Cotto vs. Margarito – Fists Will Indeed Fly
By Rob Scott, Doghouse Boxing (July 26, 2008) (Photo © German Villasenor)  
Leading up to Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo’s classic first bout, I wrote an article titled, “Light the fuse and wait, Corrales and Castillo are about to explode”. It was my version of prophecy, if you will, because, like some of Nostradamus’ predictions, in my eye sight, when these two met, I knew a war would definitely be in their future.  In turn, it developed into an unforgettable encounter that had left all who viewed in awe.

This Saturday, July 26, 2008, Top Rank, MGM Grand, along with HBO pay-per-view, brings us what has rightfully been named ‘La Batalla’ (‘The Battle’), because when Puerto Rico’s, Miguel Cotto 32-0 (26) and Mexico’s, Antonio Margarito 36–5 (26) meet, a true fight is definitely going to take place.

It pits the two best 147lb fighters in the world in a battle for Cotto’s WBA welterweight title, with the winner becoming not only the undisputed best in their division, but arguably the best in the game.

For both, it’s been a long road with each having had their share of shade from the shadow cast by Floyd Mayweather in recent years. But now with both facing one another, they are expected to cause a spark bright enough to let everyone see just who they are and what they bring to boxing’s table.  

Let’s face it; in the history of the sport, the build-up for certain fights has unfortunately had more highlights than the fights themselves. Fighters have talked, not good games, but put on verbal performances that turn some into believers for a bit. They have had the ability to make most lose track of the fact that, often times, these same fighter have never done what he says he is going to do… and in reality, there is a good chance that nothing special will happen anytime soon.

The build-up to Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito has been tamed, in a sense, but it’s not because they are both Hispanic that the words don’t fly. It’s because with these two fighters, there is no need for rhetorical build up. There is no need for a hundred words in English, or a hundred words in Spanish, because their actions have always been the thing that has spoken volumes.

Excellent performances by both have made people take notice, and Saturday night it will be their stage.

For both Cotto and Margarito, each had been kept from the true big stage by boxing’s politics, with neither able to land that defining fight with Floyd Mayweather. Because of the belief that no deal could ever be made because of Bob Arum and Mayweather’s chequered past, along with Mayweather’s pursuit of bigger monetary fish in Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, the chances for Cotto and Margarito’s stocks to go through the roof by beating Mayweather were ones of thought not fruition.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a realist when it came to the fight game; I’ve always acknowledged the truth that boxing is just as much business as it is a sport. With that being said, if Mayweather would have faced the likes of Margarito when he was offered the $8 million dollar payday sometime ago, it wouldn’t have been a good business deal on his part. The reason being, while many boxing pundits knew who Margarito was, if Mayweather would have outclassed Tony back then, those same pundits wouldn’t have given Mayweather his full credit because that’s when most would have back peddled and downplayed Margarito’s status.

Even in the case of Miguel Cotto; if Mayweather had faced him and put on a Diego Corrales type performance, would he have received full credit for his accomplishment? That debate can rage on in the minds of others, but my mind can easily come up with a ‘no’ to that question.

That was then and this is now though, and at this point, a victory over either would have meant something.
Make no mistake about it; the initial decision to face De La Hoya and Hatton, one would have to admit, just may have been good business moves, but to even think of facing them again, proved that Mayweather’s form of business definitely wasn’t designed to bring us pleasure… and definitely warranted Cotto and Margarito, along with the fans, to take it personal.

Before his retirement, Mayweather may have continued to publicly ask who are Cotto and Margarito, but deep down he knew full well who they were… and he knew that they deserve at least their chance. Now their chance will come when they face one another this weekend.

With good things coming to those who wait, Cotto and Margarito have both bided their time and waited to get such a defining fight; and we as viewers have waited a while to see two fighters, where both are at the top of their game, go at it.

While many will still gravitate toward high glamour fights that turn into low action letdowns, only to blame the sport as a whole for what went wrong at the expense of their pockets, the odds of that happening this weekend are a long shot.

Hey, Corrales and Castillo exploded, but trust me; like Jack Nicolson’s version of the Joker, wait till they get a load of Cotto vs. Margarito come this Saturday night.  With this fight, it will be as advertised – ‘The Battle/La Batalla’ – and it will be one worth every penny.

As in the 2000 hit tune, ‘Whoa’, by BadBoy recording artist, Black Rob; he said anything that you see that’s ill (basically stands out and shines), then it’s “Whoa”. Webster’s dictionary definition of the word whoa means a command to standstill. Well whatever way one may use the term, this fight is sure to cover it from every standpoint; because it should emphatically halt any furthered doubts that these two aren’t true  standouts and shining stars of the sport

Rob at:

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