Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cotto 'won't leave anything to chance' against Pacquiao

By Greg Heakes (AFP)

LOS ANGELES — Miguel Cotto's handlers say they will carefully scrutinize the gloves and hand wraps of Manny Pacquiao before their World Boxing Organization welterweight title fight in Las Vegas.

Miguel Cotto Sr said Tuesday they blundered by not inspecting Antonio Margarito's gloves prior to Cotto's lone career loss in July of last year and vow never to let it happen again.

"We only commit the same error once," said Cotto Sr. "We will never make that mistake again."

The increased vigilance comes after Margarito was caught using "loaded wraps" in his following fight against Shane Mosley in January.

Unlike Cotto, Mosley's trainers entered Margarito's dressing room prior to the fight. There they noticed that a damp hard white powder had been placed in between the rows of wrapping and tape before Margarito put his gloves on for the fight.

It has never been proven that Margarito cheated by using a plaster of Paris type substance for the Cotto fight but suspicions are strong, especially in Cotto's camp and that's the reason for the stepped up inspections of opponents' gloves and wraps.

Cotto, of Puerto Rico, senses he has the public support on this one.

"A loss is a loss. Nobody knows for sure if he uses it with me, or not, just Margarito and his team," said Cotto, after a 90 minute workout at the Pound4Pound Gym in Beverly Hills Tuesday. "But it makes me feel better (about the loss). Boxing fans are knowledgeable. They are the judges."

A classic boxer in the true sense of the word, Cotto is 34-1 with 27 knockouts.

Cotto bristled Tuesday at suggestions by Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach that the first loss is one of the toughest for a previously unbeaten fighter to recover from.

Cotto denied that the loss to Margarito had any negative effect on his confidence in the ring.

"Why don't you ask Manny that question because he has had three losses I have just one," Cotto said.

"My commitment is with myself. In my last fight (Joshua Clottey) I could have stopped the fight (cuts) but I decided to stay in the ring because of my commitment to myself and my family."

"Sometimes when you lose you win. Since Margarito great things have come to my career.

"Where is Margarito right now and where is Miguel Cotto?"

Said Cotto Sr, "We have worked a lot with his mind and staying focused. Mentally he is a strong guy."

Roach is predicting that the November 14 fight at the MGM hotel and casino won't go the distance and that the favoured Pacquiao will knock Cotto out capture his seventh title in seven different weight classes.

"This is the problem," Cotto said. "Freddie Roach is not the guy who is going to climb into the ring. If he prepares Manny for just nine rounds then he has three more rounds.

"He (Roach) can say whatever he wants. One day he says the first round and the next day he says round seven. I'm preparing for 12 rounds and nobody is going to know what will happen until the night of the 14th."

Cotto said he is focusing on this 145-pound bout and doesn't listen to talk about Pacquiao (49-3-2, 27 KOs) possibly fighting Floyd Mayweather in a mega title fight if he beats Cotto.

"He can fight Mayweather as many times as he wants after I beat him," Cotto said.

Cotto respects Pacquiao for the way he has come from modest roots in the Philippines to become a world class boxer who is revered by Filipinos at home and abroad.

"He has earned everything he has," Cotto said. "Manny looked good against Oscar De La Hoya and (Ricky) Hatton. But I'm not Oscar or Hatton. Manny chose the right time to fight Oscar."

Cotto is looking forward to wrapping up training camp, heading to Las Vegas next week and says this is the biggest fight of his life.

"It is the most important fight of my career, but we'll have to see on the 14th if he is the toughest guy I have fought in my career," Cotto said.

source

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