November 15, 2009

HOW'D IT GO THE DISTANCE?:

Pacquiao pummels Cotto to claim welterweight crown (Javno, 11/15/09)

Filipino Manny Pacquiao made history by becoming the first fighter to win seven world titles in as many weight classes with a stunning final round technical knockout of Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao looked unstoppable for the third consecutive fight, knocking Cotto down twice in the early rounds Saturday before putting the finishing touches on in the 12th round to claim Cotto's World Boxing Organization welterweight title.

The Filipino dominated from the second round on, putting a stunning display of boxing skills and laying a savage beating on the Puerto Rican champion at the MGM Grand hotel and casino.

Referee Kenny Bayless finally stopped the slaughter 55 seconds into the final round with Cotto unable to defend himself from Pacquiao's lightning quick combinations.


FYI: The fight is posted at The Box.


MORE:
No claim is too outlandish for 'greatest ever' fighter Manny Pacquiao: The scalp of Floyd Mayweather Jr is the final evidence Pacquiao needs to take the title of best pound-for-pound fighter in the world (Lawrence Donegan, 15 November 2009, Guardian SportsBlog)

It is always hard to separate the reality from the fantasy in the world of professional boxing, especially when ageless circus barkers like Bob Arum are involved, but one of the many beauties having Pacquiao around is that he makes everyone's life easier.

He is hyperbole made flesh, the man for whom no claim is too outlandish. So it is that when Arum, who promotes the Filipino's fights, steps up the microphone and says Pacquiao is the "Tiger Woods of boxing" those who are listening are inclined to give the suggestion a fair hearing. Likewise when Arum stood up and said, as he did in the aftermath of last night's display, and that Pacquiao is the greatest boxer he had ever seen "and I've seen them all, including Ali, Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard" no-one laughed they simply started debating.

Is the Filipino that good? Well, the truth of it is we will never know. Cross-generational comparisons in sport are the every definition of futility– like trying to catch a deluge in a paper cup, as a wise songwriter once decreed. Is he better than Ali? You might as well ask if Arkle was better than Sea the Stars. Same animal, different sport altogether.

Still, there are some things we can say about Pacquiao that are surely beyond debate, the first being that, as boxer, he has exceeded all expectations, perhaps even his own.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 15, 2009 7:38 AM
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