao reports for work at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, Roach will likely recruit fresh sparmates including British world champion Amir Khan.

Porter, 21, was the US Golden Gloves champion in 2007 and fought over 200 amateur bouts. His pro record is 10-0 with eight KOs. Escobar, 20, is unbeaten in three bouts, all won by knockout in the first round.

In contrast, Cotto has been feasting on inferior sparring partners. He kicked out Francisco (El Gato) Figueroa after a week of sparring and has kept 37-year-old Fred Tukes and 25-year-old Kenny Abril. Figuero, 31, is coming off a knockout loss to Randall Bailey last April. Tukes has a 7-1-1 record, with five KOs, and is unbeaten in his last seven assignments but his age seems to be a liability. Abril has a 9-3-1 mark, with five KOs, and has won his last five. Figueroa, Tukes and Abril are, of course, all southpaws like Pacquiao.

Cotto will have completed 12 weeks of training when he climbs the ring to face Pacquiao. He began his camp in Puerto Rico and is now in Tampa, Florida. A legitimate welterweight, Cotto will trim down to 145 pounds to make the catchweight limit and may be burned out if he overtrains or is unable to naturally bring his weight down.

Pacquiao to earn more than $12M

Veteran referee Bayless gets ‘Firepower’ assignment

By Francis Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The Nevada State Athletic Commission appointed Kenny Bayless the referee for the Nov. 14 bout between Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao and reigning WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The match could be the biggest money-earning venture of Pacquiao, with the reigning lightweight king expected to earn more than $12 million as he guns for Cotto’s belt in a bid to become the first boxer to win titles—including linear ones—in seven different weight classes.

With HBO selling pay-per-views at $54.95 and Top Rank chief Bob Arum earlier predicting that the bout, dubbed “Firepower,” will exceed 850,000 buys brought in by Pacquiao’s destruction of Briton Ricky Hatton earlier this year, Pacquiao is looking at the biggest paycheck in his career.

Bayless’ appointment, meanwhile, ends apprehensions within Team Pacquiao that Joe Cortez had the inside track on the super fight. Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach had earlier said he was hoping Cortez wouldn’t land the job in the bout dubbed “Firepower” because he is Puerto Rican like Cotto.

Bayless had worked three previous Pacquiao fights—all of them victories. The Nevada native was the third man in the ring when Pacquiao knocked out Erik Morales in 10 rounds in 2006. He also officiated Pacquiao’s close win over Juan Manuel Marquez in their second bout in 2007 and was the referee when the Filipino sensation knocked Hatton out cold last May.

The NSAC also appointed Dave Moretti, Adelaide Byrd and Duane Ford as judges.

Meanwhile, in Baguio City, Roach has increased the boxer’s sparring schedule to nine rounds.

Among those who joined Pacquiao here on Saturday for his fans’ day was 8-year-old Arjean Cadias, who is suffering from cancer.

Cadias had a brief chat with Pacquiao, who later signed the boy’s slum book.

Arum had earlier told Yahoo! Sports that he expected the Pacman to earn more from PPV buys than he did against Hatton because “I think Cotto, as a great Puerto Rican fighter, brings a larger fan base to the US.”

Pacquiao is also getting a bigger split of the pie against Cotto, with reports pegging the percentage as high as 65-35. Pacquiao and Hatton went 50-50 during their bout.

The Pacquiao-Cotto PPV buys are going to be crucial bargaining chips when the Filipino’s camp negotiates for a fight against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr., according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.

Schaefer told that “if Pacquiao-Cotto sells the same amount of homes or more (as Mayweather-Marquez) then we’ll have things to discuss.”

Mayweather defeated Juan Manuel Marquez last September and was credited as the main draw that resulted in 1 million PPV buys that generated $52 million in PPV revenues. With a report from Frank Cimatu, Inquirer Northern Luzon