The word on the street is that the Miguel “Angel” Cotto vs. Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez fight, is almost signed, sealed, and delivered. I myself am very excited for this fight as it pits two of the best boxers of this era against each other, for what will certainly be a super fight in June of 2014.
I have no doubts that Maravilla will be the betting favorite going into this fight. After all he is the reigning lineal middleweight champion of the world, the naturally bigger man, who posses that rare blend of speed and power that is seldom seen in this sport. He is a guy who can box and bang with the best of thee, a fighter who owns victories over the likes of Kelly Pavlik, Paul Williams and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
If it materializes as expected, Cotto will attempt to move up yet another weight class, in an effort to capture a title in a fourth weight division, A feat never achieved by any other Puerto Rican champion in the history of the sport. He will come in as the much smaller man. As we know, even as a junior middleweight, he is almost always the little guy in the ring, come fight night.
What makes this fight such an interesting matchup is very simple. We have the true middle weight champion of the world; arguably still a top five pound for pound fighter in the world, matched up against, one of the few real superstars, and boxing greats of this era. Many now think that Sergio’s bests days are behind him, and that his recent string of injuries and subsequent surgeries, have damaged him just enough to make him very vulnerable against a guy as skilled as Cotto. Those same people probably see Cotto as a surging fighter, making his final run, in an attempt to solidify his boxing legacy.
Those that think that Miguel Cotto can win this fight will point at Sergio’s last fight against Martin Murray and say he was given a gift decision in his home country of Argentina. They will still have a fresh memory of Chavez Jr. almost knocking Sergio out in the 12th round of their fight. They were probably very impressed with the way that Miguel Cotto dispatched, the always tough Delvin Rodriguez, in just 3 rounds, at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. They take that as an indication that Miguel has turned back the clock style wise, and that Freddy Roach’s all out offensive training style, is just what the doctor ordered, to get the best out of Miguel.
Those favoring Sergio will say that he is just too big for Miguel even at this stage in his career. That his advantages in size, speed and power will be too much for the Boricua warrior. They will say that Sergio was still injured going into that Murray fight, and will view the extended time off as a positive, an opportunity for him to heal his deteriorating body. But mostly they will say, that Sergio Martinez is no Delvin Rodriguez.
A few years ago this fight would not have been seen, as a very competitive bout. Sergio was just that good, and Miguel was considered a damaged fighter at the time. In this sport, perception is heavily swayed, by the “what have you done for me lately.” For that reason, it is now viewed as a very evenly matched bout. I am not making an official pick yet. However if you put a gun to my head ask me today, who would win. I would have to lean toward Sergio by stoppage mid rounds, putting an end to my favorite fighter’s career. I sure hope that my preliminary prediction is entirely wrong. How do you think this fight will play out? Happy Holidays folks, see you at the fights!