Pacquiao-Cotto What the numbers tell us!

The next man to face Manny Pacquiao is the current WBO welterweight champion, Miguel Angel Cotto.

This fight was thought of right after the Pacquiao-de la Hoya bout and has been made a reality by master boxing promoter, Mr. Bob Arum. The go-signal to begin negotiations was given by Pacquiao himself after he personally witnessed the Cotto-Clottey encounter. Needless to say, Pacquiao gave his nod of approval and the world now braces itself for the November 14 bout.

This fight is very important for both gentlemen. A win for Pacquiao will further strengthen his place in boxing history as this should be his 7thtitle. A Cotto win on the other hand will provide him with the much needed resurgence in his career and the

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distinction of beating and stopping the dominant Filipino.

A win is imperative for both as neither can afford to lose. Both are at the prime of their lives and careers. A Pacquiao loss will definitely affect his retirement plans while Cotto might be forced to consider an early one.

Preparations for both camps are moving into high gear as fight date draws closer. What is in store for all of us come fight day?

Tale of the Tape

The most basic source of comparison provides varying insights.

Catch-weight of 145 lbs.

Size gives Cotto an advantage. Fighting almost all his life within the 135 to 147 pound level makes him comfortable at this weight. Even at a catch weight of 145, Cotto knows how to leverage his size and heft in this division. Remember, a good big boxer is expected to beat a good smaller boxer. This is because a heavier punch can end a fight at anytime.

Cotto is expected to make the weight easily and bulk up to a comfortable 152 -155 on fight day. The challenge is to get used to the weight and generate enough speed to match Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is just as comfortable. He has proven that even at 145 lbs., he is able to maintain his speed and his power intact. His destruction of Oscar de la Hoya was proof of that. However, Pacquiao might not bulk up as much as Cotto on fight day thus still giving away several pounds.

Height and Reach

Standing at only 5’7’’, Cotto is relatively short for a welterweight. He only stands half an inch over Pacquiao. Both fighters have a 67” reach thus making these variables fairly even.

Given the speed factor though, these numbers will clearly work for Pacquiao as it will be very easy for him to reach Cotto. When they throw simultaneous punches, Pacquiao will definitely connect.

Age

When Pacquiao fought de la Hoya, a lot of experts pointed out that de la Hoya was too old to face Pacquiao. He was visibly slower and sluggish and that was attributed to age. Cotto is 28 years old, 2 years younger than Pacquiao and is obviously is at the apex of his physicality. This is the first time in a long time that Pacquiao will face a boxer younger than him. The difference might not be much but Cotto is expected to be in good condition, not to tire easily and to take punches better.

Southpaw vs. Orthodox

Both fighters are left hand dominant. They have chosen however to fight, with opposing stances.

Pacquiao fights southpaw while Cotto fights orthodox.

A southpaw stance they say is always advantageous. It more often than not confuses the orthodox boxer. To exploit his southpaw advantage, Pacquiao is expected to move and employ the same combinations he used against de la Hoya. The left lead, pivot right, followed by a jab-straight combo was very effective against de la Hoya. This move will not allow Cotto any time to throw his right straight as Pacquiao would have already moved to his left side. A left hook will likewise not be effective because Cotto will not have any room to throw it.

Cotto is expected to prepare against this. Being left-handed his left hand will be very busy. He will throw it as a jab before throwing it as a hook. This should stop Pacquiao from initiating flurries with his left hand lead. More importantly though, when Cotto gets close enough to dig his head into Pacquiao’s chest, he will unleash short left hand shots to the body in the hopes of slowing down the pound for pound king.

Ring Record

Underneath the records of these two pugilists lies important information. Pacquiao boasts of a record of 49wins, 4 losses and 2 draws with a 68% knock out to win ratio. Cotto’s record stands at 34 wins, 1 loss and no draws, winning via the short route 77% of the time.

Pacquiao has never been beaten in his last ten (10) fights.

The last time Pacquiao was clearly challenged was on his 2nd face off with Juan Manuel Marquez. In that fight, he was being tagged by well timed counters and was again pushed to the limit.

Cotto is still reeling from his recent loss to Antonio Margarito. Many say he still has not mentally recovered from this. His rather dismal performance against Joshua Clottey was a testament to this.

Nevertheless, both have posted outstanding wins against great opponents which simply reflect the world class encounter this fight will be.

The numbers and statistics make this encounter interesting. Both fighters have their advantages and disadvantages. We will expect these two pugilists to also review these figures and adjust their game accordingly.

PLEASE JOIN OUR POLL IN THE POST BELOW. HOW DO YOU THINK THIS FIGHT WILL END?