PACQUIAO VS. COTTO-WHO ARE YOU PICKING?
Athletes, Celebrities, Boxers and Writers Predict Who Will Win the November 14 Showdown
LAS VEGAS (November 9, 2009) - BIG George Foreman leads the list of boxers, professional athletes, celebrities and the esteemed press core who all have opinions about the outcome of FIREPOWER: MANNY PACQUIAO and MIGUEL COTTO. The championship bout takes place on Saturday November 14 at MGM Grand Garden Arena and will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
In just five days the pound-for-pound king Pacquiao and three-time world champion Cotto meet in the ring in one of the most talked about match-ups in recent boxing history. Some of the most well-known fighters, celebrities, athletes and writers are abuzz with talk of Saturday's evenly matched battle.
From Foreman to P. Diddy, Trump to Hopkins, below please find the predictions of these famous personalities as they answer the question "Pacquiao vs. Cotto-Who will win and why?"
THE BOXERS ARE PICKIN'...
"I think there would have been a good opportunity for Pacquiao to win if he faced Cotto before he fought Clottey, but now Cotto is thinking defense. I think Cotto is going to pull out a decision, and now because of the terrible beating he took against Margarito, he knows he can't get into a knockdown drag out brawl. He's going to be smarter, and I think Cotto wins in a 12 round decision.
"Pacquiao has been riding high and has beaten some of the best in the world. And it leaves you kind of complacent when you're winning. And even if you don't want it to, sometimes you can't get up for a big fight. And that's a plus for Cotto.
I think it's an excellent fight. But when you're riding high you think you're going to walk through your opponent. You get overconfident. People in your camp tell you you're going to win. And you have your spies in camp, telling you about the other guy. When I faced Ali, Frazier and Norton both had beaten Ali, and I had knocked them out pretty easily. So when I faced Ali, I had that confidence, and you think I surely can beat this guy. So I know the feeling, and I think that will happen to Pacquiao."
- George Foreman, Former Two-Time Heavyweight World Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Entrepreneur.
"I pick Manny Pacquiao by knockout. I think he will knock him out in 7 or 8. Manny just has too much for Cotto."
- Mike Tyson, Former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World
"Pacquiao is going to chop Cotto up. Out of respect, Cotto will get some rounds, but Manny is the Bruce Lee of boxing. His basketball and martial arts background give him that speed and agility. You can't tell where his shots are coming from. Unlike Rocky, Bruce Lee was a real dude and so is Manny.
- Bernard Hopkins, Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Boxing Hall of Famer
"I think Manny Pacquiao is going to be too quick for Cotto. I was ringside when Cotto fought Clottey. He seemed to struggle a bit in that fight and it is hard to say what he will do against a faster, quicker Pacquiao. I know people say Cotto is the bigger guy but I still think Pacquiao beats him in a decision."
- Joe Calzaghe, Former Undefeated Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Champion
"Manny Pacquiao, he's the best, he's on top right now!"
- Chad Dawson, Current IBF Light Heavyweight Champion
"It's going to be an interesting fight, and I think Pacquiao better take it very seriously! I think Cotto will win because he's a little bit bigger and is a real welterweight. His power may be enough to overcome Pacquiao's speed. I think Cotto wins in a decision."
- "Sugar" Shane Mosley, Current WBA Welterweight Champion
"If Cotto stays busy, he'll win a decision! I think that Cotto will win the fight, but I thinks it's gonna be a good fight!"
- Winky Wright, Former Undisputed Light Middleweight Champion, Current Middleweight Contender
"Manny is a big puncher and a good boxer, but he has never faced a natural welterweight like Miguel. Cotto is the most dangerous fight of Pacquiao's career. On the night of the fight, Pacquiao will still not be a full welterweight. And Cotto is very strong. As the fight plays out, around rounds 7, 8, 9, that's when Cotto starts taking over. I think Cotto will win be decision, but he might even get a knockout. With all of my heart I think Miguel Cotto will win."
- Tito Trinidad, Former Three-Division World Champion and Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
"I'm a Puerto Rican like Cotto, but I like Pacquiao because he has fought better guys, like De La Hoya. I see him having no problem against Cotto. Cotto is not a smart fighter, he boxes, and he's shown his colors already. He can be beat. So can Pacquiao, but I like Pacquiao. He has an unorthodox style, with punches coming from all over. Cotto tries to box. I see Pacquiao possibly stopping him. Pacquiao's on a roll, he has the confidence, and he has the boxing momentum. I see him winning."
- Hector Camacho, Former WBC and WBO Three-Division Champion
"Pacquiao is a good boxer and Cotto is a fighter. I'm going to give the edge to Cotto, and not just because he's Puerto Rican, but because of the way he fights. He always comes to fight, he's always in shape. Cotto is going to have the edge. I see him winning by decision, but I do think he can knock Pacquiao out if the chance arrives."
- Carlos Ortiz, Former Three-Time World Champion and International Boxing Hall of Famer
THE ATHLETES ARE PICKIN'...
"I think Pacquiao will win in 12 rounds, but if there is a knock out I think it will happen in the 9th. Pacquiao is too quick for Cotto."
- Terrell Suggs, Three-Time Pro-Bowl Linebacker/Defensive End, Baltimore Ravens
"I'd like to see Pacquiao win because then he'd get to fight Mayweather, and THAT's a fight I really want to see!"
- Vernon Davis, Tight End, San Francisco 49'ers
"I think Pacquiao will win with a knock out in the 8th round. He is the best pound for pound fighter right now and he will be too much for Cotto to handle."
- Brandon Marshall, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
"I think its going to be a great fight, but I think Cotto's got the edge because Pacquio leaves himself open too much. So I'm going with Cotto in a decision"
- Kellen Winslow Jr., Tight End, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
"It should be one of the best fights of the year between two incredible boxers. Cotto's size advantage could help him early on - if it does go the distance, I think Pacquiao's technique and experience will be tough to beat. But, I say Cotto wins at the end of the day."
- Kris Jenkins, Four-Time Pro Bowl Defensive-Tackle, New York Jets
"Manny's quickness on his feet and landing punches will help to win on a knock out."
- Justin Morneau, Three-Time All-Star, 2006 AL MVP, 2008 Home Run Derby Champion, First Baseman, Minnesota Twins
"Manny. He's quick and that might be too much for Cotto to handle."
- Justin Verlander, Two-Time All-Star, 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, Pitcher, Detroit Tigers
"If Cotto can slow the fight, hit Pac with lead rights, he will be good. I believe Pac will have too much activity, and cuts will play a role in a Pac victory"
- Lee Evans, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills
"Cotto will be the last one standing!"
- Brian Roberts, Two-Time All-Star, Second Baseman, Baltimore Orioles
"Miguel Cotto will end Manny's domination with hard jabs and will knock him out in the later rounds to end Pac-Mans reign."
- Gordon Beckham, 2009 Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year, Third Baseman, Chicago White Sox
"Pacquiao....I think he is on a roll right now and he doesn't get enough credit for the power he brings so I think he wins by decision."
- Calvin Pace, Linebacker, New York Jets
THE CELEBRITIES ARE PICKIN'...
"Pacquiao and Cotto are two of the best welterweights out there. While both fighters possess tremendous punching power and heart, I believe that the speed of Pacquiao will earn him the WBO welterweight belt. If Pacquiao is victorious, Mayweather would be the next fight that I and all fans would want to see."
- Donald Trump, Chairman and CEO of The Trump Organization
"If Cotto reconnects the way he was three years ago, he may give Pacquiao a problem"
- Sean "P.Diddy" Combs, Hip-Hop Artist, Actor and Entrepreneur
"Pacquiao is my guy, we've hung out before. He's the kind of guy you'd want with you if a bar fight broke out, I will be there to support him!"
- Tyrese Gibson, Actor starring in Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
"Manny Pacquiao's nickname is 'The Mexicutioner.' He's beaten more Latinos than the police. Pacquiao...unanimous decision."
- George Lopez, Comedian, Actor, and Host of Lopez Tonight!
"I'm sorry, the Filipino's going to win!"
- Mark Consuelos, Television Personality and Former All My Children star
"Both have no quit. Basically it's Pacman's speed and angles vs Cotto's powerful body shots and boxing skills. Two things to watch, if Cotto's cut above eye opens. And does Cotto's new trainer get him fighting sharper than he did against Clottey? This one will go down with the classics. If Cotto's on he wins, if not Pacman."
- John Leguizamo, Emmy-Award Winning Actor from Moulin Rouge, Ice Age, Collateral Damage and Assault on Precinct 13.
"I've seen plenty of people talk about standing in front of Pacquaio, but those people always seem to not make it through too well. Cotto will be the same. Pacquiao in a walk. Knock out in the fifth or sixth."
- Carrot Top, Comedian
"I'm going to have to go with Pacquiao. I saw his last fight and he's just out of control!"
-Sam Trammell, Actor in hit series True Blood
"Pacman wins cause Pacman fights. If Pacman loses, then the Philippines won't have no lights!"
- Andre Royo, Actor appearing in television series The Wire
THE WRITERS ARE PICKIN'...
"This is a fight of speed and accuracy for Pacquiao, against the body punching of Cotto. Vegas has always been Pacquiao's home, and the Evel Knievelof boxing will leap over another opponent to come away with the win. Pacquiao also has a secret ingredient called Freddie Roach, who's battle plans bring tears to the eyes of Robert E Lee. Cotto is a gutsy and gritty fighter, but I think Pacquiao stops him on cuts, and wins in the 8th round."
- Burt Sugar, boxing writer and historian
"Manny Pacquiao, because his strength and speed has not been lost as he has gone up in weight. Cotto gets hit too much because he's just not quick enough to defend himself against someone as lightning-quick as Pacquiao."
- Bob Velin, USA Today
"I initially picked Pacquiao, but I did a flip flop on this one. For a guy that started at 106, you have to figure he's going to climb up one division too high at one point. Cotto is not an Oscar at the end of the line, and he's not Ricky Hatton. He's one of the top five or six in the world, and he's a natural welterweight. I'm picking Cotto by decision. His strength is going to be too much. Pacquiao keeps surprising me, but this may be the fight where he goes up one weight class too many."
- Bernard Fernandez, Philadelphia Daily News
"Pacquiao by a knockout. His left is a laser and Cotto is fairly easy to hit with straight shots."
- Gordon Marino, Wall Street Journal
"Pacquiao has enjoyed a meteoric rise by beating on offensive oriented fighters (David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton) but Cotto will be the first true counterpuncher he has faced since Juan Manuel Marquez. Cotto has the speed and skill to deflect Pacquiao's heaviest shots and the power in both hands to return a few of his own. Expect a back-and-forth, uber competitive fight that is worth every dollar of the Pay Per View price-but expect Cotto to emerge with the decision."
- Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated
"I am having an incredibly hard time picking this fight. I find myself going back and forth - which is, of course, the sign of an excellent matchup. The big factors are going to be whether Cotto can cope with Pacquiao's speed, and whether Pacquiao can deal with Cotto's strength. I can see a scenario in which either man wins; but I still can't escape the feeling that Cotto is a little diminished after his fight with Antonio Margarito. I wouldn't be shocked at all to see him win, but for now, I think Pacquiao's speed and sheer volume of punches will prove too much, and Pacquiao will win by clear decision."
- Kieran Mulvaney, Reuters
"Pacquiao's extraordinarily fast and Cotto has slowed down since the Margarito fight. If I were convinced Cotto was going to be the same guy he was before he fought Margarito, I'd take him. But I think he's slowed because of the damage he took in that fight and, as a result, I expect Manny to move in and out, hitting Cotto and sliding out of danger. I expect a great fight but I expect Manny to win a decision."
- Kevin Iole, Yahoo.com
"Cotto in a decision. He is the first legitimate welterweight that Pacquiao has faced who is in his prime rather than a blown up junior welterweight or a fighter who is no longer in the prime of his career."
- Tim Smith, New York Daily News
"I like Pacquiao to stop Cotto in the 10th round of what should be a tremendous fight. Pac-Man's speed will eventually get through Cotto's skillful defense, but not before Manny is forced to answer his toughest challenge yet. Pacquiao's gloves will be punishing enough with only his fist inside. Mayweather might want to book the winner quickly because fans just might like to see a sequel to this."
- Jim Slater, Agence France Presse
"This figures to be Pacquiao's toughest test yet. Cotto is big, strong and tough. He also showed great resolve in beating Joshua Clottey in June. However, Pacquiao is at the top of his game and despite the apparent distractions during his training camp in the Philippines, he can overcome that and use his speed, power and quickness to stop Cotto. Plus, there's the motivation of a potential mega payday with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the spring if Pacquiao wins. So he figures to be ready to give his best performance inside the ring. It will be a close fight, a tough fight with Cotto having his moments of brilliance, especially early on. But Pacquiao will weather the early storm and should eventually pull it out, earning a split decision."
- Steve Carp, Las Vegas Review-Journal
"Pacquiao has proven his greatness. But even the great ones get beat and tonight Pac Man gets beat. Miguel Cotto is a strong, tough world-class welterweight who will wear down Pacquiao over the course of a very good fight. Cotto can handle speed -- as he did when he beat Sugar Shane Mosley. But Pacquiao won't be able to handle this welterweight's strength and power. Cotto wins by 11th-round TKO."
- Bobby Cassidy, Newsday