Manny Pacquiao believes that Miguel Cotto will be a tough out for Floyd Mayweather Jr, but Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach doesn't really agree. Mayweather faces Cotto on May 5 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, a month before Pacquiao meets Timothy Bradley at the same venue, with both fights on HBO pay-per-view.
"That’s a good fight, Floyd and Cotto. He thinks that Cotto is an easy opponent, but he’s not. Cotto is a good boxer, he’s strong. He needs to train hard, because Cotto is strong, very strong."
Idec also reports that Pacquiao ranks Cotto as his toughest fight in recent years, not Juan Manuel Marquez. This is a hogwash claim with unclear design, but either way, no, Cotto was not tougher than Marquez, who arguably beat Pacquiao in November, while Pacquiao had only four or five tough rounds against Cotto before that fight became a one-sided slaughter.
Roach falls more in line with the general consensus on Mayweather vs Cotto:
"I hope Cotto does well. I hope he gets one in and knocks him out and just shuts this guy up. Somebody’s got to shut this guy up. I mean, the guy’s like an expert on everything, from basketball to … but I think Cotto is still on the downside a little bit. I don’t think he’s what he was back in the day. I think Mayweather will out-box him, but I don’t see it as being a really exciting fight, though. Mayweather is never in a really exciting fight anyway."
One thing I'm not quite understanding lately -- I mean, I get it and why he says it, but give me a moment here -- is Roach's constant nagging about Mayweather not being in exciting fights. Of Manny Pacquiao's last seven fights, since he joined the "big time" as a PPV star with the Oscar De La Hoya fights, how many of the Filipino's fights would you call truly "exciting"?
The Marquez fight was very good, we'll count that one. I'll count the Cotto fight -- I liked that fight more than most. And the Hatton knockout was damned exciting. So that's three out of seven, a little less than half, if you're a fan of the Cotto fight like I was. His fights with Antonio Margarito and Oscar De La Hoya weren't boring, but were one-way ass-kickings, and Manny's fights with Joshua Clottey and particularly Shane Mosley were nap material.
But still, I lean more towards Freddie's vision of the fight than Manny's. Cotto is not an easy opponent, but I just don't see Floyd having much trouble with him unless Floyd is way off his game.