Cotto ready to climb another mountain, as De La Hoya and Mayweather pad their accounts
By Mike Cassell of Philadelphia Boxing Report (May 11, 2008) Doghouse Boxing  
It is becoming embarrassing and a bit demeaning to the boxing public when we are forced to listen to Floyd Mayweather Jr. 39 – 0 (25 KO’s) and Oscar De La Hoya 39 – 5 (30 KO’s) pontificate about the talent, or lack thereof, Miguel Cotto 32 -0 (26 KO’s). Last month on ESPN, Mayweather Jr. actually sat and asked Brian Kenney, “What has he (Cotto) done?” Who has he fought? Sadly Kenney allowed that ridiculous statement to fly unwarranted as Floyd plugged his upcoming acting role on the WWE. Mayweather Jr also used the excuse that he and Bob Arum (Cotto’s promoter) do not get along, and hinted that if Cotto obtained another promoter he might
consider a fight. Now that’s funny, considering Bob Arum promoted Mayweather Jr. in 30 + fights. I can see how hard it would be to do one more for 8 to 10 million. Mayweather Jr. doesn’t seem to think Cotto puts meat in the seats. Maybe he ought to get on a plane and travel to Atlantic City sometime.

Cotto can bring a big crowd and a Mayweather Jr. match-up would break box office records. I guess Mayweather forgets that before he fought Arturo Gatti and De La Hoya, he could barely fill an arena. Or maybe he forgets being booed out the ring against Carlos Baldomir, or the teary and whiney goodbye that followed at the post fight press conference as he quit boxing. With all his talent and all his ability, he doesn’t have the common sense to buy a DVR and actually watch and listen to some of the crap that he says and does on Television. Any person with a half a brain can see that he is afraid of Miguel Cotto. Fans know it, Cotto knows it, and most importantly, Mayweather himself knows it, and it shows. His biggest fights were made possible by his competition. If De La Hoya had the attitude of Mayweather Jr., he could have dodged Floyd permanently.

Oscar De La Hoya, who has never shown any fear of anybody, actually convinced himself that fighting a Puerto Rican fighter would somehow be disrespectful to his wife who is of Puerto Rican dissent. Now that’s really funny! I guess all those phone calls and plane rides to convince Felix Trinidad to get back in the ring was done undercover. Cotto should be incensed and insulted by such treatment, but he just smiles; because he knows what Mayweather and De La Hoya are already aware of. Miguel Cotto is the only one of the three that will fight anyone. He doesn’t care where you come from, who you’re married to, or how many fans you bring. If you think you’re the best and you can fight, Cotto will fight you. His middle name isn’t “money”.

What made Oscar De La Hoya great in the past was that he never ran from a fight. He had the guts to face Mosely, Trinidad, and Quartey without blinking and putting up in every one of those fights. A match with Mayweather Jr. is easy because Oscar understands that win or lose, neither one is taking a big risk. The question is, does anybody care about a rematch except their accountants? Cotto has been a world champion since 2003. He has beaten Shane Mosely the man De La Hoya couldn’t beat. He beat down Zab Judah, Carlos Quintana, Paulie Malignaggi, and to add insult to injury, he is going to fight the man Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been ducking for the past 3 years, Antonio Margarito.

Miguel Cotto has cracks; there is no doubt about it. He can be knocked down. He can be hurt, but that is what makes exciting championship boxing and that is what separates him from the rest. He is not afraid. He is not worried about the looks of a match; he is not worried at all. He is a confident, violent fighter who believes that he can hurt anyone. He can adapt his style to outbox the boxer, and there isn’t a puncher alive south of the middleweight division that can stand toe to toe with him. These qualities are as bold and obvious as the scores of denials coming from both Mayweather and De La Hoya. Real legacy is defined by the mountains you climb, and challenges you take.

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