Manny Pacquiao has proven for the last year and a half that the more you doubt him, the better he continues to get. Pacquiao delivered the best boxing performance of the year and quite possibly of his career as he totally outclassed and punished Miguel Cotto with a 12th round TKO.
The win gave Manny a staggering 7th world title in his seventh different weight class!! With that accomplishment, we can now start to talk about him being at the top of the list of the greatest pound for pound fighters of all time. He has done something that no other fighter in the history of the sport has done. We are talking about a fighter who started his career at 106 pounds and won his first championship at 112 pounds. He has gone up the scales like no other boxer in the history of the sport.
He has done it all from Flyweight to Junior featherweight to Featherweight to Junior lightweight to Lightweight to Junior welterweight, and now welterweight. This is something we will never see again in our lifetime and puts him right up there with the Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali as one of the best boxers of all time.
While many boxers like Juan Manuel Marquez and Oscar De La Hoya have failed miserably moving up in weight class, Pacquiao has made it as easy as saying the ABC's. We can't be shocked anymore on how he performs in these fights. He totally destroyed a bigger Oscar De La Hoya and forced him into retirement. This past May, he went to 140 pounds to face Ricky Hatton, a guy that has about much power as anyone at 140 pounds. No problem for Pacquiao as he would knock Hatton down two times in the first round and knock Hatton out cold in a second round TKO. There is still no way people could doubt Manny, can they? Well many people, including some in our 411 family, thought Cotto would be too big and powerful for Manny to handle. I thought it could happen but I sobered up and knew that this was going to be Manny's night once again. This past Saturday night, Pacquiao punishment of Cotto looked like a lion devouring a zebra in those nature videos. It was quite disturbing.
Everyone expected this could be an all time classic and early on it looked like it might head that way. Cotto came out as the aggressor in that first round and constantly beat Manny to the punch. He threw his left jab successfully and looked like his size and power would be too much for Manny.
Rounds two through four were give and take but it would be Manny to be the one to come on top as he dropped Cotto in round three with a right hand that Cotto never saw. However, Cotto never appeared hurt and finished the round strong. He would continue with a very strong fourth round landing some good left hooks. He was well on his way on winning that round. But Cotto and many ringside observers would be shocked once again of the supreme talent of Pacquiao. Manny ate Cotto's punches and spit it right back in his face. Cotto, a fearsome left hooker, landed his shots. But Pacquiao never went anywhere.
At the end of the round, the fight would change for good. Pacquiao landed a powerful left hand and Cotto went down and was still very hurt when he got to his feet. Fortunately for Cotto, the round was about to end and he was able to collect himself during the rest period. But the rest period was not enough for Cotto as he endured a beating that made the Antonio Margarito fight a walk in the park. He was bleeding all over his face and was dripping it all over the ring as he tried to back up from Manny's pressure. Referee Kenny Bayless had seen enough and put a stop to the fight at 55 seconds of the 12th round.
It does not take a brain surgeon to know where Manny goes from here. A potential mega fight with the self proclaimed pound for pound king, Floyd Mayweather, looms on the horizon. It is a fight that will generate some serious buzz that boxing has not seen in a very long time. Forget for a moment on who people who think is going to win this fight. The potential matchup is so big that the MGM Grand might not be a large enough location to contain the buzz and electricity this fight will create when it does happen. Arum has talked about having the fight at the Dallas Cowboys new 100,000 seat stadium which would be a pretty awesome sight to look at. For those WWF/E fans out there, this could be like Wrestlemania 3 when Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant squared off in the biggest title match ever at the Pontiac Silverdome, former home of the Detroit Lions. It will break Pay Per View records and wherever the fight takes place that will be the place to be.
There are people who feel that Mayweather will not take the fight because he won't get the money he feels he deserved. Floyd has to understand that he will be stepping into the ring with a superstar just as big as him and a national hero in his home country of the Philippines. Mayweather is certainly no national hero in the United States. Many fans detest Mayweather's antics and is looked at as a bully who is scared to take a fight that he might have any chance to lose. This is one of those fights but I find it hard to believe that Floyd will walk away from such a potential big money fight. It will certainly be the most money he will ever earn in one night and it will give more chances to entertain and promote his "Money" gimmick. Whatever it takes to get it done but get it done!
And What of Cotto?
Where does Miguel Cotto go from here? There is only one thing for Cotto to do. He MUST avenge his first loss of his career and take a rematch against Antonio Margarito. It's the only fight that makes any kind sense for Cotto. It is very obvious that Miguel Angel Cotto has still not recovered from that night and looks like he lost a piece of his fighting soul that night.
He didn't look like the great Cotto when he fought Clottey and certainly looked nothing like himself against Pacquiao. In every interview Cotto does, he tries his best to dismiss the Margarito fiasco and whether or not he had plaster in his gloves that July night. He says he is over it but you can just tell that it is still eating him up inside. Look no further doing the PPV telecast when members of Cotto's team went to Manny Pacquiao's locker room before the fight. They looked like zombies in observing if Manny was doing anything illegal to his hands.. Not once did they take their eyes of Pacquiao's hands and made sure that no more illegal stuff would never happen to Cotto again. They are just about a year and half too late. It was reported that not one member of Cotto's team was in Margarito's dressing room that night when he was wrapping his gloves up. Also add in the pictures that HBO were able to provide of Antonio Margarito's hands after the fight. They showed Maragrito's entire hand was wrapped except the pinkie finger. The finger looked to be very red and only further proves that there was indeed some type of substance in Margarito's gloves. This is something that won't die.
Cotto must slay this controversy once and for all. Bob Arum needs to put together an Antonio Margarito-Miguel Cotto rematch in June at Madison Square Garden during the Puerto Rican parade weekend. While it may not be fair to put Margarito in hostile territory, he must work his way back up after being caught red handed before his fight with Mosley. We talk about how big a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would be but how big you think a rematch of Cotto-Margarito in MSG would be. There are plenty of Puerto Ricans that would be on hand for that one but there are just as many Mexicans and the atmosphere would be more like a soccer match than anything else.