Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pacquiao - Cotto not quite one for the ages

Thrilling but one-sided.

(Manny) Pacquiao knocked (Miguel) Cotto down once in the third round and again in the fourth, pummeled him repeatedly and easily lifted the World Boxing Organization welterweight belt from the Puerto Rican with a 12th-round stoppage. The time was 55 seconds into the final round, as referee Kenny Bayless leaped between the fighters to save Cotto a more savage beating and ignominious end.

Some observers thought Cotto would defeat Pac-man late because of his size advantage (10 pounds), reach, and equivalent quickness and defenses.

Not so much.

My friend Waterman was quite a bit closer ...

Still, although no outcome will surprise me, I tend to favor Manny by TKO somewhere around the 8th or 9th round. The biggest factor, in my opinion, will be his advantage in hand speed. Pacquiao is a crisp puncher at welterweight, and Cotto’s eyebrows will not hold up. The reduction in his field of vision will make it easier for Pacquiao to deliver punches that Miguel does not see coming. And Cotto has a history of being hurt by fast punches that he doesn’t see coming – not only in the Ricardo Torres fight, but more importantly, even against Malignaggi.

Pacquiao owned Cotto from about the thrid round on and the fight was nearly stopped at the end of the ninth by Cotto's corner. It should have been. I have prepared tenderized skirt steaks that weren't as rough as Cotto's face by the twelfth, when it finally and mercifully was.

I followed the fight on Twitter and blow-by-blow online at Yahoo and ESPN simultaneously. Twitter was by far the lousiest way to do this; besides there being fifteen morons feeding the stream -- some calling action in Round 6 at the same time others were giving the Round 4 decision -- a couple of comedians would post lame jokes like "I beat Manny at Pac-Man" and such. The stream being too full, too slow, and too many repetitive tweets occurring out of chronological sequence makes this medium impossible for me to enjoy. (This same stew of fact, conjecture and rumor rushes out like a firehouse at times like the Ft. Hood shooting and the "Balloon Boy" caper. I would rather be locked in a room with fifty people all talking at me at once. Twitter is excellent for a blogger or two reporting details from a meeting, speech, dinner or some such, but not at all for breaking news.)

The Yahoo guys live-chatting the fight were way too slow on the uptake. Minutes behind the action most of the time, and that's useless when you're "live-blogging" three-minute fight rounds and one minute in-between. ESPN was by far the best. Their punch-by-punch updates were right on time, and they snapped out good summaries between the rounds.

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