Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pacquiao’s speed key to victory

Pacquiao vs Cotto

In analyzing the style of Manny Pacquiao, who better to ask than a fighter who got the chance to brawl with the pound-for-pound king inside the ring.

Former world lightweight champion David Diaz talked with the Bulletin on Tuesday from his home in Chicago and described the compelling speed advantage of Pacquiao.

“When I fought Manny I underestimated his speed. It wasn’t too much on his power. It was basically his ability to move in and out really quick,” said Diaz via overseas call. “That’s what I overlooked. It was something I’ve never seen before because it was really very hard to deal with.”

Diaz lost his World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight belt to Pacquiao via a brutal 9th round stoppage June of last year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Apparently, Cotto doesn’t seem to mind the remarkable quickness of Pacquiao that led to riveting victories over naturally bigger fighters namely British Ricky Hatton and superstar Oscar De La Hoya.

“We know he has speed. We know he has a style and we are prepared to beat it. You’ll find out on the 14th how I am going to deal with his speed. It’s not going to be a factor even though everyone thinks it is,” Cotto once said during a conference call last week.

But Diaz insists that Pacquiao’s speed is not just all about throwing rapid punches or moving out of an attack with quick footwork.

“Manny has the ability to force his opponent to go toe-to-toe and then what he will do is to sidestep his opponent then do his damage. Dela Hoya could’ve been smarter but he himself fell into that trap as well,” added Diaz.

Diaz believes Pacquiao’s second round annihilation of Hatton last May also in Las Vegas showed the uncanny ability of the Filipino sensation to throw powerful shots while moving out of harm’s way.

“When Manny threw that right hook, Hatton tried to counter because technically Manny was supposed to be there but in reality Manny was already moving away,” said Diaz. “It’s hard to say this or that is going work against Manny Pacquiao just because of the awkwardness of his punches.”

Meantime in a separate telephone interview with the Bulletin, Cotto’s conditioning coach Phil Landman asserts they never did something special in training and be worried about Pacquiao’s speed.

“Since we arrived we knew what we have to achieve and we knew exactly the kind of work to be done and we’ve done that,” said Landman “We try to make new things to make training interesting for Miguel but for the most part we generally stick to something that has worked.”

Landman started working with Cotto when the Puerto Rican made his debut in the tough 147 lb class back in December 2006.

Cotto, 29, will stake his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt in a 12-round battle against Pacquiao at an agreed catch weight of 145 lbs this Sunday (Manila time) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Both Cotto and Pacquiao will make their grand arrivals today at the MGM Grand’s Front Lobby Porte Cochere which will be opened to the public.

source: mb.com.ph

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