LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao’s swollen right hand, and Miguel Cotto’s bloody face told the entire story.
And based on the numbers, as provided to the media by CompuBox, it was quite difficult to imagine how the ex-champion from Puerto Rico survived 12 brutal rounds with the hard-punching Filipino ring icon.
Pacquiao, as busy on top of the ring as he is outside, threw a total of 780 punches and landed 336 of them for a respectable batting average of 43 percent. Yes, 336 punches landed in one night of boxing.
Cotto, whose left hook is as famous as Puerto Rican rum, baseball and its beauty queens, threw less punches, 597 in all, and landed only 172 for a dismal 29 percent.
Cotto won the jabs department, throwing them 297 times and connecting 79 of them. It was the first punch that landed in the opening seconds of the fight, and sent a good message.
In the eighth round, Cotto landed a jab that made Pacquiao’s head move like sombody pulled his hair from behind.
Pacquiao, who’s never really known for his right jab, threw 220 jabs and connected on 60 occasions. But it was really with the power punches that the left-handed slugger from Genereal Santos in Mindanao made a living.
Pacquiao threw 560 power punches and found its target like a guided missile. He landed 276 times, enough to send Cotto to the hospital after the fight for precautionary measures.
Cotto, the younger, bigger and supposedly stronger fighter, let loose 300 power punches and hit Pacquiao, either to the head, the body or the arms, 93 times. His punches, any one of them, could have knocked out a lesser opponent.
But most of Cotto’s power punches were thrown in the first five rounds of the fight because from thereon he only managed to throw them in single digits until the end came with only 55 seconds left of the 12th and final round.
“We knew he was fast but he was a lot stronger than we thought,” said Cotto’s young trainer, Joe Santiago.
“I tried to bring all I can everytime for all the fans. But tonight didn’t go my way. The jabs I threw were landing but I didn’t protect myself,” said Cotto just minutes after the fight.
“The instruction was not to hurry so we were very careful in the early rounds. And I was trying to test his power that’s why I got hit. But when I started to control the fight I became more aggressive,” said Pacquiao.
“In the second round I was looking for the knockout that’s why I threw a lot of punches and I landed the right hook in the third round. I heard he was bigger than me. So I wanted to test his power. And his punches hurt,” he admitted.
Cotto was knocked down twice, once in the third and fourth rounds, and must have been ordered by his cornermen to stay away from trouble, and that means staying away from Pacquiao.
But it seemed inevitable for the fight to be cut short. Because after the last power punch thrown by Pacquiao, a left to Cotto’s head, referee Kenny Bayless had to step in between and put an end to the fight.