Friday, November 6, 2009

Joe Chavez is Cutman to the Stars

Joe Chavez (center) looks on as head-trainer Nacho Beristain tries to give some advice to Oscar De La Hoya in his fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Veteran cutman Joe Chavez has a unique perspective on next weekend's Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto fight as he has worked for Pacquiao in the past and will be in Cotto's corner next Saturday. Chavez is perhaps best known for working the corner of Oscar De La Hoya during the last years of The Golden Boy's career.

Chavez is as down-to-earth and plain-spoken a fellow as you will meet. There isn't any hype with Joe and he's a straight-shooter in the truest sense of the term. He doesn't say much, but when he does speak his words carry meaning.

When asked for his thoughts on the big fight, Chavez was honest with his assessment.

“It's going to be a tough fight,” he said. “Manny Pacquiao is a very good fighter and you can't take anything away from him, that's for sure. I think it will be a very tough fight...a tough night.”

Chavez, 71, came on board with Team Cotto just prior to his fight against Joshua Clottey this past June at Madison Square Garden. Chavez worked overtime that night as Cotto was cut badly over his left eye from an unintentional clash of heads. The cut that Cotto suffered against Clottey taught Chavez a lot about his new employer right off the bat.

“Well, he showed that he doesn't quit,” said Chavez. “That was a bad cut, you were there and you saw it. But he just kept coming back to the corner and I just kept trying to do the best I could to stop the blood. He could have stopped, it was a bad cut. But I did my job and he did his.”

Chavez says that Miguel Cotto is finely tuned for next Saturday's big fight.

When asked for his prediction, Chavez was unwilling to say who would win.

“I can't make a prediction on it,” he said. “It will be speed versus power, I think. Cotto is stronger and hits harder, Pacquiao is quicker and faster. They're both very good fighters, so what can I say, you know?”

As of Wednesday, the hardest part of Cotto's training was over with and Chavez claimed that everything had gone according to schedule in camp. When asked if Cotto was going to experience difficulty making the catch-weight of 145-pounds, all he would say is that, “Everything is on schedule and the weight shouldn't be a problem.”

As close as Chavez would come to making a prediction on the fight was to say, “It's a fight where you have a bigger man against a smaller man. Miguel can box or he can punch. He's a big puncher and he's stronger, so...”

November 2009

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