Miguel Cotto vs. Randall Bailey pre-fight Analysis
Submitted by Ric Solivan,
TainoBox.com (December 7, 2004) 
Photo © HoganPhotos.com
With a high profile match up against DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley looming over the Horizon in 2005, will Miguel Cotto continue his winning ways and take apart the former champion? Or will Bailey score a shocking upset victory with a well-placed right hand?

Former junior welterweight champion Randall Bailey (28-4, 27 ko’s) looks to take his former strap back from its current holder rising Taino phenom Miguel Cotto (21-0, 17 ko’s) in what should be an interesting and explosive bout. Bailey is as hard a puncher as they come and has an impressive KO win ratio with all but one of his winning efforts coming by way of the fast lane. On the flip side he has lost inmost of his biggest fights against credible opposition like Ener Julio (12 Round SD), Diosbelys Hurtado (7th Round TKO), DeMarcus Corley (12 th round UD) and recently up and coming Ishe Smith (12 round UD). His biggest win came over the only common opponent he shares with Cotto in Demetrio Ceballos. Bailey ended the hostilities early against the Panamanian by way of a 3rd round TKO, while in contrast Cotto went seven rounds before stopping the former world champion.

As is his custom, Bailey will come into the bout looking to overpower and demolish the champion,
preferably in the early rounds, but don’t be surprised if the Miami native holds back a bit and takes his chances with the younger man later in the fight. For Bailey, his heavy right hand is his only hope of dethroning the Caguas native, that is unless Cotto tires by the middle to late rounds.

Miguel Cotto is coming off a demolishing title winning effort against former amateur level nemesis Kelson Pinto. The young Puerto Rican superstar had no problems manhandling the larger (5’ 10”)
man in route to a 6th round TKO win. Cotto’s tight defense and devastatingly sharp combinations were the key factors in the win, as the Brazilian simply had no answers and cound not keep the smaller man from invading his defensive perimeter.

Cotto’s prior outing was against tough Australian Lovemore N’do. Cotto reportedly shed off quite a few pounds at the 11th hour for this bout and if true could explain for his uncharacteristic wear down in the latter rounds. Surprisingly Cotto could not evade many of N’do’s right hands in the second half of the fight. This in turn leading to the Australian having bragging rights over being the only fighter thus far to land at a high percentage over the usually iron clad defense of Cotto. The young Taino however did take the authoritative punches well and eloquently boxed his way out of harm’s way in route to an unanimous decision win.

Against Bailey, Cotto will likely box in the opening rounds and test his opponents reaction time &
mobility. Based on this data Cotto will then adjust and look to establish control over the challenger with lateral movement and solid counter punching before unleashing his trademark combinations. However we must note that depending on the version of Randall Bailey that shows up Saturday night, we could be in for a repeat of Cotto’s dominating bout with Kelson Pinto, as Cotto is by far the best pure boxer/puncher the Floridian has ever faced.

My prediction is that Cotto will wear down and turn the tables on Bailey overpowering him with
powerful combinations by the middle rounds and ultimately sending him to the showers early in the
8th round.
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