Pacquiao and Cotto?
Not since the Spanish American War have we had the pitting of Philippine and Puerto Rican interests (I dare not count the time I shared a common sink in my Harvard co-op with two beautiful Puerto Rican sisters).
The history books tell the tale of how the Republic of the Philippines and Puerto Rico were intertwined in America’s colonial past. But this time the colonizer is promoter Bob Arum, who straddles both fighters, and stands to make millions as he watches his two stars try to rip the other’s head off.
It’s going to be a war, said Arum on one of the promotion films on the fight. He even admitted feeling somewhat conflicted.
But not when he begins to count up the money.
Perhaps it’s not his fault that he finds himself the promoter of both sides of an incredible spectacle the world is willing to pay millions for: Two average-sized tattooed men in their underwear pummeling each other in three minute intervals.
In the fight game, small is beautiful now. Good for both Pacman and Cotto. Better for Arum.
My prediction? As an American Filipino, I have my biases. Pacquiao’s part of the metaphor means so much for the Philippines and to those of Filipino descent world-wide.
To Filipinos, Pacquiao is like a one- man Yankees.
He’s the feel-good symbol for all Filipino endeavors. He is the “Si se puede” guy for Filipinos. It’s a chance for history. World championship titles in 7 divisions? That’s an unprecedented walk up the evolutionary chart of boxing.
If he loses, the psychic damage will require more than a visit to the faith healer.
If he wins….then Manny Pacquiao for president is not a joke.
But Cotto is no pushover opponent. He is a true man of 140 pounds or more, the biggest Pacquiao has faced. If you saw the Cotto-Clottey fight, then you know Cotto, bloodied, battered, can hang. He’s a slow, plodder, who doesn’t go down.
The contrast should be evident. Pacquiao is a ducker and a dancer. He’s fast. Cotto may have power, but it won’t matter if he doesn’t catch Pacquiao. If Pacquiao can keep dancing, while dishing out his own barrage of punches, then I call it Manny’s in 10 by TKO.
But, of course, Bob Arum wins no matter what.