Oscar De La Hoya blog: Pacquiao-Cotto
Oscar De La Hoya knows what it’s like being in a mega-fight like Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas, having been in more than anyone since the early 1990s. And he knows what Pacquiao is capable of first hand after being stopped by the Filipino icon last December. He has also closely followed the career of Puerto Rican star Miguel Cotto. Here is his take on the fight:
Now that the fight is getting closer, I’ve changed my mind about who I think will win. At first, I had Manny Pacquiao. I was a firm believer that Pacquiao’s speed was going to neutralize Miguel Cotto, especially after Cotto’s performance against Joshua Clottey in June.
Then, as the fight was getting closer and closer and I thought more about it, I’m now convinced Cotto will win. The reason is, first, nobody looks good against Clottey. He’s a difficult, strong, in-your-face type of fighter. And Cotto had that gash over his eye the whole fight. I thought he did an excellent job in light of that.
Cotto has a good chin and a big heart. He’s a natural welterweight who hits hard and is also smart and fast. Pacquiao doesn’t hit hard enough to knock anyone out in the welterweight division. I’m basing that on my fight against Pacquiao. I could’ve stood there and put my face in front of him and he couldn’t have hurt me.
I think Pacquiao will come out strong and try to surprise Cotto. If that doesn’t work, I believe (trainer) Freddie Roach will tell Pacquiao to wait for Cotto to come in and then counter, to stay on his toes.
I think Cotto is a smart fighter. I think he’ll get through those first few rounds and in a smart way he’ll walk down Pacquaio and possibly stop him in the later rounds.
I know that would surprise a lot of people. A lot of people are counting him out after his last performance. I think he’s the real deal, though. I’ve seen his skills and I’ve seen his power. He’s proved himself against tough, rugged guys. He’s proved himself against slick boxers.
Cotto is one of those fighters who can surprise anyone.