By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing: Undefeated pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) moves back up to the junior middleweight division on May 5 to face WBA champion Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When last seen, Mayweather was laying waste to
welterweight champion Victor Ortiz with a controversial fourth round
knockout. The dispute during and after the bout (see the Larry Merchant
interview) overshadowed what had been, up to that point, a vintage
boxing lesson by Mayweather. His timing and reflexes were sharp, as was a
counter right hand that couldn’t miss Ortiz’s chin.
gained some sweet revenge in his last bout by slicing and dicing
Antonio Margarito over 10 rounds. Cotto used the ring intelligently and
stuck to his game plan of beating Margerito to the punch. After nine
rounds, Margerito couldn’t see out of his surgically repaired left eye,
forcing the doctor to stop the contest. The victory gave Cotto some
peace of mind and restored his confidence.
“I think after my
first loss with Margarito, he took from myself a lot of things, you
know, confidence, trusting in myself, “said Cotto on HBO’s 24/7 series.
“I beat him and it took the steam back to me. I feel great. I feel a lot
[more] confidence than before.”
Back in 2005, many boxing fans
were clamoring for a Mayweather/Cotto fight. Now, the 2012 versions of
both fighters should prove to be an entertaining bout. Cotto, 31, is
more boxer than slugger. His movements are tactical with an emphasis on a
strong jab. Cotto's left hook is textbook as is his body punching. The
power edge goes to Cotto, but Mayweather balances that advantage with
superior hand speed.
Mayweather’s strengths are his quickness,
conditioning and ring smarts. His defensive capabilities are second to
none. The ring is the 35-year-old Mayweather's second home. Once inside
it, he can show off his God given talent. His footwork and balance are
nearly perfect. Mayweather's lead right hand has become his go to punch.
The way Cotto keeps his chin tucked might encourage him to unleash a
few uppercuts and see what happens.
Mayweather’s talent is rivaled only by his extreme self-confidence.
a' chop his ass up, and there's two ways he can go, “ Mayweather said.
“He can fall on his face or he can fall on his back, or he can wave the
white flag. Well, that's three ways now.”
Love him or loathe him,
Mayweather is now the undisputed pay-per view king. The outrageousness
of his personality-most of it for show-creates a buzz around most of his
fights. In some ways, he can’t win. When he’s polite and respectful
people say he’s boring.
The fight should be competitive for some
rounds. Contrary to popular opinion, Mayweather can be out-jabbed. Oscar
De La Hoya used his left hand very efficiently against Mayweather in
2007. Cotto’s jab will keep him in the fight until Mayweather figures
out a way to counter it. By round five Mayweather will be throwing lead
rights hands over the Cotto jab. As the fight progresses, Mayweather
will likely dominate and win by late stoppage or a unanimous decision.
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