Once again on Saturday night, the DVR will be thought of as the greatest invention ever. Two excellent events taking place on the same night in my two favorite sports. It should make for about five hours of fights, you gotta love that.
It's not often that I would prefer to watch something other than a mixed martial arts event. Saturday night will be one of those rare occurrences when the UFC will get put on the back burner, even if it's just for two hours or so. The potential fight of the year takes place inside of the boxing ring this evening, not the octagon.
Two of the top fighters in the world are set to clash in a battle of superstars. Manny Pacquiao, considered by almost everyone to be the pound for pound king, steps into the ring against another top level fighter in Miguel Cotto. I have goose bumps just sitting here writing about this potential slugfest.
Manny Pacquiao comes into this fight as a pretty heavy favorite and rightfully so. He has been fighting a who's who. With a current record of 49-3 with victories over Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Marco Antonio Barrera it is easy to see why people think he is unbeatable. He can basically pick his opponent and has earned that right. There aren't too many weaknesses in his game and he is very entertaining to watch.
Enter Miguel Cotto and I think you have the toughest test that Manny Pacquiao has ever seen. The fight will be for the 147 pound title, Cotto's belt. Pacquiao has been jumping around a few weight classes and is coming up to the natural weight of his opponent. Size might be a factor in this showdown.
Cotto's record is just as impressive at 34-1 with that one loss to Antonio Margarito a huge question mark because of the plaster in the gloves scandal. Wins over Shane Mosley and Joshua Clottey pad the resume of Cotto.
Two fighters that on paper are evenly matched, both guys have fought some of the toughest boxers in the game. The early advantage is going to mistake free champion.
Miguel Cotto has seen someone with the speed that Pacquiao possesses in Shane Mosley. I don't think Manny has been in with someone as relentless as Cotto. Body work and pressure are the two keys that I see in this fight. If Manny Pacquiao can pressure the bigger stronger Cotto, then he will outbox and counter punch his way to a decision victory.
I like the so called upset this evening. Miguel Cotto knows that this is his opportunity to show millions of fans that he is the best in the business. By beating Pacquiao, the loss to Margarito will basically be erased. Cotto took a vicious beating like one I haven't seen in a long time. He never quit however, his corner stopped that fight and rightfully so. He will get a bit of redemption and set up a potential showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr., a guy who many think would never step in the ring with Cotto.
This fight tonight should be a fight of the year candidate. Two fast paced fightesr who are always prepared and will force the action. I have never seen Pacquiao or Cotto in a boring fight. I see Cotto working the body like nobody else in boxing does and hurting Manny early. Pacquiao will look to brawl, which he is excellent at, and then get the worst end of the assaults, leading to a Miguel Cotto victory.
The UFC is making a habit of setting up fight cards to rival pay per events of their competitors. In most cases it has worked, I see them being on the short end of the stick tonight. While boxing will be seen on pay per view, UFC 105 will be shown on SpikeTV.
I really like the UFC 105 card with three fights really sticking out to me. Let's take a quick look at these might see matches that are taking place inside the octagon.
Randy Couture vs Brandon Vera
"The Natural" drops back down to light heavyweight to take on Vera who is looking to a potential title shot. Vera was once considered one of the top young fighters in the sport. He can make a solid claim to that again with a win over the UFC Hall of Famer Couture. I like Vera by TKO.
Dan Hardy vs Mike Swick
The winner of this 170 pound battle is guaranteed a title shot vs GSP in a few months. While I like Swick as a fighter, I don't see him as a threat to GSP anytime soon. I do think Hardy has the tools to present some problems down the road to the current champ. This could be a show stealer and I really like Hardy in this solid matchup.
Michael Bisping vs Denis Kang
Bisping looks to rebound after a brutal knockout loss at the hands of Dan Henderson. He has his hands full with Kang, who is looking to make a splash in the UFC. Bisping, a decent fighter, is a little overrated in my opinion and I'm high on Kang. I look for Bisping to get ko'ed again.
Full fight card:
Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera
Dan Hardy vs. Mike Swick
Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang
Matt Brown vs. James Wilks
Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley
Terry Etim vs. Shannon Gugerty
John Hathaway vs. Paul Taylor
Nick Osipczak vs. Matthew Riddle
Paul Kelly vs. Dennis Siver
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jared Hamman
Roli Delgado vs. Andre Winner
Wow. Two phenomenal events taking place on the same night. As a fight fan, you have to love it. I know I sure do. There is a good chance that both events will have the sports world buzzing as I see both boxing and mixed martial arts fans everywhere being the winners this Saturday night.
If you're a fan of one of these sports or both, you'll be on the edge of your seat all night long. Tune in and don't miss one second of the action. You can thank me later.