By Shade Awad
The opening bout of the much anticipated Mayweather vs. Cotto Pay per view card will feature junior middleweight Deandre “The Bull” Latimore (23-3, 17 KO) vs. Carlos “El Indio” Quintana (28-3, 22 KO). With Puerto Rico watching will the 35 year old Quintana beat the 26 year old Mayweather promoted Latimore?
Latimore and Quintana are both southpaws that are at the crossroads of their careers. Latimore recently fought on Shobox vs. Milton Nunez. In that fight Latimore was knocked down in the 9th and 10th rounds. The Bull was fortunate that the fight was only a ten rounder. At the end of the bout the score cards read judge: Al Lefkowitz 94-94 | judge: Richard Ocasio 96-92 | judge: C.J. Ross 95-94, in favor of Deandre Latimore. Unimpressed with his majority decision victory less than 10 weeks ago, Latimore is determined to prove his doubters wrong.
Deandre’s best showing was in 2008 when he earned a technical knockout over contender Sechew Powell in 7 rounds. That victory set up the right to face Cory Spinks for the vacant IBF light middleweight title. Latimore came up short losing via split decision in both fighters’ hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Since that loss, the Bull has managed to win four out of his past five fights, with his only defeat coming via majority decision in a rematch with Sechew Powell.
Quintana last fight was over fourteen months ago against journeyman Yoryi Estrella in Puerto Rico. Quintana was victorious when referee Luis Pabon felt Estrella had enough and stopped the contest at 38 seconds of the 9th round. The Puerto Rican Quintana is most known for his victory against then undefeated Paul “The Punisher” Williams back in 2008 at the Pechanga casino in Temecula, California. I was attendance that night. Williams was supposed to dispose of the previously beaten Quintana to move on to a possible showdown with Shane Mosley. Quintana’s southpaw stance and looping punches provided fits for the punisher, enough to earn El Indio a well-deserved decision.
When the Indio won that fight with Paul Williams, it was the first time that boxers from Puerto Rico had held three of the four major welterweight titles. Quintana joined Miguel Cotto and Kermit Cintron as champions in the division. Since then Quintana has went 3-2, with his losses coming via knockout by Williams in the 1st round of their rematch and Andre Berto in the 8th round.
Quintana will look to open the show of fellow countryman Miguel Cotto with an impressive victory. The last time these two shared the same ring, Cotto dominated Quintana into a 5th round stoppage. Latimore is trying to prove that he has earned a spot on the pay-per-view card not because of who he is connected to outside of the ring but because of his talents in the ring.
Latimore will have the speed advantage over Quintana. Deandre’s jab will be the key to victory in this fight. As long as he keeps the savvy veteran on the outside, the older slower Quintana will not be victorious. Quintana will need to make this into a slugfest and battle Latimore on the inside. My prediction is that Latimore will coast in the earlier rounds by not exchanging blow for blow with Quintana. El Indio will have his opportunity due to his awkward style. The Puerto Rican crowd will play a factor in this fight and I see Quintana catching Latimore with a knockdown. My prediction is that in a competitive fight Quintana will beat Latimore in the 7th round by way of knockout allowing Los Boricuas to celebrate the start of the night in fashion.
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