Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pacquiao vs. Cotto, round by round

Lance Pugmire's round-by-round assessment of the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto welterweight title fight:

ROUND 1

* What happened: After a soft touch of the gloves, Cotto lands a jab. Cotto flashes powerful lefts to the face, and he's strongly defending his head. Pacquiao sneaks in a left, but Cotto throws a combo to the body. Cotto lands a double-jab to the head. Pacquiao tries a flurry but Cotto blocks it.

* Pugmire's take: This is Cotto's formula to win. Can it last against Pacquiao's relentless reputation?

* The judges: Adalaide Byrd, 10-9 Cotto; Duane Ford, 10-9 Cotto; Dave Moretti, 10-9 Cotto.

ROUND 2

* What happened: Cotto returns to the body, bangs a left to the head, buries two more shots to the body before Pacquiao rallies with a combination. Cotto's punch of choice is the left. Pacquiao charges and lands, but Cotto answers with a combination. A late Pacquiao rally, I thought, gave him a very close round.

* Pugmire's take: All week we've been hearing these guys are never in bad fights, and this round is proof.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 3

* What happened: Cotto opens with jabs. Pacquiao throws a right-left, then unleashes a big right to knock Cotto down to a knee. Cotto looks up, assuring referee Kenny Bayless he's OK. Pacquiao goes to the body, but Cotto responds with a scoring left. A head butt causes a brief delay. Cotto attacks the body, his trademark, but Pacquiao goes jab, right, right. Cotto is cut under the right eye.

* Pugmire's take: Pacquiao's precision punching has him in boxing's stratosphere. He displayed it here to effectively answer Cotto's strong start.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-8 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 4

* What happened: Cotto jabs again, throws a scoring left. Pacquiao comes back with another left. The pair engage in an impressive exchange. Pacquiao has a nice combination, Cotto wraps up, then punches Pacquiao in the gut. A big right by Cotto, and someone says, "Manny's hurt." Cotto's body work is strong. Yet, like Cotto tells Larry Merchant in the ring afterward, he couldn't see all the punches coming, and Pacquiao decked Cotto again with a strong left uppercut with about 20 seconds left. Pacquiao wants to finish the fight, but the bell sounds.

* Pugmire's take: The second knockdown hurts Cotto, whose game plan is now unraveling because of Pacquiao's power and speed gifts. Why does every opponent underestimate those strengths?

* The judges: Byrd, 10-8 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-8 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-8 Pacquiao.

ROUND 5

* What happened: The pace settles slightly, and both guys need that. Cotto lands a hard left uppercut. Pacquiao comes back with a combination. Cotto slowing, both guys taking a breather. Pacquiao delivers a combination to the belly and jaw.

* Pugmire's take: Not a lot of action here, but Cotto's inactivity will be repeated, while Pacquiao was just resting up for additional onslaughts.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 6

* What happened: A Cotto jab sets up a right to the face, but Pacquiao shows his power with a hard left that nearly lands flush. A big right by Pacquiao, another, then a damaging left with Cotto on the ropes. Pacquiao combination, and Cotto is cut near left eye, wiping the blood. Another Pacquiao left precedes another that staggers the WBO welterweight champ.

* Pugmire's take: Blood from both eye areas, the face is getting bad as many expected.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 7

* What happened: A nice right by Pacquiao, and it's obvious he wants to finish Cotto, but the tough Puerto Rican stands, takes a shot. Pacquiao lands jabs and a left uppercut. Pacquiao attacks Cotto on ropes, and withstands a nice left by Cotto.

* Pugmire's take: At this point, you get the feeling it's just a matter of when the knockout or TKO is coming.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 8

* What happened: Cotto's left eye is now swelling dramatically. A nice right by Pacquiao makes Cotto pull away, not like him. Pacquiao nails Cotto with a left off a lightning combination. Cotto's getting hit on the ropes, a big left. A big combination by Pacquiao follows, and Pacquiao hammers Cotto on the ropes again.

* Pugmire's take: In the end, Cotto was walking dazed toward the wrong neutral corner. He's hurt, confused, and he reports later that his left shoulder, reportedly ailing with some tendinitis, hurts so much no one can touch it.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 9

* What happened: Pacquiao punishes Cotto with a flurry of blows in a neutral corner, then adds another devastating left uppercut. Pacquiao still looking to finish. A big left-right combo probably would've done the trick but Cotto fell forward onto Pacquiao, then stood. Cotto is spitting blood, his lip cut, his nose bleeding.

* Pugmire's take: Roach said later the fight should've been stopped here. Cotto explained he told his trainer to let him fight. Referee Bayless said Cotto was throwing jabs, but doing little else from the eighth on. That about sums it up.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 10

* What happened: The fight slows again, as Pacquiao weighs going for the kill or just wrapping up a victory. TV cameras show Cotto's wife and children leaving their seats. It's too gruesome. Pacquiao throws a slew of combinations.

* Pugmire's take: There were tears in the Cotto corner afterward, and it was tough for all to watch the proud champion take such a beating late. The fight shouldn't have been allowed to proceed from here.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 11

* What happened: Cotto's bleeding in two streams from the left eye and is backpedaling, on his bicycle, as Bayless says. Right by Pacquiao, a combination, a hard left and solid right. Cotto keeps backing up.

* Pugmire's take: If this were "Rocky," Cotto would've been merely saving up energy for a big final round. Life's no film.

* The judges: Byrd, 10-9 Pacquiao; Ford, 10-9 Pacquiao; Moretti, 10-9 Pacquiao.

ROUND 12

* What happened: The ringside doctor looks at Cotto during the break. Cotto said he urged his trainer to let him fight. He's spitting up blood. Pacquiao throws a big left, surges toward the ropes to deliver a combination to Cotto's head. Then, 55 seconds into the round, Bayless steps in and stops it, amid cheers of "Manny!"

* Pugmire's take: We're seeing an athlete at his peak, a dominating, charismatic boxer who has speed, power and smarts. That was Pacquiao's plan, and he carried it out brilliantly against a powerful foe, sending Cotto to the hospital. Bring on Mayweather.

Source.

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