LAS VEGAS, NEV. (November 15, 2009) – Seven-division world champion, No. 1 pound for pound kingpin, boxing’s top attraction, the best fighter of his era…call him what you want, but one thing is certain, boxing has a bonafide superhero and his name is spelled:
M-A-N-N-Y P-A-C-Q-U-I-A-O !
Miguel Cotto (34-2, 27 KOs) from Caguas, Puerto Rico, the two-time welterweight champion who has had a world title every year since 2004, learned that firsthand Saturday night, enduring two knockdowns en route to a 12th-round TKO loss. With his fourth consecutive knockout victory in three different weight divisions at the expense of David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Cotto, Pacquiao has become the face of boxing as well as the favorite to repeat as Fighter of the Year!
“Nothing personal, just doing my job”, said the modest Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, immediately after the fight. “I thank Miguel Cotto for giving me the opportunity to challenge him for his WBO welterweight title. He was a great champion. ‘Master’ Freddie Roach and I worked very hard under difficult conditions. I had a lot of respect for Miguel’s power and that is why I worked so hard in training camp. Anything less would not have been sufficient to defeat him.
“One of the biggest advantages I have is that every fight is an opportunity to give honor to the Philippines. The Filipino people don’t just give me their support, they also give me their strength, their pride and their love. It’s an awesome power and a big responsibility. This fight was about history. People will remember that the first man to win world titles in seven different weight divisions was a Filipino ”
Three-time Trainer of the Year World-Famous Freddie Roach was the least surprised of anyone who watched the fight in the soldout MGM Grand Garden Arena or on pay-per-view.
“I told Manny from the first day of training camp that I would be disappointed in him if he laid on the ropes and didn’t take the fight to the middle of the ring. And if it’s one thing I know about Manny it’s that he hates to disappoint me,” said Roach “The scary thing is we still have not seen the best of Manny Pacquiao. I have never trained an athlete like Manny who after more than 50 fights is still willing to learn new techniques and is able to apply them. One of the reasons Manny is so hard to fight is because you never see the same Manny two times in a row. He always has a new style making him totally unpredictable and impossible to anticipate. Plus his conditioning is supreme to anyone in the sport. He is an athletic phenomenon. I get a lot of credit for his success, but it’s Manny who does the work in the gym and does the fighting in the ring. He’s incredible. His last five fights have been at four different weight divisions. He goes up in weight. He goes down in weight. He fights the best in each division. He’s a Manny for all seasons!”
It’s a special edition of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® when HBO Sports presents MANNY PACQUIAO VS. MIGUEL COTTO, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated welterweight title showdown, THIS SATURDAY! NOVEMBER 21, beginning at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
The HBO Sports team, which was ringside for the live event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, will call the action. The replay will be available in HDTV.
FIREPOWER: Pacquiao vs. Cotto was promoted by Top Rank, in association MP Promotions, Miguel Cotto Promotions, MGM Grand and Tecate, and was produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View® .