Cotto: More Hype than Talent?
By Jeff Mayweather (September 21, 2005)
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Photo © HBO
When it comes to Puerto Rican fighters, their fans are some of the most loyal in the sport. From Felix Trinidad to Wilfred Benitez, Puerto Rican fans have always shown great love for their fighters and seem to constantly be looking for that one special superstar to represent them. In today’s game, Miguel Cotto fits the bill and in my opinion he has successfully had the torch passed on to him. He has been impressive in his young career and is a fighter that people from the island can look up to.

I’ve always thought that Cotto was a good fighter but I have also felt that he has been more hype than talent. He is a very good fundamental fighter with solid skills, but there are some weaknesses to him. He’s always been an economical fighter, the type of guy who doesn’t throw punches unless they really count, but I feel he is too economical for his own good. He reminds me a bit of Alexis Arguello in that regard.

I also feel that his defense is far from great. He simply keeps his hands high and once he lets his hands go his defense is easy to penetrate. Some say that his chin is weak, pointing to his fight with DeMarcus Corley in which he was tagged and wobbled in the third round. Personally I disagree and simply feel that any fighter, no matter how good or bad their chin, can be hurt.

Cotto’s team has brought him along the right way in my opinion. His competition hasn’t been the greatest but it hasn’t been weak either. I do feel that he should stay clear of one man in particular, my nephew Floyd Mayweather Jr. That fight is simply a mismatch in Floyd’s favor because their skills are so far apart. Cotto would only have a puncher’s chance in that fight. He is too laid back in his attack to go up against Floyd and with his style he would get thoroughly dominated.

Still, I feel that Cotto can carve out a nice career over the next couple of years simply because where he goes, the money will follow. He is the WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion and he already has a strong following, thus the challengers must head his way more often than not. For the next couple of years I feel that his team can match him up right and make him into a star much the way Felix Trinidad was. In time, if Cotto keeps winning, the public will demand for matches against the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton and only then will we truly see Cotto step to the plate and will we find out just how good he is.
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