Pacquiao-Cotto Set to Be This Year’s Super Bowl of Boxing


Jul 23, 2009

In other sports such as football or baseball, fans know what months are big. October is MLB’s playoff season, and the Super Bowl happens every February.

Boxing fans have a bit of a revolving door.

Hagler-Hearns was in April, Duran-Leonard was in June, then again in November.

Most sports fans can mark the calendar, but boxing fanatics have to endure rumors, failed contract negotiations and less-than-stellar matchups before a Super Bowl-type fight comes along. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, boxing is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you're gonna get.

Well, in the case of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight, I know what we’re gonna get — a great fight. So if you aren't a boxing fan, at least be happy for those of us that are. (A chest bump when you see me would be nice.)

Now we have the date and the fight we wanted — something big to look forward to, hype up and toil over the outcome.

Bob Arum announced Monday that Pacquiao and Cotto will square off on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  This is a fight fan's fight. This year, boxing's Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup takes place in November.

Pacquiao is coming off a career-best performance, knocking out Ricky Hatton in two rounds. Pacman went up to 140 pounds to stop the reigning ring champion. Now the man at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings will go up in weight again, to 145 pounds this time, to lock horns with another pound-for-pounder in Cotto.

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican has been doing what many fighters in boxing haven't lately: putting on entertaining fights against quality opponents. Some of the names on his ledger the past few years include Paul Malignaggi, Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey. Now you can add the multidivision champion to that list.

Why should you be excited?

Unlike some fights, this Pacquiao-Cotto bout guarantees to pay off. It pits two very exciting fighters against each other, and Pacquiao is arguably the most exciting in all combat sports.

Yes, I said it. Even if you are one of those "MMA is way better than boxing" kind of guys, you must admit a Manny Pacquiao fight is different. He has power, as he proved with Hatton. He has guts, which he proved with Eric Morales. And he has become one of the best all-around fighters in the game, as he proved by moving up several weight divisions to crush the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and David Diaz. Win or lose, you get your money's worth with Manny.

Cotto is coming off a razor-thin decision to the sturdy Clottey, who probably could have taken the fight had he not stopped punching in the late rounds. Unlike De La Hoya, Cotto will not be draining himself to make 145 pounds. Cotto has fought the past few years at 147 pounds, so the two extra pounds shouldn't be anything to worry about.

Cotto is also a sturdy guy with a hell of a punch himself, and he really enjoys going to the body (except against Margarito, which I will never understand). Anyway, he will no doubt be a solid foe for the Filipino icon, and will not make for a boring fight.

These are two proud combatants that seem to fight for more than money. They fight for the fans, and they fight to prove they are the best.

That, my friends, is why you should be excited. So set the DVR, start preparing the wings, and put Nov. 14 on your sports calendar.  

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