As you might expect, Juan Manuel Lopez is backing his compatriot Miguel Cotto to defeat Manny Pacquiao in their upcoming November showdown. But it’s the educated reasoning of the exceptionally talented Juanma which is interesting.
“I think Cotto has the style to beat Pacquiao,” says Juanma. “If he’s well prepared, if he’s in great condition he has a great chance of winning the fight because he’s a great counterpuncher.”
Well, we know Miguel Cotto is already very hard at training in Puerto Rico and has his fitness coach (Phil Landman) with him, 13 weeks before the fight on November 14. And the word is Pacquiao has not started training yet and will not begin until after the media tour week which will commence the second week of September at Yankee Stadium in New York City.
The unbeaten 26-year-old WBO Junior Featherweight champ Lopez continued with his analysis. “It’s been shown before that if you’re a great counterpuncher, you can beat Pacquiao. He comes at you, wide open, and if you’re ready for that, he (Cotto) shouldn’t have any problem with him.”
Juanma, 26-0 with 24 KO’s, has been lauded for his boxing skill and knowledge, as the respected veteran ring observer Jack Hirsch of Boxing News UK believes Lopez has the potential to one day be compared with the greatest fighters of all time. So when Juanma breaks down a fight, it’s wise to listen.
“When you see Marquez fight Pacquiao, you see what a counterpuncher can do with Pacquiao. And Cotto is a good counterpuncher, he’s always been a great counterpuncher. So I figure, if he’s in great condition, if he can sustain that for 12 rounds, he has a good chance of winning.”
It certainly makes a lot of sense what Lopez says. You could easily see the fight playing out like Juanma envisions. Cotto is a totally different animal than the older, faded Oscar, and a lot more complex and explosive than Ricky Hatton. Lopez adds one last thought to his analysis: “Cotto is bigger and stronger and Pacquiao always opens up. He is always wide open to be hit. And if Cotto is there he will get him.”
Juan Manuel Lopez will make his fifth world title defense at Madison Square Garden on October 10 against Rogers Mtagwa (25-12-2, 18 KO’s). Yuriorkis Gamboa will also defend his WBA title on the bill against Whyber Garcia of Panama. Lopez and Gamboa will clash in a major showdown sometime in 2010 if both can win.