By Nick Giongco
Miguel Cotto exuded confidence when asked about his chances against Filipino fireball Manny Pacquiao in a recent ‘interview’ made possible by the Puerto Rican’s legal adviser, topnotch lawyer Gabriel Penagaricano. Less than three months before he collides with Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Cotto told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin that Pacquiao is beatable and he has Pacquiao all figured out. “His weaknesses are obvious to me,” said Cotto.
While Cotto acknowledges that Pacquiao is one hell of a customer in the ring, the 28-year-old bomber is not awed.
“(Pacquiao) lost to (Erik) Morales in their first fight, had a draw against (Juan Manuel) Marquez and then a razor-thin victory in the rematch. Pacquiao faced a very tired and aged (Oscar) De La Hoya. Then Ricky Hatton, an overrated fighter,” said Cotto.
“Against me the story will be different. It will be a war,” said Cotto, who is already in his fourth week of training in Puerto Rico under the watchful eyes of chief trainer Joe Santiago and South African conditioning coach Phil Landman, who has arrived from Los Angeles.
Landman was amazed at the condition of Cotto when he first reported for work on Monday, stressing that the fighter followed the advice that he gave him following the June 13 victory over Joshua Clottey.
Cotto will continue to train in Puerto Rico in the coming weeks and will try to keep in shape even while on a four-city press tour with Pacquiao beginning Sept. 10 in New York. Other stops of the Top Rank traveling circus would be Caguas in Puerto Rico, San Francisco and finally, Los Angeles.
Cotto will transfer his training camp to Tampa, Florida, on Sept. 19.
Told about the key to victory against Pacquiao, Cotto was direct to the point.
“Hard training as always has been the key to my victories.”
And his message to Pacquiao and the Filipino people?
“I will only say that in November 14th I will step into the ring as always in excellent condition, and will win the fight for the glory of Puerto Rico,” concluded Cotto.