The event is almost near. With just a few days to go, two of the sport’s biggest stars will share the same ring at the same time when pound for pound pay-per-view king Floyd Mayweather Jr. collides with Puerto Rican superstar Miguel Cotto. While the fight was ripe and should have happened 4 years ago when both guys shared the same division at welterweight and were both undefeated, I still think now at this stage in their careers it has value as a good fight. While most people call it an event because of the names involved, not many people are giving Miguel Cotto a shot as he is in some books a 5-1 underdog.
Here’s why Miguel Cotto will shock the world come May 5th this Saturday. The confidence that I’ve seen Miguel Cotto enter the ring when he was a feared fighter is back. Granted much of building him back as a fighter had to do with the opposition he’s faced since he has returned. While Yuri Foreman may have not had the power to hurt Cotto, raise your hand if you picked the longer taller fighter to outbox Cotto. I know there aren’t many of you now but after the Pacquiao loss, there were plenty of people who picked against Cotto.
The Ricardo Mayorga encounter may have been a sham of a fight but it sold pay-per-views after HBO turned down a fight between Miguel Cotto and Vanes Martirosyan. So all you “money team” members can’t complain if the whole gimmick behind Floyd is about making the fights that equate the most revenue and might not be the most competitive.
Who could forget the battle for revenge with his arch enemy Antonio Margarito? Yes, Cotto may have been favored but I know a lot of people that called a victory for Margarito in the same fashion as the first fight which many believed Margarito had loaded his gloves against Cotto.
Since his moved to 154 lbs, Miguel Cotto is 3-0 with 3 TKOs. Top Rank built him up after his losses and with each win you could see his confidence growing. Cotto has said that what Margarito took from him in his first defeat in 2008 was his confidence. Since his victory, he feels it is back and he can defeat anyone in the world.
Since his loss to Pacquiao, Cotto has become a more refined boxer. It started when he put his training in the hands of the hired gun Emanuel Steward. Steward fixed some very horrible flaws that Cotto had, mainly his balance. With that being improved, Cotto had time to work the balance and improve in a very deadly weapon that he has in his arsenal, his left jab. Under Steward it was noticeable that Miguel has refined his boxer-puncher abilities. Steward said it himself that Miguel has taken less punishment and that it all started with him.
Then before his grudge match he switched trainers to then unknown Cuban trainer Pedro Diaz. I think thus far it has been the perfect match. Cotto needs a guy to push him and give him direction in the corner. That was missing in his Pacquiao loss. There was no adjustment and no direction. Now there is. Miguel probably feels more comfortable with a Spanish speaking trainer in there with him as well. Diaz dialed up the right strategy for Margarito which was for Miguel to use his quicker hands and work behind his crisp jab and score to the eye. When Margarito came in, Cotto would move, tie up, and even push Margarito back; tactics that were missing from the first fight with Margarito. That strategy and team work lead to a TKO victory over Margarito due to the swelling in Margarito’s eye.
I think part of the shock value that will come May 5th is due to his corner. In my opinion, I feel Diaz is a better trainer than Roger Mayweather. Diaz will institute six strategies if he has to in Cotto so he can keep Mayweather from figuring him out. I know what you’re thinking; Diaz has only trained a fighter for one pro fight and Roger has Floyd. But let’s be real here, what other fighter has Roger trained that became a success or world champion? In contrast, Pedro Diaz is responsible for the whole Cuban Amateur system and for much of the success of a lot of Cuban fighters in the pros today. Not to take anything away from Roger but what more does he bring to Floyd that we haven’t seen yet?
Cotto’s confidence and training are important aspects but its Cotto’s timing that will be the key to his victory. Yes speed kills. But the way to neutralize a fighter with quicker hands is with accurate timing. Cotto’s hands may not have been the fastest but he has shown his accurate timing against some of the best fast slick boxers in the likes of Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, and Paulie Malignaggi. Cotto’s left jab will be the key and his newly found right hand after shoulder surgery will help in trying to figure out Mayweather’s patented shoulder roll.
Now it’s going to take more than Cotto’s new found resurgence in the ring to beat a man who’s never been beaten in his career. Cotto will have to come in with multiple game plans because once Mayweather figures you out, you will be in for a long night.Cotto might have to switch to a southpaw stance to counter the shoulder roll. Cotto is naturally left handed to begin with but chooses to fight with his power hand as his lead hand, hence why his left jab is so potent.
The key to his success will be his patience and success cutting off the ring. Floyd defensive wizardry can cause a grown man to do some crazy things in the ring. In case you don’t believe me ask Victor Ortiz who was frustrated to a point he threw his head into Floyd’s face with no remorse because his shots were hard to land on Mayweather. Cotto must attack but in a patient manner where he doesn’t gas himself out and needs to keep his mental edge to not get frustrated to leave an opening for Floyd to do something like he did to Ortiz.
If the Ortiz bout would have continued, there’d be more a better understanding of how Floyd would continued throughout the night. People are saying Floyd’s legs are gone and some of that showed when Ortiz back Floyd up on the ropes a few times.It would have been interesting to see if Floyd would have pot-shot Ortiz all night long or would the pressure made Floyd do something he hasn’t done in a while, get in a war.
We saw someone land and hurt Floyd two years ago when Mosley caught him with a big right hand but Mosley just didn’t have it in him to finish the job. While Cotto doesn’t have good one punch power at this weight that Mosley had at 147, if Cotto happens to land a punch that hurts Mayweather, Cotto should have enough in the tank to finish the job.
It all comes down to Cotto’s best punch that has gone non existent since he floored and KOed Carlos Quintana with it to capture his first welterweight title and that’s the vicious left hook to the body. Because Mayweather hasn’t been caught often, he gets slacked on for having an average chin. I for one think Floyd can take a good punch to the chin but I’ve never seen him tested to the body. Miguel will have to turn back the clock and rip vicious body shots and make it an inside fight.
I know there’s a lot of factors that have to be accomplished for an upset this Saturday. But i agree with Pedro Diaz, no man is invincible and just because a man hasn’t lost doesn’t mean there’s no way to beat him. Miguel Cotto will shock the world on Cinco De Mayweather.
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