Miguel Cotto had an excellent first round in his long-anticipated match-up with Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Unfortunately for the Puerto Rican great, the first round was about as good as it would get for him on this Saturday night.
A sellout crowd of 16,200 at the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada watched Pacquiao, or “Pac-Man” as he is colloquially known, take Miguel Cotto apart with his speed and power.
Cotto was sent to the canvas in both the third and fourth rounds, and he was forced to try to merely survive in the latter part of the fight. In that endeavor, the former welterweight champion succeeded until the 12th and final round.
Pacquiao also displayed excellent punch resistance in the bout. Cotto, a precise boxer with superb timing, landed on Pacquiao repeatedly, but the smaller man was never seriously hurt or even seemingly bothered by Cotto’s blows.
By winning Cotto’s WBO World Welterweight Championship belt, Pacquiao has become the first man in boxing history to claim titles in seven different weight divisions.
The fight was anticipated as boxing’s Fight of the Year for 2009, and it did not disappoint in build-up or in execution. Before the main event, a long video was played to hail boxing’s long history of dramatic fights and storied rivalries. This package was intended to give the sport a boost with its fans as it competes for the same pay-per-view dollars as the rising mixed martial arts world.
Jim Lampley, one of the fight announcers, said that pay-per-view sales for the bout are expected to be quite good. HBO ran several weeks of its award-winning 24/7 series to serve as an extended promotion leading up to the match.
At the time of the stoppage, CNM had the fight scored 108-99 for the winner, Manny Pacquiao.
Paul F. Villarreal