Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao used his much vaunted lightning speed and jackhammer power to confuse, demoralize and reduce Miguel Angel Cotto to a pulp in what could rightly considered as the match-of-the-year held at MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas yesterday (Manila time). Only the intervention of referee Kenny Bayless 55 seconds away from the 12-round fight’s end spared the back-pedaling defending welterweight Puerto Rican champion from further corporal punishment and a most likely knockout.
With the referee-stopped-contest TKO, Pacquiao collected his seventh boxing crown in seven weight divisions, a world record. And there’s absolutely no possibility for that record to be broken. Firstly, Pacman’s peers in the six-titles, six-divisions column are either retired or near retirement. They are Oscar de la Hoya, Tommy Hearns, Hector Calma, and James Toney. And secondly, the present crop of champions could snatch no more than three additional championships. Ask Alex Vidal.
I leave the details of the annihilation to the sports writers. However, I would just like to share some thoughts on the fight, which should not detract from the impressive win of The Pacman.
As with his recent opponents in the square ring, Manny Pacquiao’s had an anesthetic effect on Cotto. They all climbed the ring deathly serious, wide-eyed, and dry lipped. This nervousness, nay, fear, slowed their blood flow and numbed their arms and legs. Thus, they became easy targets what with the speed and power of The Pacman.
Manny, of course, was their exact opposite. He was totally at ease and even acknowledged those he recognized seconds before introducer Michael Buffer boomed his famous “Let’s get ready to rumble” line.
And second, we must remember that Cotto is a natural 147-pounder, the maximum weight limit in the welterweight division as defined by the four major sanctioning boxing bodies, namely the World Boxing Association (WBA) a 1962 spin-off of the National Boxing Association formed in 1921, World Boxing Council (WBC) established in 1963, International Boxing Federation (IBF) established in 1983, and World Boxing Organization (WBO) established in 1988.
It seems that Bob Arum fits the role of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. Note that the promoter Arum wagged the color of money to Cotto on the condition that he agrees to slug it out with Pacquiao at the catch (agreed maximum) weight of 145 pounds. The former hesitantly consented to shed two pounds of pure muscle. Just imagine how much strength and punching power Cotto lost with that lost poundage.
On the other hand, Pacquiao had the golden opportunity to gain weight, and therefore, more power provided the added poundage is pure muscle. Hence, the necessity of a thoroughly serious physical training and proper nutrition, which Manny is incapable of unless given the reality therapy by his coach, now “Master,” Freddie Roach.
The same is true for Pacman’s victim Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton. The latter had to give up some muscle pounds to meet their fight catch weight of 140 pounds while Pacman did not have any problem at all. In fact, he was only all of 138 pounds during the weigh-in. And the result? The dehydrated Hatton fell asleep even before hitting the canvass when Pacman uncorked a brutal left hook to his jaw.
So on both instances, Bob Arum got his “pound of flesh.”
By the way, Hatton is no pizza. In 2005, the Britisher was named the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year. Two years later, Hatton was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II as she named the boxer a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
For fighting Cotto, Pacquiao was assured $13 million, which translates to P 611 million at the exchange rate of 47 pesos to one American dollar. From this amount, you add his share of the Pay Per View revenue which should total at least $100 million. And that’s the PPV gross income from the United States alone. Pacman’s share of this large pie is a minimum of 30 percent or $30 million. In Philippine pesos, that will be P1,410,000,000.00 (or in short, P1.410 billion)!
In sum, Manny is entitled to a MINIMUM P2.21 billion for one day in the office.
If you want to belabor the issue, Manny’s pay per round is equivalent to P184.2 million or P61.4 million per minute!
In his last two matches (against Oscar de la Hoya and Hatton), The Pacman pocketed at least $30 million.
Manny the billionaire, indeed, has got the money.