Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao will again be fighting this weekend on Saturday, November 14, 2009 (Las Vegas time), and based on what I have read and seen lately, I think Manny will beat Cotto relatively easily, similar to the Diaz fight, for a couple of reasons:
First, Cotto will obviously have problems matching Manny’s speed. His punching power in terms of doing damage to Manny I feel is also a bit overrated. Cotto wasn’t able to knock out Malignaggi, while a supposedly smaller fighter like Hatton was able to dispose of Malignaggi in the eleventh round of their match.
Second, that split with his trainer, who also happened to be his uncle, has a big psychological effect on Cotto. It was an ugly split, with Cotto breaking his uncle’s nose and ribs, and then Evangelista throwing a brick on Cotto’s SUV. Evangelista has reportedly now filed a USD 7.5 million suit against Miguel in Puerto Rico. That kind of family problem has got to be a major distraction.
Next, Cotto replaced his uncle, whom he has worked with in his corner winning title belts, with a nobody in Santiago. As a result, his performance against Clottey was not particularly convincing. In effect, Cotto is basically running his own show, with a mediocre trainer in his corner. Manny, on the other hand, has a genius in Freddie Roach in his corner.
I agree with mighty_lion that Cotto’s sparring partners were mediocre, basically unknowns. Manny, on the other hand, has been sparring with a boxing legend in Luis Castillo, and in legitimate future upcoming stars like Shawn Porter. Take note that Porter is a Jr. Middleweight, fighting at 154 lbs., heavier than Cotto who is only a Welterweight (147 lbs.). Porter is currently 10-0, with 8 knockouts. A bigger fighter, who can punch. I think this aspect alone shows the quality (or lack of) of the training camps of both fighters for this fight.
Lastly, I think Cotto’s devastating loss to Margarito has really affected him tremendously. He quit that match, kneeling down after the last onslaught by Margarito, and refusing to stand up to fight again. He surrendered, because he couldn’t take it anymore. Roach himself talked about being knocked out, and losing ten fights in his next fights after that because suddenly, he realized that he was not invincible. Diaz, who is now on Manny’s camp but previously worked with Cotto also said that Cotto was not the same fighter another after being beaten to a pulp by Margarito.
So, Cotto is at a disadvantage in terms of speed, with a mediocre trainer, hiring mediocre sparring fighters, and distracted by personal and psychological problems. A recipe for disaster in my book.
I hope my assumptions are right, and if they are, Cotto will go down hard on the fight this weekend.