I thought the violence would end in four rounds when Cotto, 29, elected to exchange lethal shots toe-to-toe with no regard to his own safety. Cotto managed to make his presence felt with his own combos but he couldn’t intimidate the fearless Filipino ring megastar.
The durable hitherto WBO welterweight champion started to deteriorate from Pacquiao’s bombardment going the 8th until the final round. The punishment was terrible and, at one moment, we thought Cotto would quit on his stool.
The performance of both ring titans was superb and fans were surely thrilled and entertained perfectly; they couldn’t ask for more what with the non-stop action that defied even the law of inertia.
Photo from Philboxing.comAs I stressed in my recent column, it could be Pacquiao’s farewell fight as he has nothing to prove anymore having captured his seventh world crown in seven divisions, a record Sugar Ray Leonard, failed to even establish (Leonard also won seven world crowns but not in seven different divisions).
His scintillating victory certainly has sent shockwaves in the heart of Floyd Mayweather Jr. who has been evading him like a leprosy patient. Either fans will demand for a Pacquiao-Mayweather duel next year or they will respect Pacquiao’s decision to hang up his gloves and jump to his next love which is politics.
But it’s too early to speculate as Team Pacquiao is still in deep euphoria over the Cotto conquest. However, in the event Mayweather accepts the challenged made by Top Rank chief Bob Arum for him to face Pacquiao in a multi-million showdown, Pacquiao can retire for good win or lose.
As of now, I believe what primarily is in his mind is to savor the sweet victory by sharing it with his family and the Filipino people back home. I hope to be able to watch him again demolish the indestructible Mayweather should he decides to go back next year before the May elections in the Philippines.
By Rey Fortaleza