Manny Pacquiao: The Catchweight King?

Oliver SuarezContributor IISeptember 17, 2009

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto and Ron Artest all  pose for pictures during the press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel on September 14, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)

Manny Pacquiao has taken a lot of heat lately from fans and members of the media by fighting Cotto for the title at a catchweight.  He has been bestowed the title of "Catchweight King" or "Catchweight B$#%#."  But how much of these criticisms does he deserve?

The people who say that this fight shouldn't be a title fight have a legitimate argument.  But technically, a welterweight fight can take place at a weight between 141-147.  Still, Miguel Cotto is the champion and it is a reasonable to demand Pacquiao to step up and fight him at 147 if he wants Cotto's welterweight belt.

My problem with the criticism is when it is coming from people who never had a problem with the catchweights before.  People who never complained when Hopkins was fighting Pavlik at a catchweight. 

Many of the All Time Greats had a number of catchweights, such as Sugar Ray Leonard.  He made Danny Lalonde come down from 175 to 168 to fight for his light-heavyweight title and the new super middle weight title. He also fought Hearns at super middle weight at 163.

Julio Cesar Chavez fought Meldrick Taylor for the welterweight title at 145.  A number of memorable fights wouldn't have happen without catchweights.  Heck, even the Marquez and Mayweather fight is at a catchweight, and no one has taken heat regarding catchweights as much as the Pacman.

Also, 145 is a fair weight for both fighters.  Miguel Cotto weighed in at 146 in his last fight against Clottey.  If the fight was held at 142 or 143 then I would understand the criticisms, but at 145, Cotto probably still has the advantage.  Remember, Pacquiao is barely a light welterweight.  He has not made weight in his last three fights.

When he fought De La Hoya at 147, he only weighed in at 142 and against Hatton at 140, he only weighed in at 138.  In the fight against Cotto, I expect him to weigh around 142 and come in at 148 during fight time.  How many welterweights comes in during fight time at only one pound above the weight limit? 

People should not forget that Cotto is a big welterweight who usually comes above 160 on his welterweight fights. 

People should give Pacquiao credit that he is stepping up against an elite welteweight with one of the biggest punches in the division.  Just as recent as two years ago, if someone mentioned Pacquiao potentially fighting the likes of Mosley, Cotto, or Mayweather, we would probably laughed at their face.

But now he has made it a reality and a number of people would favor him in some of those matchups, which shows how far he has come along.  He is one of the few boxers in history who has exceeded and surpassed all expectations.

Also, crowning Pacquiao "The Catchweight B#$%&" or "The Catchweight King" is ridiculous, considering that it his first catchweight fight.  Can someone tell me his other catchweight fight?  He fought Barrera, Morales, and Marquez at the same weight class.  He fought at 147 at Oscar's insistence. He fought Hatton in his weight class at 140. 

Let's just appreciate that he always tries to gives us his best performance while constantly going against some of the best fighters in the sport.  Would you rather Pacquiao face Campbell or Timothy Bradley instead of Cotto?  Beside Mosley and Mayweather, Cotto presents the most dangerous opponent for Pacquiao. 

Trust me, his Nov. 14 fight against Cotto is going to be a war and our money for the PPV will be well spent.