Manny Pacquiao admitted that he was pushed to the limit when he went against Miguel Cotto in their “Firepower” bout Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (Sunday in Manila).
“It was a hard fight,” Pacquiao said in a televised ringside interview as quoted by Reuters. “This is the last weight division for me. This is history for me and more importantly a Filipino did it.”
Pacquiao became the first boxer to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions after referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight in the 12th round.
The pound-for-pound king prevailed over Cotto via technical knockout to become the new WBO welterweight champion. In addition, he claimed the WBC diamond belt.
Pacquiao (50-3-2, with 38 knockouts) went the distance against Cotto (34-2 with 27 KOs), This is in contrast to his second round knockout win over Briton Ricky Hatton on May 2.
The Filipino boxing sensation revealed that he was looking to score a KO punch, to no avail. He was able to show his edge early on as he knocked down Cotto in the 3rd and 4th rounds.
Pacquiao also disclosed that his team’s strategy was not to hurry because they knew that Cotto would counter.
“We were very careful in the early rounds because we don't know what will happen. I tried to test his power in the early rounds. That's why I wanted to get hit in the body and the head,” he explained as quoted by FightHype.com.
He said he wanted to try Cotto’s power because according to him, everybody was saying that the natural welterweight was bigger and stronger and stronger than him.
“When I control the fight, I got aggressive in the fight and make him pressure. In the early rounds, I was looking for a knockout shot that's why I didn't throw too many punches,” he added.
‘Manny too much for Miguel’
“I thought we were going to break him down, which we did. Early in the fight, he was kind of testing Miguel's power and laying on the ropes too much,” said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach.
“Manny had to make the adjustments and once Manny used his feints and his movements, it was too much for him,” he stated.
Pacquiao said he was taken aback when the fight reached Round 12: “In the 11th round, I thought they were going to stop the fight. I was surprised he continued.”
“Manny dictated the fight and they should have stopped it three rounds sooner than they did after he (Cotto) began to run,” added Roach.
The American trainer also mentioned in an Associated Press (AP) report that he knew the bout was over “when Cotto started backing up.” [...]
One of the best
Cotto’s trainer, Joe Santiago, acknowledged that Pacquiao was the better fighter. “He hit harder than we expected and he was a lot stronger than we expected,” AP quoted Santiago.
Cotto, for his part, stated that he was not able to guard himself from Pacquiao’s flurry of punches.
“He jabs and throws. I didn't know from where the punches were coming and I didn't protect myself from the punches,” Cotto said in an Agence France-Presse article.
Cotto, who took a beating from the pound-for-pound king, declared: “I fought everybody and Manny is one of the best all time.”
Meantime, he assured his fans that he will continue fighting. “My health comes first. I just want to make sure I'm fine, but I feel great. I'm swollen but that's all.”
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Tribute to Manny Pacquiao and to his whole team. In some way, Manny's humble beginnings may be likened to Michael Oher's story. Manny's coaches, trainers, guardians, family, and friends helped "The Pacman" become who he is today. Manny's whole team are not only grooming a hero, they are in a way taking care of our nation's honor too.
With Manny's remarkable determination and discipline teaming up with the dedication and discipline of his whole team to coach, train, guide and support him in his endeavors, victory is almost always inevitable. The teamwork, dedication, and discipline they showed bring great inspiration and hope to the entire nation. It carries a message that our country can resume and continue to change for the better any time if there is real change in our hearts and minds that brings teamwork, dedication, and discipline into our common goal of nation building.