Pacquiao Stops Cotto in 12

November 15, 2009

Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) once again solidified his place as one of the all-time great prizefighters in boxing history with a dominating stoppage win over Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cotto started strong in the early rounds, unleashing some good bodywork against the ropes and snapping PacMan's head back on several occasions with his piston-like jab. However, Pacquiao's explosive handspeed and relentlessly unorthodox approach were simply too much for the Puerto Rican champion.

After arguably fighting on even terms through the first two rounds, PacMan would catch Cotto solidly for the first time in Round 3, dropping the Boricua with a well-timed and perfectly-placed left-right combination that saw an off-balance Cotto touch his gloves to the canvas.

To no surprise, however, the proud and determined Cotto rose and finished the round strong by rattling a solid barrage of hooks upstairs and to the body of the Filipino challenger.

Cotto's strong finish actually earned him a 9-9 round on the DSH scorecard (10-9 Cotto, less the one point for being knocked down).

Emboldened by his strong finish in that round, Cotto came out fighting ferociously in the fourth. This round would eventually see Cotto backing up Pacquiao against the ropes, much to the chagrin of his head trainer Freddie Roach. Clearly, in this area of the ring Cotto was likely to be at his most dangerous.

But just as quickly, Pac-Man got out of harm's way and exploded, landing an incredibly quick and impeccably-timed two-punch combination that was punctuated by a left uppercut. That uppercut dropped a forward-moving Cotto for a second time.

In contrast to the earlier "flash" knockdown, Cotto was caught cleanly this time, as he rose on unsteady legs at the count of eight.

Going into the 5th, Cotto not only looked a bit shell-shocked, but his face also began to reveal the significant amount of punishment that he had absorbed to that point.

Nevertheless, Cotto fought bravely in round 6, as he managed to strafe Pacquaio with a few nice hooks and counter rights.

However this success was short-lived, as any Cotto rally was answered just as quickly by Pacquiao with flurry after hard flurry. Faced with such an onslaught, Cotto was forced to cover up, often ineffectively.

By the time the 8th round rolled around, Cotto's face was swelling badly and he seemed reluctant to engage. At this stage, his mentality had switched, and he was now simply in survival mode.

Rounds 9 and 10 saw more of the same, and Team Cotto was on the verge of stopping the fight. However, the badly bloodied Cotto gamely refused to throw in the towel and end it.

When his corner let the proud former champ trudge out for the last round, all thoughts of winning the fight had long since been abandoned. Cotto was now simply trying to end the fight upright and on his feet, as he had long since ceased to mount a serious offensive attack.

However,a Pacquiao laser-like straight left rocked Cotto's head back, and quickly removed any chance of the fight going to the scorecards. Referee Kenny Bayless had seen enough and jumped in to protect Miguelito from sustaining further damage. The end came at :55 seconds of the final round, to shouts of joy from the many Filipino fight fans in attendance.

Pacquiao was ahead comfortably on all three official judges' scorecards at the time of the stoppage by scores of 109-99, 108-99, and 108-100.

The DSH also had Manny ahead by a score of 107-100 when the action was halted.

In a storied career that began as a 106-pound flyweight, Pacquiao's exhilarating and convincing win earned him a title belt in his seventh weight division.

Almost immediately after the victory fans began clamoring for his next big fight, chanting "We Want Floyd." This of course is a reference to the much-ballyhooed showdown for Pound-for-Pound supremacy between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao.

Unfortunately, a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao megafight is anything but a done deal.

If rumors are to be believed, then we can expect Pac-Man's next bout to be a rubbermatch of sorts with old foe Juan Manuel Marquez (their first two fights resulted in a draw, and a close, controversial decision win for Pacquiao) in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium. Given the capacity of Jerry Jones' new venue, the sizable fanbases of both fighters will have all the room they need to support their man.

As for Floyd, one popular rumor being bandied about has Money May beginning a "European Tour" of sorts with a bout against the solid, yet unheralded Dmitry Salita sometime next spring, and then continuing through 2011 against various other middling European opposition.

Although there have been whispers about Floyd deciding to make such a move in order to offset his financial woes with the IRS and drive up interest in a Pacquaio fight, it remains to be seen if there is any validity to this rumor.

Here's hoping that both champions will realize that the only fight that will truly captivate the world's attention is the one against each other to determine once and for all who deserves to be called the best fighter pound-for-pound.

By Kweku Turkson
Staff Reporter for

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