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Dougie’s FAT Friday mailbag

13
Nov

COTTO BY KO

After seeing the kind of shape Miguel Cotto is in at the weigh in, I change my pick to Cotto. I have never seen him look so good at a weigh in. I know I was predicting that Manny Pacquiao’s speed would be too much, and I thought he would be elusive enough not to get hit, but he will have 36 LONG minutes in the ring with Cotto.

I now pick Cotto, possibly by stoppage. — JB

Something tells me you're not the only person who is changing his or her mind after seeing how good Cotto looked at today's weigh-in. His abs looked great, his face wasn't sucked in, his eyes weren't glazed over, his mouth didn't look dry, and his skin tone was normal. That tells me he didn't dry out, which means he's going to put on some serious weight and not be sluggish Saturday night.



However, Pacquiao looked great, too (when is he not shredded at a weigh-in?), and bigger than I've ever seen him.

We definitely have a fight on our hands, folks.

THREE OUTCOMES

Doug,
Great article on the Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto showdown, and I have to agree on all points, even though anybody who knows their boxing should be saying the same so I think technically you have slightly “wimped out” even though your verdict is still to come.

I see three outcomes:
1) Pacman goes through the gears early, lands a bomb and swarms all over Cotto to force a stoppage inside 4 rounds.

2) Pacman too quick/fast, boxes smart, mainly stays out of serious harm and takes the decision.

3) Cotto slowly catches up, wears him down and tags him very late or takes the decision.

My heart says No. 1 in a thriller, my head says No. 3, equally in a thriller. How's that for sitting on the fence!

If Pacquiao wins, he definitely sits on the top table as Cotto is fighting at his preferred weight.

I'm based in the UK, follow all boxing and thoroughly enjoy RingTV.com and your articles. As an aside, and being British, I think David Haye is incredibly marketable but I think Vitali will eat him for breakfast, unfortunately. Keep up the good work! — Andy in Hampshire

Thanks Andy. Vitali eats everyone for breakfast.

I’m going with your No. 2 outcome. I like Pacquiao by decision.

SPEED BEATS POWER

Whatup Dougie!
I'm a big follower and this is my 3rd message for you. I hope I make it this time…

First off, props to you for the 50/50 chance article. I feel exactly the same way being Pacman is my first and Cotto is my 2nd favorite boxer. Believe me I was crushed when I saw Cotto fold against Margacheato. But I will have to go with the Pac-monster on this one.

Seems like everyone believes that Pac will pull an Oscar on his stool or Freddie will throw in the towel. I say Pac will surprise everyone again and will win by TKO within 10 rounds. The key will be his speed, not to mention his KO power on both hands. Not just handspeed but also his footwork speed and agility. I also believe that Cotto will KO the Pac if he catches him on the ropes. But that will only happen if Pac allows it to happen. Pac is quick on his feet and gets away nicely when backed up. Although it only lasted 2 rounds, it showed against the fight with Ricky. Cotto's previous opponents were pretty slow and pretty much forward kind of guys. Clottey pretty much stood in front of Cotto. I feel the same way about Shane. Not much lateral movement that’s why they got mauled by Cotto. I like the Zab fight but he just ran out of gas.

My take is it will be like the Pac/Oscar fight where Pac displayed excellent footwork turning his opponent and going in and out doing good enough damage. Also much like the David Diaz fight. Somebody will wear down and fold and I think it will be Cotto.

I'm almost 100% sure that your pick is Pac as well, IMO. LOL. What do you think? Thanks! — Joks, Bay Area, CA

I agree with your pick but I think Cotto will be a lot tougher than you think. I think Cotto has fought plenty of fighters with excellent hand speed (though not as fast as Pacquiao). True most of them stood in front of him, but Judah didn’t. Zab employed a hit-and-run strategy. Judah didn’t run out of gas. Cotto pressured him the entire fight and broke him down.

Don’t think the same thing can’t happen to Pacquiao. Although Pacquiao is a more complete fighter than Judah, I’m not sure that the Filipino icon hits harder than Zab does at 147 pounds.

PICKING PACQUIAO

Mr. Fischer,
Since you asked in your last mailbag: I'm picking Pacquiao! Here's why:

Some say that Cotto is better at handling speedy boxers like Mosley, while he has only been in a difficult situation when fighting strong, pressure fighters like Margarito and Clottey–and that Pacquiao is not that kind of fighter. Yes, if you place Pacquiao in the speedy-boxer category and follow that argument, then I can see a Cotto prediction. However, here is what I think most people are forgetting: not only is Pacquiao supremely fast and quick, he is also supremely adaptable. Freddie Roach is able to train him to fight any kind of fight necessary to win against any specific opponent. Pacquiao is extremely trainable and has shown improvement every time he has stepped into the ring. If someone thinks this or that is Pacquiao's weakness in the Cotto fight, then chances are Roach has also caught it and formulated a plan. Pacquiao can successfully be any kind of fighter Roach trains him to be, and will be “the fighter who beat Cotto by doing ______ when we didn't think he could” in this fight. Cotto will lose this fight and while it might go to a decision, I am picking Pacquiao by a late round stoppage TKO. — Brian, Washington, DC

Good point, Brian. Pacquaio has been a very “coachable” athlete in recent years and has shown an increased ability to adapt to various styles in recent fights. However, he hasn’t had to deal with any adversity since his rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez. I wonder what will happen if he doesn’t catch Cotto early. If he can’t outmaneuver the natural welterweight. What happens if he starts catching more punches than he wants to? Will he be able to follow Roach’s instructions then? Will he be able to adapt to Cotto when the going gets tough? Or will he revert to his instincts and simply attack in spurts?

We’ll see.

FIRST RINGTV SHOW

Mr. Fischer, THANK YOU!!! That was an excellent pre-fight show, and now boxing fans like myself will be able to watch a regular boxing show. Americans need this. Again, thank you.

I'm predicting Pacquiao winning by TKO over Cotto. No matter what happens, Pacquiao is an ATG, and Cotto, while he may not be an ATG, will be inducted in the Hall of Fame whenever he chooses to retire. — Vasili

Thaks for the nice words about our first studio pre-show of a major fight, Vasili. It was good for a first effort — Michael and I had never worked together in front of the camera and we did that show without any rehearsals — but I see a lot of room for improvement, which I hope we’ll be able to make with future episodes.

Pacquiao is a first-ballot hall of famer. I think he’s arguably a great fighter. I’m on the fence as to whether Pacquiao is an all-time great. If he beats Cotto I’m sold. He’s an ATG. If Cotto beats Pacquiao he’s punched his ticket to Canastota.

COTTO IS TOAST!

Dougie,
Hope you are having fun in Vegas. Let me start by saying I'm not really a fan of either guy. I'm just a big boxing fan. But I don't see how anybody thinks this is an even matchup. Everything here just like the past year goes Pacquiao's way. Cotto has so many disadvantages. His lack of trainer, lack of defense, the punches he has been taking, etc. It is sad the Margarito fight happened to him. Even the catch weight sucks for Cotto. How a title is on the line in a catch-weight fight blows my mind. The bottom line is everybody at Top Rank knows Pacquiao wins this fight. I'm so tried of Arum's BS. Most likely it is a blowout. I doubt Cotto goes past six or seven. He won't get off the hook this time. Thanks man. — Chris, Michigan

Tell us how you really feel about this matchup, Chris.

I agree Pacquiao has a lot of advantages in this fight, but I also think you are over-playing Cotto’s perceived weaknesses. You talk like Cotto is a freakin’ sponge, like he has absolutely ZERO defense. That’s almost as much BS as Arum spews when he’s talking about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It’s not like Pacquiao is Mayweatheresque in terms of defense, dude.

As for the catchweight, if both guys weighed in at 140¾ pounds Cotto’s belt could be on the line. Welterweight is anything over 140 pounds to 147 pounds. Pacquiao weighed-in at 144 pounds and he’ll probably put on around four or five pounds by fight time (Roach doesn’t want him to come in any heavier than 149). Cotto weighed-in at 145 on the dot and he will likely put on anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds by fight time. You tell me who has the advantage.

I favor Pacquiao to win, but by no means do I think it will be a blowout. Many veteran trainers that I respect — men I’ve learned from — are picking Cotto. In fact, every fighter that I’ve talked to about this fight favors Cotto.

Maybe they know something we don’t.

PREPARE FOR GREATNESS

I'll keep it short. Pacquiao by a very close UD. It could go either way but I can see Pacman overwhelming and TKOing Cotto but it won’t happen until the championship rounds. Pac's gonna get his chin checked but I don’t EVER see Manny staying down — hard to do that when you have a ENTIRE NATION behind you.

Cotto is great at timing but he isn’t the technical master and counter puncher like JMM and it’s hard to time a guy who blitzes in and out from weird angles. It’s easy to say “Ahh Pacman does this so I can do this to counter” but the hand and foot speed is so insane and the Pac is so unpredictable that you know what to do but all of a sudden its half a moment too late. Also Freddie “the no-joke coach” Roach has done his homework a little too well and you know that.

Ricky Hatton prepared for this “right hook duck under” all camp and
got dropped by that 2 minutes into the fight-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDZFQCgsVw8

These are proud warriors who love fighting as much as Leonard Ellerbe
loves muscles. This weekend is boxing at its finest. Let’s hope for
greatness Dougie, I see potential for that on Saturday. — Asim

We’re going to get a hell of fight. It might be a great one. We’ll see. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be the fight of the year and one of the best of the decade.

While it’s true Cotto isn’t the as good a technician and counter puncher as JMM, as Joe Goossen pointed out in my trainer poll, he’s the best boxer/counter-puncher that Pacquiao has faced at this weight. Pacquiao had the weight advantage in his fights with Marquez, he put on five to six pounds more than the Mexican master did after the weigh in. Cotto will have as much as 10 pounds on Pacquiao come fight time.

Keep that in mind.

SPEED KILLS

I can envision Pac getting wobbled per his 2nd fight with Marquez, but I think Pac’s speed — and I mean his foot speed — will trouble Cotto all night long. Pacman TKO 7, Kenny Bayless stepping in. — Christian

Pacquiao’s fast feet may very well be the difference in a very close fight.

I think it’s a fair bet that both men get buzzed or rocked during the fight.

TOO BAD SOMEONE HAS TO LOSE

Doug,
How are you? I just want to thank you for the all your wonderful articles and the new RingTV show (I loved the first episode by the way). I truly mean that because as a senior in college it is hard to for me to go check all these fights out and get a chance to go to the “open to the public” workouts. I live in Orange County so I was dying to go to the Wild Card and check Manny out but I wasn't aware of when it was open to the public, plus I had a lot of midterms during the two weeks he trained in Los Angeles. Well, I just wanted to thank you for all your work and tell you to keep doing a great job. How sad is it to see one of these two great fighters lose this weekend? Maybe even knocked out?! We will see what happens… Thanks Doug. — Ronnie Lopez

I hear ya. I’ll be sad to see one of these guys lose, especially because I know there’s always a pack of a__hole message board vultures who love to swoop in and take a greasy dump on a fighter whenever he loses, and neither Cotto nor Pacquiao deserve that kind of treatment.

Thanks for the kind words about me, the site and our first RingTV show, Ronnie. Focus on your studies for now, boxing isn’t going anywhere. There will be plenty of time to visit boxing gyms after you graduate. Pacquiao’s media workout wasn’t open to the public, anyway. Heck, it was barley open to the media.

PICKIN THE PACMONSTER

Whatup Doug – My head tells me that Cotto is going to beat the Pacman on points in a close fight. Cotto is too big, knows how to cut off the ring, has heavy hands, and has defeated speed before (Judah, Mosley). I also don't think that Pacquiao can stop him after seeing him stand up to a possibly loaded-gloved Margarito for 11 rounds (even though he got stopped), but feel that Cotto can definitely stop Manny. But every time I'm about to make a pick I think that Pacquiao is possibly an all-time great fighter and can't pick against him. I think Pacuiao wins a hard fought, close decision. This undercard sucks man, I'm embarrassed to have my friends over for it. — Dave, San Jose

The Soto-Karass-Gomez fight will be a good one (even though it probably should be the main event of an Azteca America show). Your friends will enjoy that one, but they’ll have to get in early to catch it because it’s the first fight of the PPV broadcast. I like Soto-Karass in that one, by the way (I think it will be a poor man’s version of Margarito-Cotto; Gomez has the unfortunate role of Cotto). The other fights on the PPV broadcast, well, the less said the better. Bob Arum is a great promoter — the main event is another example of that — but he’s certainly not above milking the buying public.

I see the fight the same way you do.

PACMAN BY EARLY KO

Hi Dougie,
In my opinion, The Pacman will KO Cotto in early rounds because of his speed and strategies. They always say that Cotto is bigger and stronger, but they said this before the De la Hoya and Hatton fights and what happened? Actually, even with David Diaz, lots of so-called “experts” leaning towards Diaz because he was stronger and bigger, but again what happened? So to people who are still not convinced with Pacman's ability and Roach strategies, you still have time to change. It's destiny that Manny will be one the top 5 greatest boxers all-time! — Jonathan

A Pac-Fan are we? That’s all good.

If your hero blitzes Cotto, I’ll consider him to be a great fighter, but not one of the top five of all time. However, he’s only 30, and there are some very worthy challenges out there for him with Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather.

PACQUIAO WILL WIN, BARELY

Hi Doug,
In response to your mid-week mailbag where everyone seemed to think Cotto is heading for a KO win, here is an argument for Pacquiao just like you asked (and from a Brit – proving that not all of us are still p_ssed off at him for knocking Our Ricky half way into next week)

I think Pacman will land more shots, but Cotto will land the heavier, more meaningful punches. Every judge is impressed by different things, and you very rarely get 3 judges who look for exactly the same attributes in a fighter's performance (e.g. some favour the more aggressive fighter, others might favour the counter-puncher). So I think the Filipino will take a decision – and it will be close, possibly split, definitely controversial – and the calls for a rematch will be immediate.

But either way, I can't bloody wait for this one. Cheers. — Tom, Oxford, England

Interesting take on the fight, Tom, and you might be right. We’ll see. By the way, I was just joking with that quip about British fans being mad at Pacquiao for blasting the Mad Hatter. I know that UK fans back their own but still appreciate the sport and its history, and obviously have respect for accomplished warriors like Pacquiao.

PAC BY TKO 10

I say Pacquiao by 10th round stoppage or sooner part of that “continuing to learn” of how to make the fight a sweeter science, and what I think will be the centerpiece for this coming Saturday (the 14th in Las Vegas) is the quick lateral movement (to evade the jab or right lead of Cotto) combined with flawlessly timing a specific angle achieved thru that said lateral movement, whereby either Pacman's right hook and/or left-straight lead will land AHEAD of a-n-y, repeat, any punch Cotto may so choose to launch — simply because of the arithmetic of that said angle — properly timed. And once the first punch lands, it automatically converts to a three-or-four punch combination, then on-to another lateral movement/angle.

This is also the same reason why Pac's previous opponents suddenly looked s-l-o-w or looked “suddenly old” 🙂 Thing is, that crazy guy with the shakin'-n-bakin' has been making Pacquiao master the mathematics of it all, even more so! And with the proper choice of quality sparring partners to boot. This, I believe, is a major part of why they call boxing the Sweet Science. — Junied V.

True, Freddie “Shake-n-Bake” Roach has instilled some serious science into Pacquiao’s natural ability, but Cotto’s got some sweet moves in his game, too.

Pacquiao did have the tougher sparring partners but maybe it was good for Cotto not to go to war every other day in the gym, given the tough nature of his recent fights.

Cotto looked very good at the weigh in. He didn’t appear to drain himself to make 145 pounds and maybe it’s best for him to be as fresh as possible.

COTTO-PAC PREDICTION

In my heart I think Cotto wins but I have never been so unsure of who will win going into a fight. My one 100% stone cold lock is that Cotto will not go out on his back, he may get stopped because of cuts or he may just of had enough like in the Margarito fight but he will not go out like Ricky Flatton ….

I had the Valuev-Haye fight at 6 rounds to 6, which is why I was shocked Haye got the decision. I thought Haye clearly won the first, second and twelfth … all the other rounds were toss ups.

That was a scary beating Angulo put on Yorgey …. the whole time I kept thinking “man Harry Jo's kid is there too” … I hate seeing kids before the fight. — Mike in Louisville

I also get squeamish when I see a beaten fighter’s family ringside. Yorgey impressed me with his guts, but the fight was over way before he got cold cocked in front of his kid. He didn’t deserve that.

I agree that there were a lot of toss-up rounds in the Valuev-Haye fight, but I’m tired of talking about that boring heavyweight bout.

I agree with your take on Cotto-Pacquiao. The only thing that would shock me (and disappoint me) is if the bout ended early.

THROWIN' IT IN

Great work on the article about the Cotto-Pac megafight…. I now feel so much better on my wagers and am looking forward to collecting come Saturday night….. Cotto by late stoppage preferably Roach throwing in the towel to stop the beating from the Joe Santiago-trained fighter…. just had to throw that in! Thanks Doug. — Mario

Stick it to ’em, Mario. We’ll see what happens. Cotto looked good at the weigh-in.

PAC BY KO

Doug,
You asked for predictions for Pac so her you go. I am 'guessing' the Pac-monster to win by KO/TKO before the end of the 7th round. My reasoning is that even though Cotto is bigger, Pac's quick & accurate shots will wear down Cotto fast.

On another note, do you know if there is a way to find out if anyone from Cotto's camp watched Margarito's hands being wrapped? Because if someone was watching (like they are supposed to do, like Mosley's camp did) then there should not be any controversy about whether his hand wraps were loaded for that fight. Just seems like an easy way to end the controversy.

Thanks for all you do for boxing! — Anthony, San Diego

Cotto says his former trainer and uncle, Evangelista, was not in Margarito’s dressing room when the Mexican mauler’s hands were being wrapped. Arum says Evangelista was working the corner of one of his other fighters who was on the undercard at that time.

However, there were plenty of Nevada boxing commissioners in Margarito’s dressing room at the time, and it’s an inspector’s job to watch the hand wrapping and sign off on them as being kosher, so it’s not like Javier Capetillo wrapped Tony’s hands in seclusion.

Margarito’s here in Vegas, by the way. He’s grown a weird-looking stoner goatee.

If Pacquiao does what you think he’ll do, I’ll be very, very, very impressed.

AN OBSERVATION

What's up Dougie? I've been reading your work for years now but this is my first time writing to your mailbag. I just want to make one quick observation, and see if you agree of disagree. I've noticed that Cotto doesn't commit himself to the body as extensively against elite (or at least very good) opposition. For whatever reason(s), against Mosley, Margarito, Clottey, even Judah in the early going, Miguel didn't exhibit that relentless body attack that we rave about. I'm not saying he didn't land good body shots at all, or even great combinations. He definitely had his moments in each of those fights. But even though he managed to win all but one of those fights, he still wasn't that relentless pitbull, mauling his opponents with body work.

I'm sure I'll read your prediction Friday, but do you think this could be a factor Saturday? Manny seems quicker, more precise, and probably will punch as hard as any of those fighters I listed, so its hard for me to envision a Cotto victory unless Manny is just unable to deal with Miguel's power at 147. I guess we'll all find out together this Saturday. Can't wait for it. — Ruben

That’s a good point about Cotto, and I agree to an extent. I thought he worked over Judah’s body pretty damn hard. He didn’t do it against Mosley because Shane tied him up in close (and the veteran was as strong or stronger than Cotto). Cotto couldn’t do it vs. Margarito because whenever he planted his feet, Tony sliced him up the middle with that evil left uppercut of his. I think Cotto would have worked Clottey’s body more if his cut eye hadn’t become such a factor in that fight.

One thing I’ve noticed about Cotto is that he often able to work the body of opponents who try to stick and move on him, such as Gianluca Branco and Oktay Urkal.

MORE M&M (MANNY & MIGUEL)

Hey Doug,
Just watched the show online with you and Michael. Very good work they should give you guys a slot on ESPN Friday night fights, keep up the good work. I am going for Miguel on this one and I will explain. This run which Manny is on (a great one I might add that is why he deserves to be #1 pfp) it sort of reminds me of Trinidad right before he fought Hopkins. The press had him almost unstoppable at that time and he had the great fights to go along with that press after the De La Hoya fight. Now I know Manny has become a way more complete boxer than Felix but I feel he is not going to have the power to hurt Miguel and will be overpowered. One thing that sticks in my mind to this very day after the Trinidad-Hopkins match is when Larry Merchant said “As soon as you label someone a genius they are bound to disappoint you.” Nevertheless I am anxious for Sat. — Rio

As well you should be, Rio.

That’s a good analogy with Pac and Tito. You are absolutely correct in that the media often becomes enamored with a fighter who wins back-to-back-to-back big fights.

It could be that the boxing press is suffering from a very severe case of PacMan Fever. We’ll find out if that’s the case very soon.

Thanks for the props on the RingTV show. I think Michael and I need just a weeeeeeeeee bit of work before we’re ESPN-worthy but I appreciate your encouragement.

PACQUIAO STOPS COTTO

What's up Dougie, are you excited yet for the fight?

I've read all the pre-fight predictions on Ringtv.com and on various web sites. One thing that got me thinking was George Foreman's prediction that Cotto will fight defensive because of the Clottey fight. I think that's Cotto's best chance of winning, because he's a very underrated counter-puncher. If he picks his spots when to be aggressive and when to be defensive, he's got a good chance at stopping Manny. De La Hoya and Hatton both thought they needed to use their size to their advantage and got hit repeatedly while stepping forward.

That said, I'm picking Pacquiao to win by KO, 10th round. Everyone keeps talking about his improved right hand, but what I noticed is his improved balance and footwork. I've never seen a fighter move so quickly, in and out, side to side while throwing punches.

Also, what's going on with the V-nom? Does he still have visa issues? — Dave, Detroit

“My son” does have visa issue, which is why nothing is really going on with his career. He’s supposed to make a title defense in December, so at least he’ll get two fights in this year, but for the most part his career has stagnated. It sucks because I think he could make for so much excitement in the lightweight and 140-pound divisions.

Excellent observations and analysis, Dave. I always thought Detroit boxing fans were among the most astute. More than a few trainers have given the exact same breakdown that you did, but they were split on who would win.

GUTEN TAG

Guten Tag, Mr. Fischer… it's an unusual spelling for an American name isn't it… in German “Fischer” is usually spelled like that, with a “c” and in American it’s usually “Fisher”… but well, let's get to business…

Cotto vs. Pacquiao… man I love both of these dudes… I hope Cotto can make it competitive… yeah, you heard right. I have a bad feeling that Cotto will suffer a lot and take a bad beating. The problem is that if Cotto boxes and waits for Pacquiao… Pacquiao will pick him apart with his speed and unpredictable punches. If Cotto presses (which I think is his only chance) he will still have to take a lot. He will come forward smarter then Hatton but still he will get some leather and Pacquiao is a bad dude. The only way like I stated would be to make it physical BUT I simply can't see how he can reach that. He will take too many punches that will slow him down… and Cotto would need to absorb hell to make it to the final bell… because Pacquiao doesn't slow down or tires. As much as I love Cotto I can't see him winning. — Jesse K., Germany

I guess I’ve talked to enough trainers and fighters who favor Cotto that I’ve been convinced that he has a very good shot. The fact that he didn’t drain himself to make 145 pounds tells me that he might come in as a middleweight Saturday night, and those extra pounds will be “functional” weight, which makes me think that the man from Puerto Rico might manhandle Manny if given a chance (should Pacquiao stand his ground). We’ll see, but as it stands now, I’m a guy who’s picking Pacquiao but not feeling terribly confident about it.

As for my last name, guilty as charged, my father’s side of the family is of German ancestry. One of these days, I’ll have to make the trip to Germany to cover a big fight. Perhaps I’ll try to wing it next year for one of the Klitschko brothers’ title defenses.

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