The 10 Keys to Manny Pacquiao’s 12 Round TKO over Miguel Cotto

November 16, 2009
Pacquiao Cotto Boxing


It was undeniably the best fight of 2009 thus far. The fighting pride of the Philippines Manny Pacquiao versus Puerto Rico’s own Miguel Cotto. Pundits around the world favored the supposedly stronger fighter of the two in Cotto, they felt strength beats quickness, that a good big man will beat a small good man every time. They were wrong.

Twelve rounds of boxing displayed Manny Pacquiao’s wit, his power, his tact and most importantly his tremendous hand speed. En route to his seventh title in seven different weight classes, which makes him the first fighter in boxing history to do so let alone the first Asian or Filipino.

It started off as a battle, a war that would go the distance at 12 rounds. Miguel Cotto showed the world in the first round that he was unfazed by the beating he suffered under the doctored gloves of Antonio Margarito. He attacked Manny in the first with sharp jabs and matched his quickness. Ringside announcers Emmanuel Steward and Larry Merchant were already beginning to say that Pacquiao had yet to fight someone who would equal his quickness, that Cotto is just as quick and much, much stronger.

Then the third round began, and all that jive talk was silenced. Cotto supporters were stunned to see that the little mans  gloves looking like blurs of red lighting on their high def television sets, as they quickly laced Cotto’s face one after the other. Joe Santiago, Cotto’s head trainer and confidant for the past several years underestimated the strength and Power of Manny, as he methodically tore down his fighter piece by piece round by round.

The Champ is Here

Here’s how he did it.

1. Experience- Pacquiao and Cotto have been known to both attract the most popular fighters for their matches. Manny began his career at amateur nights in the Philippines and Cotto beginning as an Olympic representative for Puerto Rico. Cotto has always been the all-out favorite to win in his bouts and Pacquiao has been labeled an underdog twice, for his fight with Mexican’s Marco Antonio Barrera and Oscar De La Hoya. Pacquiao showed his experience with Cotto Saturday, quickly analyzing and testing out Cotto in the first two rounds before unleashing his assault. He stuck to his game plan studying and testing the power of Cotto in the first round before an unrelenting assault. A mark of experience only a truly gifted fighter demonstrates.

2. Punching Power- Miguel Cotto being the bigger man as a natural welterweight was given the nod on strength. It was deduced by experts that Pacquiao will not be able to match hCotto’s power. Fair enough, but did you see the Hatton fight? Pacquiao nailed Hatton with the prettiest left hook I’ve seen since Iron Mike Tyson. He rendered the British man unconscious for 5 minutes. Saturday, matched with speed and two powerful hands Pacquiao tore into Cotto’s face like swiss cheese. He left Cotto bleeding from the nose and mouth with cuts above both eyes that bled heavily. He tagged Cotto unmercifully, first knocking him down in the third with a stiff right hand that Cotto walked into. He then provideda quick powerful left hook in the fourth round knocking Cotto down for the second time leaving him dazed. A hit that ultimately led to his demise.

3. Speed- If there is ever any question regarding Manny Pacquiao’s speed, that person should be knocked out immediately. I mean is there even a discussion to be brought up? Historically, fighters who move up in weight class naturally lose their speed. This has not been the case for Manny, his quicks have stayed with him at every class he’s moved up in. In his bout with Cotto he played it very coyly and did not show his quickness until the latter moments of the second round. Peppering Cotto with flurries of hooks and jabs unseen before by the former champion in the third and ensuing rounds.

4. Durability- I definitely felt going into the fight that Cotto would have a slight advantage in durability. I mean the guy suffered a beat down versus Margarito, who quite have possibly been wearing gloves with plaster of paris inside of them. Cotto punched Pacquiao with power that everyone watching the fight could see, it however did not affect Manny one bit as he took each punch like a champion and brushed them off with ease.

Manny Pacquiao Solidifies his Legend

5. Tenacity- Cotto and Pacquiao have fought in their fair share of bloody all out brawls. Cotto more recently when he lost to Antonio Margarito and in the two fights Manny had with Juan Manuel Marquez. The fact of the matter is both boxers can take a lick and keep on ticking. On Saturday, Cotto hit Pacquiao with some ferocious uppercuts. Even with the punching power that Cotto has, Manny did not drop an ounce of blood on the canvas while Cotto’s shorts looked bright red at the end of the fight. They were white at the start. Pacquiao attacked him unrelentlessy while Cotto tried his best to defend himself. He was beaten so badly, that his wife and children who were watching at ringside left after the ninth round.

6. Stamina- I hate to point this out again but Cotto was drained by the latter rounds in the Margarito fight. He was also out of energy by the end of the Shane Mosely fight losing the last two rounds in the scorecard. Pacquiao always seems to gain more energy as the fight progresses and has yet to show any signs of heavy tiring in any of his recent matches. He’s also gone a full 12 rounds with both Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barerra. Pointing to Saturdays match this remained true, as Cotto tired quicker in the latter rounds while Manny pursued him and strengthened as the fight progressed. By the start of the seventh round Cotto was clearly trying to evade the Filipinos assault by bouncing around the ring not trying to engage any further with Manny’s onslaught.

7. Versatility- At the start of Manny’s professional career and without the tutelage of Freddie Roach he was known as a brawler. He was strictly a strong left-handed puncher that continuously attacked his opponent. However, as his time with Roach increased so did his boxing prowess. He has the clear ability to punch with both hands and demonstrated that against Cotto, striking him in a variety of angles from the left and right that Cotto was unable to defend. He also moves constantly, he’s got great foot speed and movement. Easily confusing opponents, like Cotto said at the end of the fight, ” I didn’t know when the punches were coming”.

8. Consistency- Both fighters have won considerably in their careers and they have only suffered a handful of losses between them, with Cotto only losing two. They do not fail to attract crowds because fans know what to expect,  a hard fought fight that will be exciting and more than likely be bloody. Manny did not disappoint on Saturday and neither did Miguel. The fight lasted 12 rounds and it was filled with drama and a fair amount of action. Miguel did his best to establish dominance at the start overpowering Manny in the first round and hitting him square in the face.  However, Manny once again followed his trainer and began breaking down the former champion methodically, until referee Kenny Bayless stopped the match with 55 seconds into the twelfth and final round.

9. Corners- Joe Santiago headed into Saturdays match as a rookie, though he’s been in Cotto’s corner for seven years this was the first time he trained Cotto as the lead. His relative new experience showed Saturday as Manny began to lay the beats down on Miguel, there was not a lot of talk on how to attack or counter Pacquiao from Santiago between rounds as the fight progressed. It seemed like Miguel was going to his corner at the end of every round to catch a breather and a drink of water. His corner made very little effort to devise another game plan after their original was eradicated.

Title Collector

Trainer Freddie Roach is a boxing hall of fame inductee with over 25 years of experience. He can single handedly be regarded as the reason for Manny Pacquiaos dominance. He meticulously studies fighters and understand their habits which he easily translates to fighters he trains. If he got a hold of Manny Pacquiao earlier in his career he may have been the pound for pound champion long ago.

10. He’s from the Philippines!!- Okay okay, that may not be a key to his win over Miguel Cotto but I had to say it being a fellow Filipino. In all seriousness though, Manny was in the Philippines when the fourth devastating typhoon in as many months struck the islands. It killed hundreds of people and left thousands missing and or homeless. As a proud citizen of the country Manny tried his best during his training to help his countrymen, donating money and manpower to all that he could when he was there. He is the most popular Filipino in the world for his boxing skills, but the country loves his humbleness and overall good-natured character.

A toast to the pound for pound champ for not only making me a proud Filipino, but showing the entire world that boxing is back and it has a new face.


Young J Fresh

Follow me on Twitter- youngjedifresh


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