Friday, November 13, 2009

Manny Pacquiao vs Miguel Cotto Predictions

The most anticipated fight of the year is just about here. Just one more night until Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto will do battle at the MGM Grand in Vegas.

The fighters weighed in a little less than an hour ago, with Cotto tipping the scales at the agreed upon limit of 145 pounds. Pacquiao came in 1 pound under the limit at 144.

Let's get to our writer's picks...

Manny Pacquaio vs Miguel Cotto

A lot of the common perceptions of this fight come from each man's two previous bouts (excluding Jenning's for Cotto). I think of it this way; how would Cotto have looked against De La Hoya and Hatton? How would Pacquiao have looked against Margarito and Clottey? I believe Cotto would have put Oscar on the floor and dismantled Hatton much like Pacquiao did, though perhaps more methodically. Pacquiao probably would only survive the Margarito that busted up Cotto by running and should he have suffered a cut like that against Clottey he may have shown more fold than Cotto.

So, all that, only to say this; I think this fight is a 50-50 prospect. I could see a blowout either way, and I could see a tooth and nail, knockdown, drag-out firefight. I'll go out on a slight limb and say that Pac's high earmuff defense betrays him on the ropes and Cotto damages Pacquiao to the body. This, after he takes Pacquiao's best and stalks him down like the Cotto of yore. Cotto ought to play Duran here, winging borderline shots and being as rough as can be. When Barrera turned punk in the Manny rematch, Pac didn't respond well, and it wasn't the first time he's been thrown off his game by chippy gamesmanship or a cut. Whatever happens I hope the fight is a classic and both men are elevated by nights end. Again, in a fight that could swing either way, I'll take Cotto by TKO.

- Jeff Pryor

Check out Jeff's Preview of the fight: The Rise & Fall of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto

I'm picking Pacquaio. Too fast and too sharp. This is a great little man against a good - but vulnerable - big man.

That said, do I think Cotto can win? Yes. But to do so, I think he needs to show the type of fearlessness missing from his recent performances. He's the bigger man here, and he needs to really fight like it... press forward behind the jab, work the body hard, maybe get a little rough in the process and keep Manny on his back foot. Yeah, that kind of aggressiveness might mean he walks into something really damaging early, but I think it gives him a fighting chance... certainly a much better chance than trying to out-box Manny.

- Andrew Fruman

I see the fight being very competitive, Cotto has been written off by a lot of people and most fans think Pacquiao will destroy him. I believe they are massively underrating Cotto, this is a fighter who's only been beaten once (in a somewhat controversial manner) and has 27 knockouts on his record – he’s no mug.

There’s always been a doubt about Cotto's chin but it's looked much better at 147 than it did at 140, and we're yet to see how well Pacquaio can take a shot from a genuine welterweight. I believe both fighters have the ability knock one another out but I've got a gut feeling that Cotto will be the victor. The end could come early or late but if I was pushed to pick, I’d say the end will come somewhere between rounds four and six.

- Dave Oakes

I see Pacquiao beating Cotto to the punch with his straight left hand from the opening bell. Cotto will score some here and there during some exciting exchanges but Pacquiao will dominate this fight on the cards and bust up Miguel’s face en route to a mid to late round stoppage. I hope I’m wrong and the fight meets the world’s expectations. But I’m expecting another clinic from Mr. Pacquiao.

- Mark Lyons

I got Pacquiao winning by either late TKO or decision though I can certainly see Cotto winning by knockout. Both are likely to get busted up, but I disagree with the notion that Cotto handles facial damage better. He tends to fight off his back foot when his vision or breathing becomes compromised and he won't beat Manny that way.

The main advantage Pacquiao has though is that Cotto is left hand dominant; his right hand isn't nearly as powerful and the fighters who give Manny the most fits have very strong right hands.

- Michael Nelson

As much as I will be hoping for Cotto to win I just can't see Miguel being able to handle Pacquiao's speed. Cotto has also shown a suspect chin in the past and I have my doubts about his ability to absorb Pacman's shots. I also don't believe he's mentally the same fighter he was before the Margarito fight.

My prediction... Pacquiao either stops Cotto sometime after round 9, or wins by decision.

- Ivan Montiel

Pacquiao is too fast, and Cotto will get tagged, no matter what style he plans on using. I'll take Manny by TKO in 8, in a fight that should be fun while it lasts.

- Lee Payton