Monday, November 2, 2009

Cotto's In Good Company As The Underdog

Posted by Ryan Bates

As people start to make their final picks for November 14th's "Firepower," Cotto is okay with being the underdog to Pacquiao, and history gives him some backing for that.

The great thing about the November 14th "FirePower" main event is that both fighters are so good, it's hard to tell who might come out victorious. Buzz is still favoring Manny Pacquiao by a small margin, which relegates Miguel Cotto to the underdog position. If that's the case, Miguel is okay with it. He sees himself as another Puerto Rican warrior in a long list of fighters who have pulled out the upset, which include:

March 30, 1965: Jose Torres KO 9 Willie Pastrano: The veteran Pastrano is dropped in the sixth, and the 1956 Olympic silver medalist Torres stops his opponent after the 9th round. Torres wins the world light heavyweight title and the love of New York City; Pastrano never fights again.

March 6, 1976: Wilfred Benitez SD 15 Antonio Cervantes: Cervantes was a 86-fight veteran and was defending the WBA junior welterweight title for the eleventh time. Benitez was a phenom at only 17. Yet Benitez outpointed Cervantes in what could be considered the best perfomance of the defensive genius Benitez's career.

October 28, 1978: Wilfredo Gomez KO 5 Carlos Zarate: Gomez was the incumbent WBC super bantamweight champion, defending it for the sixth time. But he had never faced anyone like Zarate. Zarate was the favorite coming in, being ranked in the top three in the division by all major sanctioning bodies, and with good reason: he was 52-0, with 51 knockouts. And although Gomez had never faced an opponent like Zarate, Zarate's toughest opponent was weight. Both fighters struggled to make 122, but Zarate needed four demanding attempts at the scale to hit 122, and the weight - and Gomez - took its toll on Zarate's weakened body.

September 26, 1986: Edwin Rosario KO 2 Livingstone Bramble: If you're only as good as your last fight, then Bramble was amazing with two wins over Ray "Boom-Boom" Mancini and one against Tyrone Crawley. Rosario would then have been terrible, losing to Hector "Macho" Camacho. But someone should have told Rosario that, as he cracked through Bramble's nearly-impenetrable defense to brutalize him with his KO power to regain the WBA lightweight title.

September 18, 1999: Felix Trinidad MD 12 Oscar De La Hoya: To this day, the decision is still contested. The "Golden Boy," instantly a fan favorite in whatever he did, was battered around in the late rounds for Felix "Tito" Trinidad to eek out two of the three judges' cards, retain his IBF welterweight title, and win Oscar's WBC welterweight belt.

November 14, 2009: Miguel Cotto ??? Manny Pacquiao: Does Cotto have what it takes to overcome? Is Pacquaio's camp drama going to be his downfall? We'll only know on this night.


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