The most anticipated fight of 2009 is tomorrow: Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto. It’s a compelling matchup between two of the most exciting fighters in the sport. Even though the odds makers are favoring Pacquiao to win the fight — some experts would say unreasonably so — there are several interesting factors that make this bout so interesting. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1) Can Pacquiao Deal with Cotto’s Power? — Manny has never dealt with a fighter as strong as Cotto. A weight drained and old Oscar De La Hoya doesn’t count. Although Cotto is short for a welterweight (147 pounds), he’s thick and strong. Compare that to Manny, who was fighting at 135 in the summer of 2008 and has had most of his success at 130. You have to figure that at some point in the fight, Miguel is going to get leather on Manny. Will he be able to deal with Cotto’s fierce body shots? What about the left hook to the head?
2) Can Cotto Deal with Pacquiao’s Speed? — It’s true that Miguel has taken on some crazy fast fighters in the past, like Zab Judah and Shane Mosley. He was able to neutralize their speed through a strong jab and smart boxing tactics. That said, the mercurial Judah is an idiot with no heart. As fantastic as Mosley is, he’s never used his speed intelligently at 147 and above. While Pacquiao isn’t the smartest fighter in the world, he excels at using his speed to get in, do some damage, and get out. If Cotto can nix Pacquiao’s speed — and that’s a huge “if” — it’s going to take several painful rounds to do it.
3) Will Joe Santiago’s Inexperience Hurt Cotto? — Cotto recently fired his longtime trainer, his uncle Evangelista Cotto. He named his nutritionist, Joe Santiago, head trainer. Pacquiao, on the other hand, has been working with the excellent Freddie Roach for years. Roach has claimed that Santiago’s inexperience is hurting Cotto, since the fighter doesn’t have anyone correcting his bad habits. Some say this is Roach engaging in gamesmanship, but I think it’s a valid point. Perhaps Santiago has been training Cotto poorly, but the bigger issue is whether Santiago can analyze the fight and help Cotto make adjustments. I’m not sure how effective he can be in that capacity.
As a Filipino-American that loves boxing and karaoke, I felt obligated to post this clip of Manny Pacquiao singing “Sometimes When We Touch” on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And yes, that song is the same one from the ringtone in Tropic Thunder.
– I received the Wrestlemania 24and Wrestlemania 25 Blu-ray discs. Between videogames and the World Series, I won’t have time to watch the entire cards, but I sure as hell am going to watch the Shawn Michaels matches from each event. HBK/Flair was a brilliant, emotional match that excelled in the storytelling department. HBK/Undertaker was one of the best matches I’ve seen in the last decade.
– Speaking of HBK, what a remarkable career he’s had — especially the second half. I never bought into the “boyhood dream” and I only started really enjoying his matches just before his first hiatus. Since his comeback from back surgery, it’s crazy how good he has been. While he can’t do some of things he used to in his younger days, his storytelling and psychology are the best they’ve ever been. Plus, nobody sells moves as good as Shawn does these days.
– I’m still wondering why the hell R-Truth is on the cover of the WrestleMania 25 box. What’s up?
– I’m finally done with my “pay the bills” projects! One was charismatic and one was awesome. *snicker* The good news is that I’ll be able to sleep for more than four hours a night and next week I’ll be able to focus more time on the site.
– I hope the rain doesn’t drown out the Yankee game tonight. I’m kind of bummed that it won’t be Yankees/Dodgers in the World Series. That would have been a nice story — Joe Torre and Don Mattingly taking on their old team.
– John Morrison’s Starship Pain is such an awesome move. I love watching him perform it. That and Evan Bourne’s shooting star press are currently my two favorite finishers in WWE.
– I’m thrilled that Nigel McGuiness is getting a big push in TNA, but his new name (Desmond Wolfe) is stupid. Another brilliant idea from Vince Russo. Oy.
– How awesome are the Yankees looking right now? I don’t want to jinx it, but the team’s confidence reminds me of the great Yankee teams of the late ’90s. I was still living in NY when they were snatching up World Series — kind of weird to think that I’ve been watching Jeter, Rivera, and Posada their entire MLB careers.
– I know a lot of you are down on WWE right now, but I really can’t say enough about SmackDown. Jericho is doing his best work ever (though he’s on both shows most weeks) and it’s great seeing future stars like John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler develop. The Harty Dynasty should develop into something good, especially Tyson Kidd. I dig Cryme Tyme, but have to admit I’m biased because Shad Gaspard is geek chick (dude loves his comics!).
– Btw, I was toying with the idea of live blogging RAW on Monday. Anyone interested?
– This Google Wave video of Pulp Fiction just cracks me up. I’ve watched it like ten times in the last day. I haven’t gotten my Wave invite yet, but a few of my friends have…which makes me extremely jealous.