Miguel Cotto: Ready for the next step
By Tom Dickey (September 11, 2004) 
Photo © HoganPhotos.com
When people think of the best young prospects in Boxing right now, usually Miguel Cotto comes to mind. The native of Caguas, Puerto Rico has burst unto the scene at 135 pounds and has now moved up to 140 pounds. He has compiled a 20-0 record with 16 KOs, and has the Boxing World believing that he is the next big thing.

Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions has said that Cotto is the best prospect he's had since Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Back in his homeland he has been compared to Felix Trinidad. Pretty lofty expectations for a guy who is only 23 years of age.

Cotto has been stepping up in competition with each fight. He has already beaten big names like Cesar Bazan, Victoriano Sosa, Demetrio Ceballos, Joel Perez, and John Brown. In his last fight he won a unanimous decision over a very tough Lovemore N'dou. It's not so much that Cotto wins these fights, it's how he wins them. He has been beating guys with devastation. Cotto is a fighter who goes right after his opponents, but not in a way in which he is going right at them and getting hit. He is a ferocious body puncher, and seems to get better with each fight.

On Saturday September 11th, Cotto faces his toughest test to date in Brazilian
Kelson Pinto. Pinto's career has been similar to Cotto's. Pinto is also a very
hard puncher with a similar 20-0 record, but with 18 KOs, and has also been considered by many to be one of the best prospects around. This could be a huge jump for the winner, but a setback for the loser. There is a lot at stake for both fighters, which makes this fight very intriguing. The fact that both guys are big punchers adds to the intrigue. It's rare in Boxing today to see two very highly touted prospects actually face each other this early in their careers, and it should make for a good fight.

Pinto actually holds two victories over Cotto in the Amateur ranks, but Cotto believes the Professional ranks will be a different story.The winner should get
propelled into a title fight in a loaded 140 pound division. There are opportunities with the likes of Kostya Tsyzu, Arturo Gatti, Vivian Harris, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

This is a fight where both guys have alot to gain and a lot to lose. Pinto almost had a major fight with Ricky Hatton earlier this year, but had to pull out because of an injury. Pinto has moved on, and now fights the other huge prospect in the division, Miguel Cotto. These two mega prospects will square off on September, 11th in Puerto Rico on HBO's Boxing After Dark. Also on the card will be Antonio Margarito challenging Daniel Santos in a Super Welterweight battle
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