Source says he is "sure" Pacquiao-Cotto II is next

January, 20, 2012
1/20/12
10:42
PM ET
If the rumor mill is churning out truth, and we are going to see Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto II, let me ask you: how do you feel about the fight?

Manny beat the Puerto Rican when they clashed on Nov. 14, 2009 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacman was on, a whirling dervish of destruction, who had Cotto on his heels and eating copious shots, before he stepped on the gas and forced the ref to step in and halt the scrap in round twelve. This was back when Manny had many folks, many folks out his homebase of adoring Manny-iacs, calling him the best boxer in the business. Floyd Mayweather had taken 2008 off, and had come back in September 2009 to overwhelm Juan Manuel Marquez. Manny was the man, and Cotto was not much of a match for him on that evening.

It is looking like we’ll see a sequel to their tangle, as a source I’m inclined to believe, someone not part of either the Pacman or Cotto crew, but someone knee-deep in the game, told me he is “sure” that Pacquiao-Cotto II will occur in the early summer.

I asked Pacquaio advisor Michael Koncz to confirm or deny that Pacquiao-Cotto II will be next for Manny, and not Pacquiao-Mayweather.

“I will neither confirm or deny at this time (that Pacquiao will fight Cotto next),” Koncz said. He said he was flying back to LA tonight, from the Philippines, and will fly to Vegas early next week.

Perhaps we will know for sure if Pacquiao-Cotto II is a surefire go then…

So, let us know what you think of the not-yet-confirmed bout. Cotto is coming off a resurgent performance, one of the very best of his career, against Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9. He achieved a TKO10 win with skillful boxing, as he struck and moved with accuracy and exemplary focus. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is coming off two straight underwhelming, for him, showings. He handled Shane Mosley, who was looking just to survive, in May, and then won a third fight with Marquez in the eyes of the judges, if not a super-majority of fightwatchers, in November. He talked of leg cramps against Mosley, and was cut up by Marquez, with his crew wondering if he overtrained. He’s 33, a pro since 1995, has a penchant for all-night pool matches and a wandering eye, as he’s been focusing hard on the political thing since he was elected to Congress in May 2010. We quite possibly saw his peak, against Oscar, Hatton and Cotto, in 2008-2009.

Cotto just turned 31, is off a rock-solid showing, and may well have found the trainer for him, in Cuban Pedro Diaz.

So, readers, have at it. You wanted Pacquiao-Mayweather, but you may have to do with Pacquiao-Cotto II. Gives us your assessment. Does Cotto have a shot? Is he a new version of himself? Can Pacman get back into a 2009 groove or has he jumped the shark? Weigh in!
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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