Can Miguel Cotto Pull It Off?
By Lou Catalano, Doghouse Boxing (May 4, 2012) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Gene Blevins - Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions)
Hopkins vs Dawson II

The short answer? Probably not. Cotto is a world class fighter, a very good boxer/puncher with the heart of a warrior. But let’s face it; he’s not fighting another very good fighter. He’s fighting the best. Floyd Mayweather’s fight with Victor Ortiz ended in such a bizarre fashion that many people have forgotten just how easy he was making it look before the knockout came. He was toying with Ortiz. In fact, the only difficult time Floyd had all night came during his infamous interview with 163 year old Larry Merchant.

Floyd showed he still had it all. Speed? Check. Defensive skills? Still there. Agility? Yep. Only this time, Floyd had an edge to him. He wasn’t just out there showing off his mastery of the sport. This time, maybe for the first time since 2005 when he pounded Arturo Gatti, he was out for blood. He put bad intentions on all of those straight right hands he was landing with ease. The knockout may have come in a shady fashion, but the knockout was coming regardless.

Cotto has looked comfortable at 154, the weight at which he’ll meet Mayweather. In his last fight against Margarito, he used his movement and underrated agility to defeat his nemesis easily. But that was against Tony Margarito, not Floyd Mayweather.

When Miguel Cotto fought Manny Pacquiao back in 2009, it was at a catch weight of 145 pounds. Mayweather likes to state that he is fighting Cotto where Cotto is comfortable, in contrast to the demands made by team Pacquiao, who is naturally smaller. In his eyes, the weight will make a difference and bring out a sharper, better Cotto. The reality is that Pacquiao could have let Cotto come in at 145, or 155. It would have made no difference. Cotto is a very good fighter. Pacquiao is an all time great, just like Mayweather. Those two have a way of making very good fighters look very ordinary. They just do it in much different ways.

For Cotto to have a chance at an upset Saturday, he needs to catch Mayweather clean with something he doesn’t see coming, just like Shane Mosley did when he rocked “Money” badly in the second round of their fight. His best bet to do that might be to forget about the head for the first few rounds, and concentrate on tagging Mayweather’s body to slow him down. Easy right?

What will most likely happen Saturday is that Cotto will keep the fight close for the first half of the fight, until Mayweather steps it up and takes control. One guarantee is that Cotto will fight with everything he has, for as long he can. Who knows, maybe the quiet one will shock the world. Stranger things have happened.

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