Tampa Bay Sports Day

Pacquiao Dominates Cotto with 12th Round Stoppage

Las Vegas – Manny Pacquiao had another epic performance and for Miguel Cotto it was a fight for survival as referee Kenny Bayless stepped in and stopped the fight at 0:55 of the  12-round in the most anticipated fight of the year. With his win, Pacquiao once again secured his position as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the business and also dethroned Cotto as WBO welterweight champion.

Pacquiao out punched Cotto from the fourth round on, and like he has done with previous opponents he used speed and power to his advantage/. Pacquiao also becomes the first seven-time division champion and up next is a potential lucrative pay day with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“The strategy of the fight was to take time and not hurry,” said Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38KO’s). “We were very careful in the early rounds,” he said as Cotto tried all he could to use his devastating left hook that had little impact on Pacquiao.  “Im trying to test his power in the early rounds that’s why I wanted to get hit in the body and the head,” he said.

Pacquiao also used good strategy against Cotto that his trainer Freddie Roach preached in their intense training camp. “I was looking for a knockdown shot, he said. “That’s why I didn’t throw a lot of punches. That’s why in the last seconds, I threw the good right hook.   I kept pressuring him and was very careful of his counter.”

But the counter never seemed to work for Cotto. After the fourth round it was all Pacquiao who knocked down Cotto with a left hook in the third round, and he knocked Cotto down again late in the fourth round as Cotto advanced to him.

The first four rounds reminded many about the Hagler-Hearns wars of the 1980’s with Cotto and Pacquiao trading and taking some punches, but Pacquiao was able to do more and took command of the fight after that. It was all Pacquiao, who led on all of the judges scorecards as it appeared Cotto took the first round and he barely won the fifth with some good counter punching.

“We were trying our best to try and knock him out because that is what my trainer said,” commented Pacquiao. But Cotto with a swollen face and blood flowing form his nose, with cuts showed his pride and determination by refusing to quit. His trainer Joe Santiago thought about stopping the fight earlier but saw that his fighter had the ability to continue,

“I thought in the 11th round they were going to stop the fight.  I was surprised,” said Pacquiao about the fight not being stopped sooner. Pacquiao also said that he would not consider moving up in weight class again. “154 is too big for me,” he said.

On a possible fight with Mayweather, a name the sold old crowd at the MGM Arena started to chant, Pacquiao said “My job is to fight in the ring and that depends on my promoter Arum (Bob) to negotiate that fight.”It was a hard fight. Cotto is a tough opponent,” he said.,

A battered and defeated Cotto (34-2 27 Ko’s) will take some time and think about his options. His last fight back in June he barley defeated Joshua Clottey at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “You don’t have to tell me anything,” he said, “Its part of my job. I’m pretty proud of what I have done in the ring.”

He added, “ I did not protect myself from the punches   I fought everybody  Miguel Cotto came to fight all the big names and Manny is one of the best of all time.”   And about his trainer stopping the fight earlier, Cotto said, “I told Joe to stop the right when the round was over,,” he commented about the 11th,” but I think better it was my decision.   I will continue fighting.”

Now fight fans await the negotiations. Roach wants Mayweather and Arum will have a rough time at the table because Mayweather is an adversary. “I said we were going to break him down and we did,” said Roach about Cotto.” Manny put pressure down and early in the fight he was assessing Miguel’s power.”

MORE TO COME     e-mail Rich Mancuso Ring786@aol.com