Before this fight, I told my wife, “I think Manny Pacquiao may be biting off more than he can chew.” It was just a year and a half ago that he was a super-featherweight, and Cotto is a pretty big guy at a natural 147. He hits really hard too. I had the same sinking feeling that I had right before Lyoto Machida’s last fight (which Machida won by decision but probably shouldn’t have). Speed is good, but one hard punch can hurt. Numerous hard punches can really ruin a person’s day. I thought Pac-Man would go down. I was wrong. Absolutely wrong.
I haven’t seen the full fight, but I was reading the round by round summaries on LA Times, Boxing Fanhouse, and Fox, and it sounds like Pacquiao dominated from the second round all the way up to the last round, when the ref finally stepped in, declaring that Cotto had had enough. Fox had the funniest blog (emphasis mine):
Both fighters were pretty cautious. Cotto is landing his jab effectively and so far Pacquiao’s speed isn’t a problem for Cotto.
Pacquiao’s swarming style didn’t bother Cotto and Cotto is clearly the stronger fighter.
Now Pacquiao is stalking Cotto. I can’t believe it. Pacquiao is landing power punches at will.
Cotto just is not throwing his jab enough to keep Pacquiao off him. Late in the round Pacquiao hurts Cotto with another big left. But, Cotto flurries to end the round. Pacquiao has now taken over the fight.
Cotto just wants to finish the fight. Pacquiao is landing big shots in the corner midway through the round, but Cotto escapes.
Cotto gets on his bicycle and the crowd boos. I think they don’t know he’s in the ring with perhaps the best fighter of his generation.
Cotto doesn’t look inclined to fight and Pacquiao is frustrated. However, Pacquiao chases him down and after a big flurry, the referee steps in and stops the fight.
Pacquiao wins by TKO.
Wow. I was full of doubt on this one, but Pac-Man knocked Cotto down twice before finally stopping him in Round 12. Cotto was saved by the bell in the second knockdown. That’s not a contest; that’s a rout. Manny Pacquiao is now the undisputed best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He is the first and only man in history to win 7 titles in 7 different weight classes. This guy is absolutely insane. Even though he shot up in weight, he still dominated. As one British commentator say, “I think anyone with a belt ought to be scared.” Congratulations to you, Mr. Pacquiao.
I guess the next stop would be Floyd Mayweather. That scares me too, but maybe I just have to believe.